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Welcome to the 100th issue of Labour History. The journal has come a long way since it first appeared, in January 1962, as the Bulletin of the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History. There were two more issues produced in 1962, one in May and one in November. While the production of Labour History today still bears some similarities to that of the Bulletin, such as the concern for quality controls and the demands of deadlines, there have also been major changes, some linked to the electronic revolution. Labour History moved early to take advantage of the internet through its relationship with the History Co-operative and now JSTOR.

The journal's founders sought to create a forum for the publication of labour history research and debates, and this goal has been fully realised. The present issue demonstrates as much by surveying some of the most important areas in Australian labour history. There is an overview piece by Frank Bongiorno which provides general insights into the development of Australian labour historiography. This is followed by articles on particular topics: industrial labour, labour and politics, labour biography, convicts, the role of the state, the labour process, consumption and comparative labour history. These contributions examine how Australian labour historians have treated these topics, highlighting gaps and possible paths for future research.

The initial call for papers for this commemorative issue covered a very broad range of topics. The fact that some of the enduring themes in labour history scholarship and debate are not represented in this special issue is due, not to design, but to general constraints, such as time, that relate to the writing of any paper. Though topics like gender, race, volunteer labour and culture are not featured, the current contributors have, where possible, taken them into consideration. The journal has a tradition of leading other fields of study--such as general Australian history and industrial relations--in the discussion of these topics and will continue to do so. At the same time, the articles that are on offer in this issue cover many of the domains that are rightly of central interest to the discipline--and we are confident that they will make their mark.

We would like to thank all the authors who have contributed to this issue and the referees who gave up their time to examine the papers. Particular thanks go to Margaret Walters and Carl Power for their assistance in the Labour History office, at the University of Sydney, and the Editorial Board of Labour History for their support of the project. We also acknowledge the selfless labour of all those who have participated in the production of Labour History since those early days at the Australian National University five decades ago.

Nikola Balnave

Cathy Brigden

Greg Patmore

Lucy Taksa

COPYRIGHT 2011 Australian Society for the Study of Labour History
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Copyright 2011 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Balnave, Nikola; Brigden, Cathy; Patmore, Greg; Taksa, Lucy
Publication:Labour History: A Journal of Labour and Social History
Date:May 1, 2011
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