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Papua New Guinea Collectie
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The Mystery of Guise: Conflict between missionaries, colonial administrators and foreign traders during the British New Guinea Protectorate: a biography of Reginald Edward Guise.

  • AU PMB MS 1288
  • Collectie
  • c.1998

Nigel Oram was an ethnologist and academic. In 1946, after military service in World War II, he read history at Oxford University. This was followed by a career in the British Colonial Service in East Africa and Uganda. In 1961, Oram helped set up the New Guinea Research Unit, Port Moresby, which was an offshoot of the Australian National University. His role was to undertake social research. To facilitate his information gathering, Oram learnt the Motu and Hula languages. In 1969, he was appointed a fellow at the University of Papua New Guinea, where he remained from 1969 to 1975. Oram returned to Australia where he taught history for nine years at La Trobe University and where, upon his retirement, he became an honorary senior research fellow. An extensive collection of Oram’s PNG research papers is held at the National Library of Australia (MS 9436).

The mystery of Guise: conflict between missionaries, colonial administrators and foreign traders during the British New Guinea Protectorate, Ts., 29pp., is a biography of Reginald Edward Guise, grandfather of Sir John Guise, G.C.M.G., K.B.E., Hon. Ll.D., the first Governor-General of the independent state of Papua New Guinea. This version of Nigel Oram’s manuscript dates from sometime after 1994. In the late 1990s Oram’s health went steadily down hill, and completing the manuscript was beyond him. After Oram’s death, Janet Fingleton rescued the manuscript from her father’s computer. Donald Denoon has since worked on an edited version of this paper which is to be submitted to the Journal of Pacific History. This is a complete copy of the existing manuscript, but note that the references and some of the footnotes are missing.

Oram, Nigel D.

Diary kept at the Methodist Mission in New Britain and the Duke of York Islands, New Guinea, and related papers

  • AU PMB MS 1297
  • Collectie
  • Jul 1912-Mar 1913

Sr Rhoda Ransom, born Maryborough Victoria, 29 Dec 1887, worked as a nursing sister with the Methodist Mission in New Guinea from July 1912 until March 1913 when she returned to Australia suffering from malaria and rheumatic problems in her legs.

• Passport, c.1949
• Diary, Jul 1912-Mar 1913
• Photograph of Sr. Rhoda Ransom
• Map of Duke of York and Ulu Island annotated by Sr Rhoda
• Postcards (36 items), some annotated by Sr. Rhoda: Methodist Mission in New Guinea and Fiji, together with some German New Guinea postcards.
See Finding aids for details. See also PMB Photo 14.

Ransom, Rhoda


  • AU PMB MS 1266
  • Collectie
  • 1942-1944

Archdeacon Gill (d.1954), a member of a family of Pacific missionaries, joined the Anglican mission to Papua in 1908. He was ordained at Dogura in 1910, and his first parish was nearby Boianai, where he remained until 1922. He then moved to the Mamba district, where he established a temporary station at Manau on the mouth of the Mamba (or Mambare) River. Two years later, at Duvira, he began work on what was to be his head station until 1942, when it was destroyed by the Japanese. In 1943, he began building a new mission station at nearby Dewade. He retired in 1952 and died in England two years later.

Typed transcripts of Archdeacon Gill’s letters, Jan 1942-Dec 1944, photocopied for Professor Hank Nelson from the originals held in the New Guinea Collection at the UPNG Library, together with Professor Nelson’s correspondence with Nancy Lutton, the New Guinea Collection Librarian, and Professor Nelson’s notes on the letters.

See also PMB 40: Letters of Archdeacon Gill, 1897-1928.

Gill, Archdeacon Stephen Romney

Papers relating to education in Papua New Guinea and Nauru

  • AU PMB MS 1164
  • Collectie
  • 1922 – 1962

William Charles Groves (1898-1967) was a Supervisor of Education in
Mandated Territory of New Guinea from 1922 till 1926. He carried out
anthropological work in the Western Pacific, including New Guinea,
from 1931 till 1936, as a Research Fellow with the Australian National
Research Council. He was Director of Education in Nauru from 1937
till 1938 and Advisor on Education in the Solomon Islands from 1939
till 1940. After World War II he was appointed Director of Education
in the Territory of Papua and New Guinea (TPNG) and remained in that
post till 1958.

The W C Groves Papers were arranged and calendared by John A.
Collier in 1972 in eight parts: 1. Mission education in Melanesia; 2. Papua New Guinea Pre-War; 3. Papua New Guinea Port-War; 4. Nauru; 5. Correspondence and Miscellaneous; 6. South Pacific Commission; 7. Honolulu Conference, 1936; 8. Photographs in the Collection. Parts 2-4 are microfilmed here by the Bureau, together with John Collier’s, Guide to the Groves Papers. <P><B>See reel list for further details</B>

Groves, William Charles

Ombisusu stories

  • AU PMB MS 1413
  • Collectie
  • 1969

Joanne Wodak worked as a Tutor then Senior Tutor in literature at the University of Papua New Guinea from 1968-1970. This collection is the result of research conducted in Ombisusu in the latter part of the first half of 1969. It consists of stories by inhabitants of Ombisusu that were mostly translated into English, some left in the original language, and written down or typed by the researcher after recording them on tape. The aim of collecting stories was to keep them for the benefit of the children of Ombisusu villagers and for other people in Papua New Guinea. The collection contains origin stories, history stories and clan stories.

Wodak, Joanne.

