Boost for Australian archival research

Media release: Thursday, 3 January 2013

The National Archives of Australia and the Australian Historical Association (AHA) have joined forces to encourage postgraduate archival research into Australia's history.

The organisations have just announced the latest winners of their twice-yearly joint scholarships: PhD students Steve Marti from University of Western Ontario in Canada and Lucy Davies from La Trobe University in Melbourne.

The scholarships help talented postgraduate scholars with the cost of copying records held in the National Archives. For example, scholars may be based in one city (or country) and want to see archival records located elsewhere. The scholarships provide facsimiles of those records to help limit the need for costly travel.

Steve Marti's topic of study is 'Embattled communities: patriotism and identity in Australia, Canada and New Zealand, 1914-1918'. As a third -year PhD student, he has already visited over 20 regional and local archives in Canada and is planning a similar research trip in Australia later this year. The scholarship will enable him to conduct part of his research by distance. This will allow him to spend his time in Australia visiting regional and local archives in five states to assemble a broader sample of evidence.

Lucy Davies' research project is 'The movement of Papua New Guineans to Australia 1935-1975'. She is in the first year of her PhD at La Trobe University having completed an honours thesis in 2011 on Papuan women applying for entry to Australia for domestic work during the mid-20th century. As a result of research conducted in the National Archives for both her honours thesis and PhD she is already familiar with the records and is well placed to make the most of the scholarship.

Both recipients will produce finding aids to help other researchers delve into related aspects of the National Archives collection.

The scholarships provide postgraduate scholars with $500 worth of digital copies of records from the National Archives' collection.

'We're pleased to help talented postgraduate scholars in this way,' says Anne Piggott, Director of Reference and Information Services at the National Archives. 'Both projects will add to our knowledge of Australian history and will also benefit other archival researchers.'

The Australian Historical Association is also pleased to participate in the project.

'It is wonderful to see postgraduate researchers making good use of the rich record collections of the National Archives,' said President of the Australian Historical Association, Professor Marilyn Lake. 'The work of these students will not only benefit their own projects but assist others in exploring the rich resources of the National Archives'.

Contact information

  • Elizabeth Masters (Media Officer)
    t (02) 6212 3957 m 0417 247 157 e elizabeth.masters@naa.gov.au
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