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Australian Science Archives Project

Annual Report

ISSN 0817-7174

Projects in Detail

Scientists and the Scientific Community

Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
Andrea Barnes

Work on the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) Archives project commenced in August 1995 with the deployment of a Project Archivist, Andrea Barnes, to process ATSE's records backlog and establish an on-going archival program. ASAP ADS was used to manage the Accession and Inventory of ATSE's records and to capture information regarding their context of creation (Provenance), their content and their function. The Accession and Inventory processing of the records backlog was completed in late January 1996. Once all outstanding work on the records backlog has been completed, ATSE's archival program will be well and truly established. ASAP will continue to be involved with ATSE on a consultative basis only, providing specialist archival and records management advice when required.

Baker Medical Research Institute
Danielle Zephyr (Project Archivist), Christopher Jack (Archivist)

The archival records of the Baker Medical Research Institute were surveyed by Dani Zephyr and Chris Jack in late 1995. The purpose of this scoping project was to provide a structured overview of the records. ASAP presented a report outlining the types of records held and providing a list of recommendations for the Baker Medical Research Institute archives. The report focused on the current needs of the organisation and the future archival and records management requirements. The Baker Medical Research Institute's activities and role in medical research are important to Australia's scientific, technological and medical history so it is hoped that the consolidation and extension of the work thus far completed will be carried out.

Christopher Jack

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File 5/1, Item 3
12 Hole Paper Tape Reader

Following the completion of CSIRAC computer project records Inventory processing, a Guide to the Records of CSIRAC was compiled. The Guide to the Records of CSIRAC, complete with photographs, was also transferred to ASAP Canberra and was placed online on ASAPWeb at: http://www.asap.unimelb.edu.au/pubs/guides/csirac/ .

Doug McCann from Voices of Australian Science and Technology (VAST) then compiled an oral history based on interviews with surviving members of the CSIRO and The University of Melbourne CSIRAC groups. In conjunction with Peter Thorne, Dean of the School of Computer Science, Doug McCann organised an exhibition to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of CSIRAC's establishment at The University of Melbourne. The exhibition was held at the School of Computer Science, 13-14 June 1996.

Custodian: The University of Melbourne, Department of Computer Science.
Finding Aid: Guide to the Records of CSIRAC, prepared by Christopher Jack with Lisa Cianci, WWW edition prepared by Lisa O'Sullivan and Tim Sherratt, 1996, ISSN 1039-1096. Available on the WWW at http://www.asap.unimelb.edu.au/pubs/guides/csirac/

Goode, Dewar Wilson
Conservationist and Grazier, 1907-
Lisa Cianci, Paula Montesano

Dewar Goode was a pastoralist and conservationist who played an important role in soil conservation and management of farming land in Australia. The listing of the records comprising the Dewar Goode Archival Collection was originally created using the word processing software Word Perfect 5.1 (this work was completed prior to the development of ASAP ADS). With the assistance of Tim Sherratt, ASAP Canberra, a series of macros was developed to transfer the data into ASAP ADS. Contextual information is complete and a draft Guide to the collection has been produced. ASAP is currently waiting to meet with Dewar Goode to discuss photos for the Guide and any additional material that may need to be included. The Guide will eventually be online at ASAPWeb. The Dewar Goode Archival Collection will be deposited with the La Trobe Library, State Library of Victoria. This will be one of ASAP's largest ever Guides to an individual's work and will prove an invaluable resource for anyone interested in the history of land management and conservation in this country.

Custodian: To be transferred to the La Trobe Library, State Library of Victoria.
Finding Aid: To be published on records transfer.

Historical Records of Australian Science
Natasha Kamenev

ASAP has a continuing arrangement with the editor of the Historical Records of Australian Science, Professor R.W. Home, to accession and manage the records generated as part of the publishing of the journal. These records will ultimately be deposited with the Adolph Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science, as the Academy is the publisher of the journal. They records are currently held at ASAP Melbourne and cover the period 1979-1995. Natasha Kamenev undertook the documentation of these records as a practicum project for the postgraduate RMIT Archives (Information Management) course.

Custodian: To be transferred to the Adolph Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science.
Finding Aid: No plans for publication at this stage.

