Digitisation Update - October 2021

The ANU Library Digitisation Team are continuing to digitise rare and special materials from the ANU Library and ANU Archives.
27 October 2021

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.

Australian Forestry School

Australian Forestry School ANUA 137-62-04

The Australian Forestry School was founded in Adelaide in 1925. In 1927 the school came under the control of the Commonwealth Forestry Bureau and relocated to Canberra, using Westbourne Woods (part of the Yarralumla Nursery complex established by Charles Weston in 1913) for teaching purposes.

The school offered diploma courses for Bachelor of Science students. Fieldwork was a key part of the curriculum and involved study of forests throughout Australia.

The school made a substantial contribution to forestry in Australia and surrounding regions, with many students from the Asia-Pacific region. In 1965 the school became part of the new Department of Forestry within the Australian National University’s School of General Studies. 

These photographs will enhance research of Australia’s first national forestry school and inform our understanding of teaching and research in forestry and environmental science in Australia throughout the 1900s. The material will appeal to those researching forestry, environmental science, and education in Australia. The digital collection will increase the visibility of our research archives and research of Australian education.

Indian Seamen’s Union, Membership Applications

Indian Seamen’s Union, Membership Applications E177-9-10-17 hdl: 1885/244952

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. 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. 

Approximately 1000 cards containing information relating to a Seamen’s name, position and ship of employment have been added to the collection.

Marie Reay slides

Marie Reay slides ANUA 440-10-541 and 108. hdl: 1885/243856 and 1885/243423

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. 

From 1953, as a doctoral student supervised by WE Stanner in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology in the Research School of Pacific Studies at Australian National University, Reay began field research in the Wahgi Valley in the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea, with the Kuma. 

Reay's PhD thesis was published as The Kuma: Freedom and Conformity in the New Guinea Highlands in 1959, the same year she was appointed to a research fellowship in the Department of Anthropology, ANU. Working at ANU for the next 30 years and retiring in 1988, Reay died in Booragul, New South Wales on 16 September 2004.

Approximately 1000 colour slides created by Reay, relating to her fieldwork in Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory during the 1960s, have been added to the collection. Reay’s work greatly enhanced our understanding of the lives and culture of Aboriginal people and their communities.

These slides provide a rare insight into Aboriginal history and culture, and have great research value to academics; researchers; Aboriginal communities; and those studying Aboriginal family history. 

Xu Dishan website

Xu Dishan

This year a portal was created to showcase and provide better access to the Xu Dishan collection. The website includes details about the acquisition of the collection; the contributors; and subject information.

The Xu Dishan [许地山 (1893-1941)] collection comprises many rare editions and suspected orphaned sacred books on Buddhism, Taoism and other Missionary publications of the time dating from 1860–1920. 

The collection was purchased from the family of the late prominent Chinese scholar, Xu Dishan, in Hong Kong in 1950 by the eminent Chinese historian and later Professor of Far Eastern History at The Australian National University (ANU), C.P. FitzGerald. 

The collection forms the original core of the ANU Library’s Asia-Pacific collection. This portal will provide greater access to this important collection of rare editions and sacred books. Academics in Renmin University of China and the ANU Australian Centre on China in the World are keen to access these works for their study of Chinese literature, history and philosophy.