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dc.contributor.authorQuinlan, Michael
dc.contributor.authorGardner, Margaret
dc.description.abstractWhile there has been historiographical debate about labour history in Australia, this has not grappled substantially with the question of method. Rather there has been agreement that 'narrow' institutional history was not illuminating the heterogeneity of our labour experience. In this project we are constructing over a long period and a large terrain what might be described as an institutional history of Australian trade unionism. To do so, however, we have turned to what is still a comparatively rare method in Australian labour history, the use of a computer database.This method allows us to answer old questions about the development of Australian unionism, and perhaps to challenge some earlier answers to those questions. This does not mean that we are prey to concentrating on institutional survival at the expense of understanding the volatility and change in patterns of development. Indeed the database facilitates a rich understanding of the temporal shifts and fluctuating fortunes of Australian unionism. We have attempted to show how we have attempted to design the database to provide a dense picture of unionism in this period. This design has also tried to take account of the specific nature of historical information and the need for sensitive interpretation that does not make the meagre robust or reduce the robust to a shadow. We hope we have demonstrated that the apparently dull and technical computer database - that jigsaw of information - depends on the questions asked and with the right questions can produce as many tunes as a composer could ask.
dc.publisherAustralian Society for the Study of Labour History
dc.relation.ispartofjournalLabour History
dc.subject.fieldofresearchBusiness and Management
dc.subject.fieldofresearchHistorical Studies
dc.subject.fieldofresearchHistory and Philosophy of Specific Fields
dc.titleResearching Industrial Relations History: The Development of a Database on Australian Trade Unions 1825 - 1900
dc.typeJournal article
dc.type.descriptionC1 - Peer Reviewed (HERDC)
dc.type.codeC - Journal Articles
gro.facultyGriffith Sciences, Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery
gro.hasfulltextNo Full Text
gro.griffith.authorGardner, Margaret E.
gro.griffith.authorQuinlan, Michael G.

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