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Banned in Australia
Federal Book Censorship, 1900-1973
  • About

    Banned in Australia traces the main arc of Federal publications' censorship from 1901 to 1973 by collecting information on all literary or scholarly titles that were prohibited as imports by Australian Customs into Australia, or which were allowed only restricted circulation.

    Led by Nicole Moore, with research assistance from Marita Bullock, Banned in Australia includes approximately 500 titles, and covers the following genres: novels, which included literary fiction as well as popular and pulp fiction, non-fiction, magazines and pamphlets, erotica and pornography. Information on the authors whose work was banned or restricted is also available.

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  • A range of information has been gathered for titles, including full bibliographical data. Where relevant, biographical details are given for authors whose books were banned. The censors' decisions (whether to ban the book altogether or merely restrict its circulation) are recorded. The date that each title was banned and the date on which the ban was lifted (where available) are also recorded. The government agencies responsible for the banning of each title are listed.

  • Documented evidence

    The bibliography relies on the documented evidence of department and agency practice held by the National Archives of Australia.

    It has an international scope and includes titles from all over the world, including works by Australian writers published abroad. The bibliography is a cumulative reconstruction of Australia's 'banned list' and makes this record of literary censorship available to the Australian public for the first time.

    Further information on the legal and bureaucratic processes of banning particular titles is made available where significant.

    Read the National Archives of Australian blog about banned books.

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