The 60th anniversary of the foundation of the University of Melbourne Archives is marked on 29 June, the date of appointment of the inaugural University Archivist, Frank Strahan.
The establishment of the Archives was driven by University of Melbourne academics in both history and commerce who believed in the preservation of the state’s documentary past in order to facilitate research. This research imperative was accompanied by the need to properly house the University’s own records.
The early strength of the collection reflected these origins, with a large sets of papers from Victorian businesses and the University quickly amassed. But historical trends change with the times, and by the 1970s a review by University of Melbourne Professor Geoffrey Blainey recommended broadening the scope of collecting to include Victorian trade unions, political organisations and movements such as the women’s liberation movement, and community organisations such as Melbourne City Mission.
Today, the collection stretches to over 20km of shelving and is recognised as a significant research resource of both national and international interest. Work has begun on the collection of born-digital records and the digital preservation of existing analogue records, bringing our collection and collecting into the Twenty-First Century.
A detailed history of the establishment of the Archives was written by long-time archivist Dr Cecily Close for the 50th anniversary exhibition, now available online.
A special thanks to those who provided reflections we couldn’t fit into the video, especially David Merrett, Melinda Barrie and Joe Parro.
Another special thanks is due to Alicia Cerreto, without whom this video would not have happened.
Video image citations
1. (0:37) Frank Strahan in University of Melbourne Archives, Barry Street offices, c1995. University of Melbourne Archives administrative files
2. (0:54) Andrew Reeves, Frank Strahan and unknown person, The Courier Ballarat, 13 August 1977 p1
3. (1:00) Frank Strahan and others, late 1950s. Lachlan Strahan’s personal collection
4. (1:03) Frank Strahan, Geoffrey Blainey, and others, shortly after Frank’s appointment as University Archivist, 1961. Lachlan Strahan’s personal collection
5. (1:08) Frank and Lachlan Strahan, at Lachlan’s graduation, 1988. Photographer: Norman Wodetzki. University of Melbourne Media and Publications Unit photographs 2003.0003.03936
6. (1:15) Frank Strahan with artwork from the Commercial Travellers’ Association collection, no date. Photographer: Norman Wodetzki. University of Melbourne Media and Publications Unit photographs 2003.0003.03932
7. (1:42) Cussonia Court, University grounds, no date. Photographer: Norman Wodetzki. University of Melbourne Media and Publications Unit photographs 2003.0003.03742
8. (1:59) University of Melbourne Archives staff conserving the Bright family papers, 2005. Photographer unknown. University of Melbourne Archives Bulletin no. 16 January 2005.
9. (2:20) A Map of the Manor of Brockbury, survey by Samuel Adamson, 1755. Scale: Chains. Ink and colour wash on vellum. Bright Family Papers 1980.0075.09065
10. (2:24) Inventory of the Stock, Implements and Cattle belonging and now being upon the tenement of Eames Hill and Inventory of the household goods of Francis Meyler, (apothecary), 1740. Bright Family Papers 2010.0010 item 8/11
11. (2:26) Photograph of unknown wool store, no date. Gibbs Bright & Co Business Records 1980.0115
12, 13 and 14. (2:52-2:57) Classes conducted by University of Melbourne Archives archivists, c2017. Photographers unknown. University of Melbourne Archives administrative files
15. (3:17) Arthur Purnell and others at the China Light & Power Company/Wuxian Door Power Plant by Purnell & Paget, 1906. State Library of Victoria, http://search.slv.vic.gov.au/permalink/f/1cl35st/SLV_VOYAGER1801386
16. (3:20) Arthur Purnell (right) at the Canton Club, Shamian, 1906. Derham Groves’ personal collection
17. (3:22) Imperial Maritime Customs House designed by Purnell & Paget, c.1909. Derham Groves’ personal collection
18. (3:24) South China Cement Factory, Haizhu District, Guangzhou, designed by Purnell & Paget, 1909. Derham Groves’ personal collection
19. (3:26) International Banking Corporation building, Shamian, designed by Purnell & Paget, 1908. Derham Groves’ personal collection
20. (3:29) The Commonwealth Golf Club in Oakleigh and the Albert Park Golf Club in Albert Park, c1920s. Derham Groves’ personal collection
21. (3:32) Paterson’s Furniture Store in the Melbourne suburb of Prahran, c1930s. Derham Groves’ personal collection
22. (3:34) Purnell designed the grandstand at Western Oval (1929) in Footscray. Most significantly, he was the Melbourne Cricket Club’s honorary architect and designed the Southern Stand (1936 – 1937) and the Olympic Stand (1953 – 1955). Derham Groves’ personal collection
23. (3:40-50) Student work and exhibition catalogues based on Derham Groves’ work on the Purnell collection
24. (3:58) Bill Rudd and Katrina Kittel. Katrina Kittel’s personal collection
25. (4:07) POWs at a Campo 106 farm at Carpeneto, Italy. Courtesy of Robert Kerr, personal collection
26. (4:08) POWs at a Campo 106 farm at Carpeneto, Italy. Courtesy of Robert Kerr, personal collection
27. (4:10) POWs at a Campo 106 farm Baraccone, Italy. Bill Rudd’s personal collection.
28. (4:13) Bill Rudd and Katrina Kittel. Katrina Kittel’s personal collection
29. (4:17) Australian Army dossier extracts. Photographer: Katrina Kittel. National Archives of Australia, B883 series, VX47808
30. (4:20) Australian Army dossier extracts. Photographer: Katrina Kittel. National Archives of Australia, B883 series, VX47808
31. (4:33) Bill Rudd and extract of Campo 106 Nominal Roll. Katrina Kittel’s private collection
32. (4:36) Katrina Kittel with her book Shooting Through: Campo 106 escaped POWs after the Italian armistice. Katrina Kittel’s private collection.
33. (5:09) Varuna National Writers’ House, Katoomba. Vanessa O’Neill’s personal collection
34. (5:12) Varuna National Writers’ House, Katoomba. Vanessa O’Neill’s personal collection
35. (6:04) Tommy McRae (artist) Corroboree, c1890. Ink on paper, 21.6 × 27.3 cm. Foord Family Collection, 1961.0008, item 1
36. (6:06) Plan of the Melbourne Botanic Gardens, 1873. William Robert Guilfoyle, 1975.0104
37. (6:07) Malcolm Fraser handwritten notes of phone call with Governor-General HE Hon Sir John Kerr, 11 November 1975. Malcolm Fraser collection 2010.0013.00014