Digitisation Update - December 2021

The ANU Library Digitisation Team are continuing to digitise rare and special materials from the ANU Library and ANU Archives.
13 January 2022

This update details some of the recent items digitised as part of the ongoing ANU digitisation project. More information about the digitisation procedure is available at the ANU Policy Library.

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Ocean Marist Province Archives (OMPA)

396 reels of microfilm, containing records of the Catholic Church in islands of the Western Pacific, have been added to the collection. These records were copied as part of a special project of the Ocean Marist Province Archives (OMPA), under the direction of Father Theo B. Cook, SM.

The Marist Order (Society of Mary) which was canonically approved in April 1836 after the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith in Rome had sought means of evangelising the western half of the Pacific. The eastern half had been entrusted to the Sacred Heart (Picpus) Order in 1833. The Marists, originally an informal grouping of diocesan priests, accepted the task in the Western Pacific provided they were recognised as an independent religious order.

This project was a collaboration between The Australian National University and The Pacific Manuscripts Bureau.

Indian Seamens’ Union membership cards

Indian seamen in Australia formed a union in October 1945 during a strike and boycott of Dutch shipping in support of the Indonesian declaration of independence in August 1945.

Over 900 records, detailing the Seamens’ names, age and positions within the company, have been added to the collection.

The strike was a result of Dutch shipowners threatening to transfer Indian seamen in Dutch registered ships to other Dutch ships boycotted by Indonesian crew. The Indian seamen supported the boycott which held for nine months from 1945-1946 and intermittently over four years. They received support for some weeks from the New South Wales Trades and Labour Council in the form of rations and strike pay.

Due to his work in the Indian Seamen's Club in Sydney and close relationship with the strikers, CH (Clarrie) Campbell was elected Treasurer and was the sole European office bearer. After 1947, many of the Union's functions were taken over by the Indian Seamen's Union.

Marie Reay Indigenous photographs

Marie Olive Reay was born in Maitland, New South Wales and began her career in anthropology at Sydney University, where she studied for an MA and undertook fieldwork in Indigenous communities in western New South Wales (Walgett, Bourke, Moree, Coonabarabran and others) in the 1940s. She later extended her fieldwork with Indigenous communities to Borroloola in the Northern Territory. 

Approximately 200 photographs by Reay, relating to her fieldwork in Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory during the 1960s, have been added to the collection.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains images, voices and names of people who are deceased.

Ole Christensen films

Ole Christensen was a PhD scholar in the Department of Prehistory. He worked under Dr Jack Golson in his long- term field program in the Waghi Valley of Papua New Guinea.

35 reels of 16mm film containing ethnographic films made in the early 1970s by Ole Christensen have been added to the collection.

The reels were transferred to the ANU Archives from the ANU College of Asia & the Pacific (CAP) Archaeology and Natural History collections. Digitisation of one reel was funded privately by Dr Fenner.

These films depict traditional methods of tool making, cooking, farming, and hunting, as well as funerary rites and other rituals, making them a valuable insight into cultures which have changed dramatically in the intervening years. In many cases, these films are the only visual record of such activities being carried out by these groups according to traditional methods. The films have been lost to researchers as the ANU Archives does not have any means by which to play the degrading films. By digitising these valuable resources, they will be available to researchers again. 

Mort’s Dock and Engineering Company photographs

Mort’s Dock and Engineering Company operated between 1855 and 1958. For many years it was the most successful maritime engineering company in Australia.

90 photographs, relating to the operations of the Mort’s Dock and Engineering Company, have been added to the collection.

These photographs provide insight into the operations and history of maritime engineering in Australia, as well as visual documentation of Australia’s first operational dry dock at Waterview Bay in Sydney. They are of value to researchers including historians; academics; engineers; and those researching the history of Australian business and industry. Digitisation will enable restricting handling of these fragile photographs; some of which are discoloured and insect damaged.

Fred Ward architectural drawings and photographs

Iconic Australian designer Fred Ward was a renowned furniture and industrial designer between the 1930s and 1980s. Ward produced designs for private, commercial and government clients including Victorian Railways; Reserve Bank of Australia; National Library of Australia; and aircraft designs for the Department of Aircraft Production during WWII.

Approximately 30 architectural drawings and 20 photographs of furniture by Fred Ward have been added to the collection.

These drawings and photographs will be of interest to a variety of researchers, including those studying design and architecture. They will also contribute to the history of The Australian National University and its Acton campus.