Category Archives: Collections in focus

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 […]

Women's Liberation: March on March

Women’s Liberation and Feminist Sources at UMA

Sue Fairbanks, Acting University Archivist When Germaine Greer visited Australia in 1971 to see her family and promote the paperback edition of The Female Eunuch, the Australian women’s movement was gearing up for one of its most important interventions in Australian politics. The Women’s Electoral Lobby, convened by Beatrice Faust, was formed to survey all […]

Nobel Prize Winners Notebooks Windows on Laboratory Life – PART I

by Katrina Dean, University Archivist In the Melbourne winter of 1935 Frank Macfarlane Burnet, Head of the Virology Department at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) felt himself coming down with a cold. Instead of drinking a cup of tea or going home to lie down, he took a sample of his nasal mucous and […]

Nobel Prize Winners Notebooks Windows on Laboratory Life – PART II

by Katrina Dean, University Archivist (read Nobel Prize Winners Notebooks Windows on Laboratory Life – PART I here) When a serious accident in Burnet’s laboratory did happen, self-experimentation was not the cause. An experienced researcher with a growing scientific reputation, Dora Lush had recently returned to Melbourne from a fellowship at the National Institute for […]

‘Well, hello machine’: Timecoding audio in the Germaine Greer Archive

by Kate Hodgetts, Audio Cataloguer Imagine that you are a passenger in a car. The car is being driven through the British countryside. Your driver, Germaine Greer, tells you that this is her ‘Favourite road in all the world,’ and proceeds to describe the landscape in vivid, colourful detail. ‘It’s sort of dull and burnished, […]

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 […]

‘Salut Comarada’’ An Australian experience of the Spanish Civil War

The 17th of July marked the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. Despite taking place on the other side of the world, a number of Australians left their homeland to join what many observers saw as a war of ideologies. War erupted after a failed military coup by Nationalist forces (later led […]

Archive of a Refugee Scientist

Today 9 June is International Archives Day, and in September the International Council on Archives is holding its Congress in Seoul on the topic of Archives, Harmony and Friendship. In the digital age when collections and institutions are more connected we are used to thinking internationally about archives. The wanderings of pre-digital archives often reveal […]

Secrets and Signatures

Rebekah J. Harris – PhD Candidate in History at the University of Melbourne School of Culture and Communications The most alluring aspect of an archival family collection is its honesty – its documentation of a family’s success and failures. Unless someone has deliberately removed something, personal papers hide very little. In this respect, the Bright Family […]