Kew Asylum Museum/Archives
Daniel Cass, Lisa Cianci, Dr Richard Gillespie (Museum Consultant)

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An artists impression of
a ward at Kew Asylum

ASAP was approached to establish an interpretive museum at the Willsmere Historic Site (previously Kew Mental Asylum) by the Conservation Archivist for the development company, Central Equity Ltd. This site was developed into a housing complex, but a condition of the development permit (Historic Buildings Council) required that a section of the building be set aside and maintained as a museum that documented the history of the site. ASAP's work at Willsmere included the creation of an interpretive display in a section of the old 'Female Paying Patients Ward', development of a resource collection consisting of related archival material and publications, and the production of a brochure outlining a brief history of the site and points of interest.

Custodian: Kew Asylum Museum.
Finding Aid: A Guide and publicity material are currently being produced.

Leeper, Geoffrey Winthrop
Agricultural Chemist, 1903-1986
Paula Montesano, Christopher Jack, Lisa Cianci

Geoffrey Winthrop Leeper was Professor of Agricultural Chemistry at the School of Agriculture, The University of Melbourne, 1962-69, and was renowned for his work in soil chemistry. ASAP commenced work on the records of G.W. Leeper in 1993 when David Fowler began listing the records as part of a practicum project for The University of Melbourne archives course. Despite a lack of funding for the processing of this collection, Paula Montesano and Chris Jack completed the records documentation in 1995, and Lisa Cianci assembled a Guide to the records. At the 1996 Leeper Memorial Lecture (School of Agriculture, The University of Melbourne), Gavan McCarthy gave a brief presentation of the draft Guide and distributed copies of a brochure containing unlabelled pictures from the Leeper collection in the hope of generating interest in, and therefore some funding for, the completion of the project. It was also hoped that someone may be able to identify the individuals in the photographs - of which Leeper may have been one. ASAP has received a donation which will be used to complete publication of the Guide.

Custodian: The University of Melbourne Archives.
Finding Aid: To be finalised.

Legge, John Williamson
Biochemist, 1917-
Natasha Kamenev

John Williamson Legge is known for his work in biochemistry; he carried out physiological research on chemical warfare problems for the Ministry of Munitions, including mustard gas experiments. On returning to Melbourne after working in England, Legge took up a laboratory in the Old Chemical School at The University of Melbourne and lectured on biochemistry until the 1980s. In the mid-1980s Legge ran the radio program 'CR Science', familiarising audiences with scientific achievements around the world. The records of J.W. Legge were donated to ASAP by his son, Mr David Legge. The collection is small, comprising only about 1.2 linear metres. Natasha Kamenev first came to ASAP as a practicum student from the RMIT Archives (Information Management) course. After completing work on the Historical Records of Australian Science as part of her practicum, Natasha volunteered to work on the Legge collection, as ASAP has not received funding for this work.

Custodian: To be transferred to The University of Melbourne Archives.
Finding Aid: To be finalised.

Le Souef Family (Zoologists)
Paula Montesano, Lisa Cianci

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A postcard from history:
male members of the Le Souef
family captured in time.

The Le Souef Family were instrumental in the establishment and operation of many of Australia's Zoological Gardens and Societies. The records of the Le Souef Family have been fully listed and contextual information has been documented. A Guide to the records is almost complete - photographs have been scanned and layout/editing is currently taking place. An HTML conversion is also planned as the Guide will eventually be placed online at ASAPWeb.

Custodian: To be transferred to the La Trobe Library, State Library of Victoria.
Finding Aid: To be finalised.

Marshall, Alan John (Jock)
Zoologist and Explorer, 1911-1967
Gavan McCarthy, Oscar Manhal, Bill King, Leigh Swancott,
Mark Scillio and Rosanne Clayton

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Jock Marshall began work as a professional collector of specimens for museums in Northern Australia. In the 1930s he joined Oxford University zoological expeditions to the New Hebrides and New Guinea, on the basis of which he was offered a scholarship to study at Oxford. He then completed a science degree at the University of Sydney as well as working part-time as a tutor, newspaper writer and broadacaster. He went on to earn a double doctorate at Oxford and established an international reputation as Reader in the Department of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy, University of London. He returned to Australia as Foundation Professor of Zoology and Comparative Physiology, Monash University, from 1961 until his death in 1967.

His records were donated to ASAP by his widow, Jane. Work on the collection began at Jane's home, but insufficient funding was obtained to finish it. As with Mason's records, processing was completed by the Canberra Office, with some extra funding being provided by the National Library. The collection is 9.95 linear metres.

Custodian: National Library of Australia.
Finding Aid: A Guide is currently being produced.

