Spotlight on the collection: election ephemera

The Fryer Library's collections of Queensland political organisations and student activists groups are supported by a growing collection of 'ephemera', which is library-speak for written or printed material that is usually created for a short-term purpose. These collections are still referred to as the 'Fryer Vertical Files' (FVFs), a reference to the filing cabinets they were once stored in.

FVFs cover all levels of politics, including federal, state, local, student as well as referenda, and also represent a wide range of organisations across the political spectrum. A selection of early ephemera has been digitised and is available to view on UQ eSpace.

In particular, Fryer's tradition of collecting material from student politics and campus groups provides unique insights into the fundamental - sometimes controversial - political issues of each generation. Many files capture the reaction of young people and students to the Vietnam War, women's rights, the Springbok tour during apartheid, Aboriginal land rights, and Queensland political figures, such as Joh Bjelke Petersen.

We continue the tradition by collecting ephemera from UQ student elections. Who knows what future researchers will make of this material?

A small sample of ephemera collected from federal and student elections

-- Amanda Winters & Elizabeth Alvey.

Last updated:
19 January 2017