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Writing Party History

Writing Party History

Papers from a Seminar held at Parliament House, Sydney, May 2006

Edited by David Clune and Ken Turner


On 20 May 2006 a seminar on writing party history was held at Parliament House, Sydney as part of the commemoration of the Sesquicentenary of Responsible Government in New South Wales.

Historians, political scientists and practitioners of politics both past and present came together in a way that has rarely been attempted before to discuss researching and writing the history of both the major political parties and minor parties and independents in New South Wales. Contributors included Bob Carr, Rodney Cavalier, Steve Chase, John Faulkner, Graham Freudenberg, Murray Goot, Jim Hagan, Ian Hancock, Stuart Macintyre, Rod Tiffen and Peter Westerway.

This book contains the papers from the seminar. Topics covered are: diaries, memoirs and reportage; writing the history of political parties; the genres of party history; the fundamental sources. The result is a diverse, stimulating and entertaining collection of essays that sheds new light on these imortant institutions,



Rodney Cavalier

Part 1 Diaries, Memoirs and Reportage

Diary keeping: A personal perspective
Bob Carr
Using diaries and memoirs
Rodney Cavalier
Reporting the Whitlam wars
Peter Westerway
Reporting from the press gallery: The practicalities and problems of immediacy
Steve Chase
Spin and history
Rodney Tiffen

Part 2 Writing Party Histories

Writing Party Histories: Some Introductory Thoughts
Andrew Tink
The Liberal Party
Ian Hancock
The Progressives, Country Party and Nationals
Paul Davey
Labor History
Graham Freudenberg
Communist Party History
Stuart Macintyre
Minor Parties and Independents in New South Wales
Rodney Smith

Part 3 The Genres of Party History

Writing a regional political history of New South Wales 1856-2006
Jim Hagan
Politics and parties in New England: discoveries, problems, solutions and future directions
Frank Bongiorno
Tracing the rise and fall of constituencies in regional New South Wales
Bradley Bowden
A view from below: report on a case study of Glebe
Michael Hogan
Writing the federal ALP caucus centenary history
John Faulkner
Electoral democrarcy in New South Wales: parties, the press and popular participation 1856-2003
Sean Scalmer and Murray Goot

Part 4 The Fundamental Sources

Newspapers as a source for part history
Michael Hogan
Creating an electronic bibliography of theses relating to New South Wales political history
Jim Hagan
Sources then and now
Ken Turner


This edited collection of contributions to a one-day seminar form a kind of summing-up of the work of the Sesquicentenary of Responsible Government in NSW Committee. This Committee was set up in 2002 and has funded over thirty projects related to political history of the NSW Parliament since the coming of responsible government in 1856. Many of the authors of those projects participated in thie seminar and contributed to this volume...
The contributors to Writing Party History provide valuable insights for others who intend to take up this unfinished task.

Australian Journal of Politics and History, Vol 54 No 1, 2008


Published June 2007
Publisher Parliament of New South Wales
ISBN 9780731318117
Australian RRP $29.95
International Price $28.00
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NSW Sesquicentenary of Responsible Government

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