|This collection comprises the administrative records and publications of the Commercial Travellers Association of Victoria, (CTA). Records and publications of the United Commercial Travellers Association of Australia, (UCTAA), whose administration was based in the same offices in Melbourne, are also found throughout the collection.|
Administrative records include extensive financial records relating to the various funds created for the members’ benefit (such as the Mortuary Benefit Fund) and other aspects of the CTA’s operations (such as the Club’s operations and general administration). There are long series of minutes and board related records, some membership records, correspondence and subject files. The subject files are of varied quality with some short, well ordered sequences with others being originally highly disordered. These administrative records provide a good overview of the CTA’s operations however there is a tendency for the records to be patchy in their overall coverage, with few series being complete in the time periods they cover. There is also a small collection of photographs primarily documenting office holders with a small number of other CTA activities and buildings; many of these photos relate to the period just before and after Australian Federation.
There are valuable and complete series of publications, notably what became The Australian Traveller and its annual supplement, Australia Today (somertimes To-Day). These magazines publicised Australia and its commercial activities and frequently utilised notable artists, authors and photographers in their production. Supporting these publications are considerable holdings of related materials notably printers’ proofs, photographs used or rejected and even printers blocks. Over 1000 of these photographs have been digitised are available online https://archives.unimelb.edu.au/ (search by number 1979.0162 or a place name in digitised collections)
Some records are identifiable as originating with The UCTAA, notably some correspondence. Material from the UCTAA has been identified wherever possible. This collection required reconstruction during processing and some of the subject files in particular were originally highly disordered. Some series are not co-located within the same Units in the collection though they have been named in the same manner to facilitate location.