Mason, Peter
Physicist and Science Broadcaster, 1922-1987
Rosanne Clayton

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Peter Mason was Foundation Professor of Physics at Macquarie University from 1966-86, with a particular interest in the physics of materials. He was also very interested in science communication, writing several popular books on science and being a frequent guest on Robyn Williams' 'The Science Show'.

His records, measuring 3.5 linear metres, were donated to ASAP in 1988 through his daughter Deirdre. Some work had been done on them by the time the Canberra Office opened in 1993, but had stopped due to lack of funds and it was decided to transfer them to Canberra. Rosanne Clayton, the Canberra Archivist, completed the listing and organised a small amount of funding from Macquarie University. Transfer of the collection was held up when Rosanne contacted Sheila Mason, Peter's widow, about some personal items which had no archival value. Sheila visited ASAP, provided valuable further information about some items and removed others from the collection, necessitating some renumbering and reboxing. A foreword to the Guide has been written by Robyn Williams.

Custodian: To be transferred to Macquarie University Archives.
Finding Aid: A Guide is currently being produced.

Pigment Manufacturers of Australia Ltd
Barbara Cytowicz

The records of the Pigment Manufacturers of Australia Ltd have been housed with ASAP for three years. Barbara is working on a part-time basis to complete a basic Inventory of the records and to gather contextual information. Unfortunately, no funding is available for intensive processing of these records, and ASAP can only do the minimum documentation needed to gain control of what appears to be a most interesting set of records.

Custodian: To be transferred to the La Trobe Library, State Library of Victoria.
Finding Aid: To be finalised.

Royal Australian Chemical Institute
Christopher Jack, Andrea Barnes, Lisa Cianci

Work on the records of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) has become an on-going project for ASAP. During the past year, sporadic work continued to be undertaken on the records, including two further small Accessions of records and further Inventory processing. All RACI records were transferred from The University of Melbourne Archives to ASAP Melbourne to enable the reconciliation of box numbers and Inventory identification numbers and to facilitate further documentation of the records.

Rountree, Phyllis Margaret
Bacteriologist, 1911-1994
Lisa Jooste, Tim Sherratt

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Phyllis Margaret Rountree was a leading Australian microbiologist who became an international authority on the typing of bacteriophages, particularly Staphylococcus aureus (Golden Staph). She graduated with a MSc from The University of Melbourne in 1931, and worked a research assistant with F.M. Burnet from 1934-35. After further study in London, Rountree began work as Research Bacteriologist at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney in 1944, becoming Senior Bacteriologist in 1961. Her work centered around investigation of the Staphylococcus aureus (Golden Staph) bacteria. Her career also included research into soil salination; botulism in the Second World War; trachoma among Central Australian Aborigines; wound infections and antibiotic resistance. From 1971, Rountree held a position as Honorary Research Associate in Medical Microbiology at the University of New South Wales.

This was the first collection of an individual scientist's records to be wholly processed using ASAP ADS. Following the processing of Rountree's records by Lisa Jooste in 1993, a Guide and Index were produced and published on the WWW. The final size of the collection is 1.61 linear metres.

Custodian: To be transferred to the Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW.
Finding Aid: Guide to the Records of Phyllis Margaret Rountree, prepared by Lisa Jooste, WWW edition prepared by Tim Sherratt and Elissa Tenkate, 1996, ISSN 1039-1096. Available on the WWW at http://www.asap.unimelb.edu.au/pubs/guides/rountree/

Titterton, Ernest William
Nuclear Physicist, 1916-1990
Rosanne Clayton, Anne-Marie Condé and Yimei Mo

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Ernest William Titterton was appointed Foundation Professor of Nuclear Physics, Research School of Physical Sciences, Australian National University, in 1950, remaining there until his retirement in 1981. After studying under Mark Oliphant at Birmingham University, Titterton made important contributions to the war effort in the development of radar and the atomic bomb. One of only two British scientists to be retained by the US atomic project at war's end, he later worked at the UK Atomic Energy Research Establishment before joining Oliphant at the recently established Australian National University. He remained an outspoken advocate of the use of nuclear energy throughout his career.

Titterton was left paralysed after a car accident and his daughter, Ashley Oates, contacted the Adolph Basser Library for help in sorting out his large and very disorganised collection. It soon became obvious that it was too much work for a single part-time archivist, so ASAP was called in to help out. With funding assistance organised by the Australia Foundation for Science, work on this collection was finally completed in 1996. After disposing of duplicates and some published material, the final size of the collection is 16.58 linear metres.

