Directories and yearbooks provide useful sources of information for historical research. Use the name of the industry plus the subject term 'directories' in the Browse Subject option of the online catalogue eg
The Australian printed collections at the National Library contain substantial material which can support research into Australian companies. Use the online catalogue to find and retrieve material using your library card.
Some of these publications have changed title numerous times over the years and each change of title has its own record in the catalogue. See the Former Title and Later Title sections of the catalogue record for information.
In addition to the general printed collections there are also some unique non print collections.
In our Reference Collection
You can find the following useful resources in our Main Reading Room. No call slip is required. Previous editions of these works are held in our book stacks.
- Who’s Who in Business in Australia
A comprehensive directory of individuals and organisations from all sectors of Australian industry, including government bodies
Call number: RF 338.092294 WHO (also available online to onsite users)
- Who owns whom. Australasia, Africa and Rest of Asia
A directory of subsidiary and associate companies, showing relationships with parent groups
Call number: RF 338.80255
- International directory of company histories
Includes the histories of major Australian companies such as QANTAS
Call number: RF 338.7409 INT
Other printed publications
The following publications have now ceased or are no longer obtained by the Library yet they still contain valuable information for research into Australian companies. They can be requested through our catalogue.
- Australian Business Index
An index to printed journal articles relating to Australian business, covering the years 1981-1995
- Jobson’s Year Book of Public Companies
A guide to Australian publicly listed companies
- Major Companies of Asia and Australasia
Authoritative directory covering major companies and including the contact names of senior executives. Entries include company details, description of business activities, financial information for the last two years and principal shareholders.
- Mergent International Manual
Collection of information on thousands of non-U.S. companies in 97 countries, including a section on Australian companies
- Morningstar Shareholder
Contains information on Australia's top companies
In our Microform Collection
From the Australian Graduate School of Management the Annual report file 'contains over 21,000 Australian and New Zealand company annual reports on microfiche.' Published between 1950-1994 the 'selection of companies to be included in the File is based on the top 500 Australian listed companies and the top 70 New Zealand listed companies by market capitalisation.' Although not comprehensive it is a useful supplement to the printed annual report collection.
In our Special Collections
Waller, Napier. ([193-?]). Study for B.H.P. mural, Australia House, London.
Our Special Collections contain much interesting material to support research into the history of companies in Australia.
The Manuscripts collections contain many unpublished records of Australian companies in all areas, including the arts and pastoral industries.
Thompson, Peter Alexander & Macklin, Robert. (2010). The big fella : the rise and rise of BHP Billiton. North Sydney, N.S.W : Random House Australia
Published company histories are very useful for research. Use the name of the company plus 'history' as subject terms in our online catalogue eg
Motor vehicle industry - GMH - Monaro, Nova, : trade catalogues ephemera collected by the National Library of Australia]
The printed ephemera collection contains many fun and interesting pieces of material relating to companies in Australia. Material includes advertising and promotional material, leaflets and catalogues.