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The earliest Bulletins pre-date the creation of the Bureau of Mineral Resources. They were written by the first two Commonwealth Palaeontologists, Frederick Chapman and Irene Crespin, and published as Palaeontological Bulletins between 1932 and 1938. When the BMR decided to launch a regular series of Bulletins in 1952, these three earlier works were retrospectively included. The purpose of the later Bulletins was to present broad regional or thematic summaries of the agency's investigations, often aggregating results described in a number of earlier Records, Reports or other publications. The series ceased with Bulletin 247 in 2001.
The earliest Records also pre-date the BMR’s formation. In 1941 several committees were established to advise the government on mineral resources considered vital for the war effort. Their reports were mimeographed and not widely distributed, so were not considered publications at the time. After the war, however, many were revised, printed and released as Mineral Resources of Australia Summary Reports. When the Bureau of Mineral Resources was created in 1946, the original mimeographed versions became, retrospectively, part of a continuing series of reports intended only for internal use or for limited distribution. As the BMR expanded its activities, the Records became the quickest way to circulate immediate results of research, field work or other events and eventually they became a formal printed series of reports, most made publicly available. The Records continue to this day.
The Reports were introduced by the Minister for Supply and Development, John Armstrong, in 1948. They were specifically intended to provide a broad audience with the preliminary results of investigations in a formal publication. Production was of a higher quality than the Records, but less than the Bulletins, to avoid delays in disseminating the information. The Report series ended with number 307 in 1992.
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