Author Archives: University of Melbourne Archives

Considering the literary archive: William Gosse Hay

Dr Rachael Weaver School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne I first became interested in the Australian writer William Hay ten years ago, when Ken Gelder and I re-published Hay’s 1921 story, ‘An Australian Rip Van Winkle,’ in our Anthology of Colonial Australian Gothic Fiction (2007). The tale is a delightfully strange one, about […]

“A library is a pleasure dome…”: Germaine Greer and libraries

Sarah Brown – Archivist, Germaine Greer Archive “Libraries are reservoirs of strength, grace and wit, reminders of order, calm and continuity, lakes of mental energy, neither warm nor cold, light nor dark. The pleasure they give is steady, unorgastic, reliable, deep and long-lasting. In any library in the world I am at home, unselfconscious, still […]

Bright pink poster with white outlines of people protesting, some are holding up placards. Orange "La Mama Company" written at top of poster

Revolutionary theatre is a risk worth taking

Looking back at La Mamas’ 50-year history, from inception in 1967 when Betty Burstall created an ‘immediate’ theatre space in Melbourne inspired by New York’s La Mama Experimental Theatre Club, reveals not only the rise of an Australian theatre nurtured by local talent, but a larger portrait of Australian society and culture. As challenges to cultural […]

Blue Art Nouveau design of a women holding a lute, surrounded by birds.

Philip Sousa marches out of town

In 1911 Australian music lovers were treated to a lengthy tour by American composer and conductor Philip Sousa, along with his 55 piece band.  The band toured the world for 352 days, and was at that time, the most extensive tour made by such a large band. Most have likely heard Sousa’s distinctive style; mostly military and patriotic marches, although could […]

A life in 22 boxes

Jane Beattie, Assistant Archivist – University of Melbourne Archives Sophie Garrett, Assistant Archivist – University of Melbourne Archives Two pairs of ballet slippers used by Juan Cespedes are preserved in the John Harvey Foster collection, along with research material and personal effects such as Foster’s diaries and a notebook of recipes written by the pair. These […]

Unexpected journeys through POW records

Dr Seumas Spark Dean of Arts Research Fellow, Monash University My first encounter with the Australian Red Cross (ARC) archive was in 2012. The return home of Australian prisoners of war (POWs) during the Second World War interested me, and I wanted to write an article on the subject. From 1942 to 1945, the Allies […]

War and Peace: Stories of endeavour from the Australian Red Cross Collection

Chelsea Harris Public Programs and Audience Engagement, University of Melbourne Archives Within the University of Melbourne Archives’ 20 kilometres of records sits a relatively new acquisition, some 347 linear meters of records of the Australia Red Cross. Comprising 1,405 boxes across 36 series, these records relate to both the National Office as well as the […]

Centenary of Japanese language teaching at the University of Melbourne

In early 1917, the call for Instructors of the Russian and Japanese languages at the University of Melbourne was advertised in several Victorian newspapers.  The roles were not salaried, but instead paid a portion of student tuition fees. An Instructor of Russian was appointed; however, it was not until the following year that a suitable […]

We’re Not Nice Old Ladies: Records of the Alma Unit for Women and Ageing

by Susan Feldman – Adjunct Associate Professor, Monash University. University of Melbourne Archives recently acquired records relating to the establishment, work and achievements of the Alma Unit for Women and Ageing  a ground-breaking scholarly endeavour at the University of Melbourne that sought to shed new light on the connections between gender, ageing, health and wellbeing. The […]

The story of how ‘Corroboree’ by Indigenous artist Tommy McRae came to the University of Melbourne Archives

The story of how Tommy McRae’s Corroboree came to the university is told from documentation at University of Melbourne Archives (UMA), telling one side of a complex history. UMA looks forward to meeting with  McCrae’s descendants later in the year to show them more of his artwork and to learn more of the human story […]