Welcome to the Guide to Australian Literary Manuscripts. This site offers a new model for resource discovery in archival and manuscript collections in Australia, which are a rich and unique source of cultural, social and historical material.
The database consists of electronic guides, or finding aids, for more than eighty collections of Australian literary manuscripts. This database provides a new way of unlocking the contents of archival and manuscript collections in institutions which act as custodians for Australia's cultural heritage
Note: Select the file saved in HTML or the PDF to access the resource you wish to refer to.
Six Australian libraries, led by the University of Western Australia, have collaborated to build a national database of finding aids - electronic guides - to 86 collections of Australian literary manuscripts. The Encoded Archival Description (EAD) format will form the basis of this service, with national guidelines and a national training strategy being developed to promote its wider use.
The RIEF Project is believed to be the first significant collaborative use of the EAD format in Australia and is intended to serve as a demonstrator site, as well as providing a service in its own right for researchers in Australian literature. The database will greatly enhance access for researchers to consistent and detailed information about collections of Australian manuscripts. It will significantly enhance the value of existing Australian and international research infrastructure in this field.
The database allows browsing and searching. The collection can be browsed alphabetically by author's name, and each guide can be browsed through its table of contents. By clicking on an author's name from the contents page, you can browse through a detailed description of a specific manuscript collection. By browsing an entire finding aid in this way, you will also have access to such information as: details of where the papers are held, the provenance of the collection, biographical data on the author, and the date range of the material.
The complete collection, as well as individual guides, can also be searched by keyword. This makes it possible to look for all occurrences of a particular person anywhere in any of the guides. Type in a keyword or search term from the contents screen, and your search will span each of the finding aids. Alternatively, you can conduct a more specific search from within one of the finding aids, by clicking on the author you are interested in before beginning your search
Copyright for the finding aids in this database is owned by the contributing libraries.
Copyright for the remainder of the content on this site is shared by the project partners.
The database has been created as part of the Australian Literary Manuscript Collections Project, which has received funding from the Australian Research Council's Research Infrastructure Equipment and Facilities (RIEF) Scheme.
Dr Toby Burrows, Scholars' Centre, University of Western Australia Library (Project Director)
Ms Penny Jones, Law Library, University of Western Australia (Acting Project Director, Dec. 2000-Feb. 2001)
Mark Huppert, Scholars' Centre, University of Western Australia Library (Project Manager, to Oct. 2000)
Dr Liz Hardy, Scholars' Centre, University of Western Australia Library (Markup and Quality Control)
Advisors on EAD
Daniel Pitti, of the University of Virginia, visited Australia in 2000 to conduct a series of workshops, and the Australian EAD Retrospective Conversion Guidelines have developed from his work in this field.