Political ephemera

The Library's collection of political ephemera is an invaluable resource for researching a broad spectrum of Victorian social and political movements.

The Riley & Ephemera Collection, which contains much of our political ephemera, was started by trade unionist and politician Fred Riley. Included are handbills, flyers, leaflets, posters, badges and stickers from various Victorian political and community organisations. You can find items in the Riley & Ephemera Collection by searching the catalogue.

Trade unions, political parties and university clubs and societies are strongly represented. Environmental groups, international activists, feminist organisations and anti-war groups also have a presence.

The collection has material relating to:

  • conscription
  • the land rights movement
  • anti-nuclear activism
  • trade unions
  • conservation
  • women's rights
  • peace movements
  • alternative media
  • political parties

We also hold the political papers of the Victorian branch of the Australian Labor Party and Democratic Labor Party, as well as the personal papers of Australian Labor Party politician Sam Merrifield (1904–82).

Our Pictures Collection holds posters from the RedPlanet archive, many of which have been digitised. We also have stickers, tea towels, postcards, T-shirts and other objects with political themes.

Donate your election ephemera!

We'd love to receive political brochures, election pamphlets, how-to-vote cards and candidate posters to add to our Riley and ephemera collection – from forthcoming or past elections.

It's easy – just pop your election ephemera in an envelope and address it to:

Riley & Ephemera Collection
State Library Victoria
328 Swanston Street
Melbourne Vic 3000
Australia