Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

The grey area of ephemera

Cowan, R.A.ORCID: 0000-0003-0417-2208 (2010) The grey area of ephemera. In: Douglas, J., (ed.) iRMA Information and Records Management Annual 2010. RMAA, St Helens, Tasmania.

PDF - Authors' Version
Download (399kB)


The public face of an organisation and its strategic goals are supported by the production of reports, brochures, posters, flyers, booklets. This material is known as ephemera or grey literature. In the private sector this material is treated in any number of ways, from being ignored after use to being considered a permanent record. Within the realm of government, all of this published material is scheduled in the relevant disposal authority or government directive as being part of legal deposit or equivalent and or being sentenced as archives. This paper examines the role of legal deposit in the collection of ephemera or grey literature.

Using the results of a preliminary study of the deposit of the publications under the statutory requirements produced by the National Archives of Australia, the State Records Authority of New South Wales and the State Records Office of Western Australia, this paper compares the collection of government publications, at the federal and state level as:
• Prescribed by legislative instruments such as legal deposit, government directives, government policy;
• Required by the relevant disposal authorities; and
• Produced by government bodies by the relevant legal deposit libraries as revealed by the library catalogues.

Finally, the paper reflects on the use of ephemera as an historical tool.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Murdoch University Library
Publisher: RMAA
Copyright: © Roberta Cowen
Item Control Page Item Control Page


Downloads per month over past year