The Liberal Party of Australia was formally constituted in December 1944 as a result of the amalgamation of various liberal political parties. The party structure is made up of state branches and a Federal Council. Although closely related, the state branches maintain considerable independence. As a means of promoting, studying and researching Liberal Party philosophy and policy each branch and the Federal Council maintain research departments as part of their secretariats. These departments publish and collect publications espousing, or related to, Liberal Party Policy and Philosophy.