Custodian: Adolph Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science.
Finding Aid: Guide to the Records of Ernest William Titterton, prepared by Rosanne Clayton, Anne-Marie Condé and Yimei Mo, WWW edition prepared by Tim Sherratt, 1996, ISSN 1039-1096. Available on the WWW at http://www.asap.unimelb.edu.au/pubs/guides/titterton/

Turner, John Stewart
Botanist and Plant Physiologist, 1908-1991
Andrea Barnes, Lisa Cianci

During the 1994-95 financial year, ASAP received funding from the Feilman Foundation to undertake detailed Inventory-level description of the records of John Stewart Turner held by The University of Melbourne Archives. Turner was Professor of Botany and Plant Physiology at the School of Botany, The University of Melbourne (1938-73), and was recognised for his leadership in the field of conservation. The project commenced in June 1996 and is now close to completion. The Turner records have been fully listed and described and the relevant contextual information about the records has been documented. A Guide to the John Stewart Turner Records is currently in production, with basic layout/editing and graphics work soon to be completed. The final Guide to the Records of John Stewart Turner will be presented to The University of Melbourne Archives for their on-going use and an electronic version will eventually be published online at ASAPWeb, providing researchers with wider access to information about Turner's records.

Custodian: The University of Melbourne Archives.
Finding Aid: To be finalised.

University of Melbourne Research Records Project
Andrea Barnes

ASAP completed its involvement in a joint project with Records Services (University of Melbourne) to develop guidelines for the creation, storage and disposal of research records in mid-June 1996. The University of Melbourne School of Chemistry was chosen as the site for the development and testing of the guidelines.

The University of Melbourne Research Records Project (UMRRP) commenced in late January 1996 and followed research methodology known as 'documentation research'. This type of research involves conducting detailed research into the context of creation of records in order to determine the activities, functions and practices of records creators and the structure of the organisations in which they operate. The main aims of this type of research are to understand how and why records are created and used by a particular individual or organisation, and to help identify records of most value in documenting the activities and processes that created them. The project was divided into five stages which involved: a search and review of the available literature; the development of draft principles for the creation, storage and disposal of research records; the conduct of interviews with nominated School of Chemistry academics and staff; and finally the development and implementation of draft guidelines for the creation, storage and disposal of research records.

ASAP was actively involved in the first four stages of the project, conducting an extensive review of the available literature, developing interview questions, conducting and reporting on the interviews with School of Chemistry academics and research staff and assisting in the development of draft guidelines for the creation, storage and development of research records. Since ASAP ceased its formal involvement with the project, the University has established a committee to oversee the development and implementation of records management principles and guidelines for each of it's research departments and schools. ASAP continues to be involved in this process in an advisory capacity, providing comment and advice as requested by the University.

The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Bronwyn Hewitt, Andrea Barnes

During the first six months of 1996, the focus of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI) project was to manage and transfer all records from the office of the Director, Professor Sir Gustav Nossal, prior to his retirement on 4 June 1996. Sir Gustav had held the position of Director for the past thirty years, and the accumulation of records was considerable. ASAP is pleased to report that this challenging task was completed on time after intensive work by the Project Archivists and in close consultation with staff from the Director's Office. Bronwyn Hewitt continued work on the WEHI records for the remainder of the year and has been engaged to continue this most important project through 1997.

Willis, James Hamlyn
Botanist, 1910-1995
Andrea Barnes

James Hamlyn Willis was a highly valued member of Australia's botanical community. He worked for the National Herbarium (Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne) from 1937 to 1972, filling various positions including Assistant Government Botanist, Deputy Director and Acting Director. Records relating to Willis' botanical activities were transferred from Willis' home to the National Herbarium Library after his death. A sixteen day scoping project was undertaken to provide the National Herbarium with a structured overview of the Willis material. The project identified and described approximately 22 linear metres records, made up of approximately 4,200 items with a date range spanning from 1804-1995.

It is hoped that either the Herbarium or ASAP will be able to secure funds to finance the Inventory-level processing and basic conservation work that is required to ensure the preservation of Willis' botanical records. The records represent a unique, primary source of evidence of nearly all of Willis' botanical interests and activities. They not only document the life and works of J.H. Willis, his involvement with the Herbarium, and his various botanical and extra-curricular activities, but also the history of botanical research and survey in Australia.

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Published by the Australian Science Archives Project on ASAPWeb, 23 January 1998
Prepared by: Elissa Tenkate
Updated by: Elissa Tenkate
Date modified: 23 January 1998