[HASN logo] No.35, December 1995 ISSN 0811-4757

Edited and published by Tim Sherratt (Tim.Sherratt@asap.unimelb.edu.au) for ASAP.

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Radiophysics Records Transferred

During 1993 a large quantity of records created by the CSIRO Division of Radiophysics, was sorted, listed, documented at series level and transferred by CSIRO archives staff to the Australian Archives. The records are held in the NSW Office.

The Radiophysics Division has continued operations since its commencement on 10 May 1940, particularly conducting research into communications systems and imaging technologies. There are four groups in the division: solid-state Devices Group, Electromagnetic and Optics Group, Signal and Image Technologies, and the Ultrasonics Group.

Because of close liaison between CSIRO and Australian Archives before transfer, items were listed in a form suitable for input into ANGAM II (Australian National Guide to Archival Material II, the item level database available Australia wide at all offices of the Australian Archives). Individual items (mostly files) were entered on ANGAM II with a decision as 'NONE', the reason being 'Not yet examined'. Applications for Access are submitted by persons wishing to see particular items, and once items have been access cleared, the access decision applies to future applicants. In most cases decisions have been either OPEN or OPEN WITH EXCEPTION (containing closed period material as defined by The Archives Act 1983, ie created within the last thirty years).

The Mission of the Australian Archives is 'To preserve valuable Commonwealth records as part of the archival resources of Australia and make them accessible to present and future generations'. Although previously access to the records was often provided by CSIRO, now that series and item level information is available through the RINSE (Records Information System, the database for series and agency information) and ANGAM II databases at search rooms of the Australian Archives throughout Australia, the files are being more widely consulted. In fact, one series, C3830/1, was the fourth most heavily used series held by the NSW Office, with 188 items issued in the period 1 July 1994 - 5 July 1995; C3823/1 was ranked sixteenth, with 69 items issued; and 33 items from C3825/1 were issued.

Details of these three series are:

C3830, Technical correspondence files, alpha-numeric series, 1940-1992
Files from this series cover a variety of subjects, including research and development in radio astronomy, radio aids to civil aviation and surveying, assistance to the Department of Defence in projects; minutes of meetings of the Radio Meteorology Committee, Standards and Vacuum Physics Committee, and Radio Research Board; papers of conferences; publications, reports and patents; and information on co-operation with outside and overseas organisations.

C3823, Wartime radar files, alpha-numeric series, 1939-1945
Files in this series contain information relating to radar projects at the Radiophysics Laboratory during World War II. Information provided by the Division of Radiophysics for the series description states that several varieties of radar equipment were designed and fabricated in the Laboratory, either as prototypes for ultimate application by industry, or as experimental equipment for assessment by the Armed Forces. Examples of file titles relating to the development of radar equipment include: Gun Laying, Searchlight Control, Ship Warning and Gunnery, First Australian Microwave Set, Long Range Air Warning, Microwave AA Surveillance, and Pulse Phase Identification of Moving Targets.

C38251/1, Correspondence files of the Radiophysics Advisory Board, alpha-numeric series, 1939-Jul 1945
This series was maintained by the Chairman of the Board, Sir John Madsen, and recorded the supervisory role of the Board and the work of the laboratory in the development of RDF (Radio Direction Finding) equipment. The Board was terminated in August 1945.

Further transfers of records from CSIRO Division of Radiophysics are planned in the near future, probably before the end of 1995. These include some pre-1939 and World War II correspondence and project files relating to radio astronomy, the construction of the Parkes telescope, and long range distance measuring. Some records will belong to series previously registered (see above list), while others are likely to represent new series.

Commonwealth Record SeriesTitle and Date RangeQuantity
C3823/1Wartime radar files, alpha-numeric series, 1939-19459 boxes, 1.62m
C3824/1Minutes of meetings of CSIRO State Committee, chronological series1 box, 0.08m
C3825/1Correspondence files of Radiophysics Advisory Board, alpha-numeric series, 1939-Jul 19455 boxes, 0.9m
C3826/1Australian National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Parkes radio telescope log books, single number series, 1961-19631 box, 0.18m
C3827/1Filing schedule of Radiophysics Advsiory Board correspondence files, alphabetical series, 1939-19451 box, 0.08m
C3828/1Minutes of Meetings, chronological series, 1926-19493 boxes, 1.35m
C3829/1Australian National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Parkes Telescope observational surveys, single number series, 1962-198192 boxes, 18.6m
C3830/1Technical correspondence files, alpha-numeric series, 1940-199271 boxes, 12.78m
C3839/1Australia Telescope National Facility, Parkes Observatory, log books, single number series, 1963-198326 boxes, 5.2m

- Margaret Chambers, Australian Archives

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