Tuesday 12 July 2011 by Theresa Cronk. No comments
News, Collection

On Saturday 10 July 1911, King George V gave his approval for the Commonwealth Naval Forces to become known as the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). One hundred years have now passed since this event. To celebrate the centenary of the Royal Australian Navy, the reports of proceedings for fifty RAN ships and establishments are being made available online via the Australian War Memorial's website. This is part of an ongoing project to digitise the Official Records series, AWM78 Reports of Proceedings, HMA Ships and Establishments.

Within these pages, some of the history of the Royal Australian Navy and its activities since 1939 is revealed. These reports of proceedings were submitted by Commanding Officers of RAN ships, administrative units and shore establishments. Depending on the creating agency, these files cover promotion tests; mess activities; accounting; training; exercises; social events; arrival and departures from ports; visits; official calls; operations; weather conditions and outstanding incidents. There is also a very brief summary of the performance of the ship's machinery and other systems. Some also include photographs and newspaper articles.

The digitisation of AWM78 is currently being undertaken by the Research Centre. This project began with a pilot project to scan the files of HMAS Perth on 9 January 2009. HMAS Sydney, HMAS Vampire and HMAS Vendetta followed in quick succession. Since then, we have steadily been working our way through the remainder of the series in alphabetical order. To date, 25 191 images from this series have been scanned and are available online. The files for each new ship or establishment will be released online on a regular basis according to when they are scanned. The final figure for the project is expected to result in about  300 000 images.