- 1908-1916 (Creation)
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Richard Thurnwald was born in Austria in 1869, received formal training in ethnology and related fields, went on a fieldtrip on behalf of the Berlin Museum für Völkerkunde to the Bismarck Archipelago and the Solomon Islands, 1906-1909, returned to New Guinea for a Sepik River expedition, 1913-16, and came back to the New Guinea islands region in the 1930s. He was a great collector of artefacts some of which are held in German museums, others are lost, some possibly incorporated in Australian museum collections. Thurnwald's publications are extensive (c.300 articles and books), but not widely distributed.
Some of Thurnwald’s recordings and photographs, plus Iniet (NG) song texts and tales & 741 Iniet stone figures which he collected, are held in the Museum für Völkerkunde, Berlin. Some of his photographs are held in the Berlin Institute of Ethnology which Thurnwald founded in 1948. Some further Thurnwald papers are held in the Stirling Memorial Library, Berkeley California.
Richard Thurnwald’s widow, Hilda, transferred these papers to Professor Stephen Wurm, Linguistics Department, RSPAS, in about 1963. They were handed over to Don Laycock (the second appointee in the Department, after Wurm) for work on a Buin dictionary. After Dr Laycock's early death the papers were held in the Dept for some years where Lois Carrington, then a Research Assistant in Linguistics, worked on them from time to time. In 1993 the Thurnwald papers were transferred to Tania Laycock, Dr Laycock’s widow, who continues to hold them to date (Feb 2005) but is considering transferring them to the National Library of Australia. A complete list of the papers is available from the Bureau. The documents on the microfilm consist of a typescript of Thurwald’s Buin-German Dictionary, which was to have been published as the second volume of his Forschungen auf den Salomon-Inseln and word lists, comparative word lists, a phrase book and grammatical notes for the Baining, Gazelle, Buin, Alu, Lambutxo, Bambatana, Vellalavella, Panone and Tambatamba languages (spoken in New Britain, Bougainville, the Shortlands and other north Solomon Islands). Also microfilmed are files and word lists for Tjimundo (Lower Sepik) and Banaro/Ramunga (upper Keram River, Sepik District, New Guinea) languages. See Finding aids for details.
Note: Material was copied as found on microfilm reel and delivered in digital in same order. Some pages on reel 1 are not in order, but are clearly numbered at top of page.
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- Richard C. Thurnwald (1869-1954) (Creation)