Deposit N359 - Botany Bay Project files, reports and photographs

Identity area

Reference code



Botany Bay Project files, reports and photographs


  • 1971 - 1978 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

3.2 m

Context area

Name of creator

(1921 - 1991)

Biographical history

Noel Butlin was born in Sydney on 21 December 1921. In 1942 he graduated from the University of Sydney with first class honours and the University Medal. From 1946-1949 he lectured in Economics, University of Sydney and in 1950-1951 was a Rockefeller Fellow at Harvard University. In 1951 he accepted a Senior Research Fellow, Department of Economics, Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University (ANU) and in 1954 held the position of Reader in Economics at ANU. Butlin became Professor of Economic History at ANU in 1962 and in the mid 1970s was Director of the Botany Bay Project, Research School of Social Sciences at ANU. Noel Butlin died on 2 April 1991, aged 69. The Noel Butlin Archives Centre (formerly the ANU Archives of Business and Labour) is named in his honour.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Project management files including minutes of administrative and managerial committees, staff files, organisational correspondence, press cuttings, research papers and publications related to the Project, copies of applications to register factories 1894 - 1974 (by suburb) related to a survey of manufacturing industry in the southern Sydney metropolitan area, and photographs of staff, Sydney industrial areas and of maps relating to the Botany Bay area.


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Researchers must sign an access agreement.

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description


Related descriptions

Notes area


The purpose of the Botany Bay Project was described by N G Butlin as an 'attempt to define the forms of policy and techniques of control, at Commonwealth, State and local levels of national environmental damage' (Butlin to Whitlam, 12 Jan 1973). The Project was designed by the Australian Academies of Science, of the Social Sciences and of the Humanities. A Provisional Project Committee, convened by N G Butlin, was appointed by the Academies in September 1971. Late in 1971 the Consultative Committee of the three Academies approved the Project and assumed general responsibility for it. Direct academic control of the Project was given to a tri-Academy Botany Bay Project Committee which held its first meeting in July 1972. F J Fenner was elected Chairman and R Vallentine Deputy Chairman of the Project Committee. In September 1974 the NSW government withdrew its support for the Project and placed tight restrictions on the supply of information to the Project by NSW authorities. During the year the Project also experienced long delays in the transfer of appropriations for expenditure from the Commonwealth Government. At the last meeting of the Project Committee, held on 22 October 1974, the Project was wound up as an undertaking of the Academies. The premises at Randwick were vacated and the headquarters of the Project shifted to the ANU. At the ANU the Project continued in modified form in the Urban Environment Study Group at the department of Economic History, Research School of Social Sciences. Control of the Project was placed in the hands of a Management Committee chaired by Professor Fenner. Commonwealth government funding for the Project was terminated in December 1975.

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

Dates of creation revision deletion

Created by Erin Gallant on 19 August 2011; revised on 9 September 2011 and on 23 March 2017.




Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places