Worin village registers

  • AU PMB MS 1434
  • Collectie
  • 4 March 1940 - 17 July 1972

These Patrol Officer field notebooks are about the Worin village of the Huon Peninsular in the Morobe District of New Guinea. Edwin Ernst Styants primarily kept the first register, but during the period 1944-1946, Patrol Officers L. Williams, Stuart Rylands and A.J. Leyden also recorded their observations and findings. The register includes clear instructions and orders on how to compile or record the names of village men and women and their dates of birth if known. Patrol officers recorded the names of all the village and hamlets inhabitants including those who were absent on indentured labour recruitments. The details recorded provided valuable and useful census data for the colonial authorities. This data formed the basis of the inspecting officer of the Department of District Services to crosscheck all births, deaths, migrations or relocations.

This register also lists the names of village or group, hamlets, native district, Luluai, Tultul, Medical Tultul by the Patrol Officer. There are blank pages for patrolling officers to enter their notes and instructions for the inspecting officers of the Department of District Services. The first register lists Uron as the Luluai of the Dopet hamlet and Dingson of the Nakom hamlet. Tultul MUSU of Mumbok served for 24 years and was presented a signed certificate of his services at Mumeng on 22nd October 1962. The Medical Tutul was SIWI of Dopet hamlet.

Of note in the first register is an entry stating that Tultul Dunjiyong wielded considerable power and was instrumental in giving full assistance to Peter Ryan during the Second World War. Ryan was the author of ‘Fear Drive My Feet’, a classic memoir of his time patrolling isolated regions of New Guinea during World War 2/World War II.

The second Village Register is divided into the following columns:
Males, Females, Estimated or known Year of birth. The entries in these columns have their original native names and often lists husband and wife but also whether the adult member of the village lives on his or her own.

General information on condition of roads, tracks, water supplies, gardens, distances between the villages as well as sanitation and latrines. All are hand written by the visiting Patrol Officers.

Soukup, Martin


  • AU PMB MS 420
  • Collectie
  • 1892 - 1896

John Green, an Australian, went to Papua in 1892 and worked on a plantation at Kapadi for about fifteen months before joining the Administration staff of Sir William MacGregor, Lt-Gov. of British New Guinea (later Papua). He eventually became MacGregor's acting private secretary and accompanied him on some of his arduous patrols. After a patrol to the Musa River in September 1895, Green was assigned to build a government station at the junction of the Mambare River and Tamata Creek to protect European miners who were prospecting for gold in that area. Green was murdered at the station in January 1897.

The letters, which are all to members of Green's family in Healesville, Victoria, begin in September 1892 when Green was in Cooktown en route to Port Moresby. Some of the letters are more than 100 pages long. They give a vivid idea of life in Papua when it was under British administration. See also Pacific Islands Monthly Dec. 1940, p.41; June 1941, p.30; April 1942, p.10 and the Bureau's newsletter Pambu July-Sept. 1972:28, pp.1-4

Green, John

Photographs from Bougainville, East New Britain and Kerema, Papua New Guinea

  • Collectie
  • c.1945-1961

This collection of 44 photographs documents time spent by Gwen and Tom Taylor at Buin Area School and Kerema in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea from 1945 to 1961. Most of the photographs relate to Buin Area School and document the physical appearance of the school and various aspects of life there. These include photographs of students in classrooms, making cane furniture, weaving, swimming and gardening. Several photographs show Gwen Taylor holding babies and being pictured with nuns. Tom Taylor is pictured in a classroom and mention is made of his role as the principal of the school at Buin. Some of the photographs depict special occasions and ceremonial events being celebrated by local people. There are good examples of houses, school buildings and a church. One photograph depicts the purchase of a new truck and there are a few photographs depicting canoes, including an outrigger canoe. Also pictured are boats, including the MV Gona. One photo appears to show artillery at Kokopo. A few photographs feature non-local adults and children posing for the camera. One photograph shows a large cloud of smoke and appears to be the burning of garden. Another shows an explosion in the sea.

Taylor, Gwen

Newsletters of the Australian School of Pacific Administration and Territory of Papua Reports

  • AU PMB DOC 546
  • Collectie
  • September 1946 - September 1950

This collection consists of newsletters of the Australian School of Pacific Administration (ASOPA) from September 1946 - September 1950. The 'Monthly Notes' newsletter ran from September 1946 (Vol.1, No.1) - August 1947 (Vol.1, No.12). There is also a Monthly Notes Index. In September 1947, the newsletter name changed to 'South Pacific', which ran until 1959. This set of newsletters was collected by ASOPA student Carl Franke, who served as a cadet agriculturalist in the Territory of Papua-New Guinea in 1947-1948 (see PMB MS 1445). This collection also includes miscellaneous Territory of Papua reports collected by Franke.

This collection includes:

  • 'Monthly Notes', Vol.1 - Vol.1, No.12; September 1946 - August 1947
  • 'Monthly Notes Index', September 1946 - August 1947
  • 'South Pacific', Vol.2 - Vol.4, No.9; September 1947 - August/September 1950. Incomplete: Vol.4, No.7;June 1950 was not available for digitisation.
  • 'South Pacific Law Review (Supplement to South Pacific), Vol.1, No.1 - Vol.1, No.8; July 1948-June 1950
  • Territory of Papua. Lands, Surveys and Forestry. (ID 1609/27)
  • Territory of Papua. Economic Geology and Mining. (ID 1610/27)

The Australian School of Pacific Administration

Diary and photographs of Eleanor J. Walker

  • AU PMB MS 98
  • Collectie
  • 1881-1893

Eleanor J. Walker was a member of the Methodist mission at Dobu in the D'Entrecasteaux Islands of Papua New Guinea (then called British New Guinea). The mission was established in June 1891. For details, see George Brown, D.D., Pioneer Missionary and Explorer : An Autobiography, London, 1908, pp485-92.

The diary describes how the diarist came to join the mission and gives an account of her life at Dobu.

Walker, Eleanor J.

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