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Memento : Issue 24
September 2003 MEMENTO 7 This massive publishing project took over 25 years and 16 volumes to complete, with the final volume published in 2001. Each volume contains reproductions of important documents and correspondence between leading political figures around the time of the Second World War. Correspondence between Australia's Prime Minister John Curtin and General Douglas Macarthur gives insights into how the war was played out in the Asia and Pacific region. Letters and cables between Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Curtin illustrate how Australian troops were brought into the war. Other official documents chart the development of Australia's place in the international community during the war and in the postwar reconstruction era. The published series includes only a small proportion of the records copied and collected from the records of the major Commonwealth departments, in particular the Department of External Affairs, the Prime Minister's Department and the Department of Defence. The series also contains some records that were sourced from London and Washington, as they were the only surviving copies of records relevant to Australia. Copies of these records were placed in working folders arranged by subject. The working folders for 1937--44 were later transferred to the Archives, while those for 1945--49 stayed in the custody of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. All the original records remain in the Archives, but the working folders of copies have now found a permanent and fitting home in the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library in Perth. Thanks to the partnership between the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library and the National Archives, these copies will be a comprehensive research resource and a unique guide to locating the original material. The full text of the published volumes can now be viewed online at www.info.dfat.gov.au/historical. General Douglas Macarthur (left) with Prime Minister Curtin. A Curtin compendium NAA: A1200, L36449 When Sir Paul Hasluck was Minister for External Affairs (1963--69) he initiated a project to publish a series titled Documents on Australian Foreign Policy, 1937--1949.