hree Summer Scholars standing on the Patrick White Lawns with NLA behind them

Seymour Scholar

Petra Mahy, Interpretations of the legacy of Kartini in post-Suharto Indonesia.

Kartini (1879-1904) was a Javanese princess, and is acclaimed as Indonesia’s first feminist and a national heroine. Petra will investigate how Kartini’s writings and personal history are being reinterpreted in Indonesia since the fall of President Suharto in 1998. She plans to draw on the Library’s extensive collection of Indonesian national and regional newspapers, among other published works. 

Norman McCann Summer Scholars

Elizabeth Todd, “Pain, Anaesthesia and the Clinical Encounter in the second half of the nineteenth century in Australia and Great Britain”.

Elizabeth is studying the individual experience of anaesthesia in the clinical encounter – the experiences of the patient, the doctor and those witnessing the procedure, such as family, medical students or newspaper journalists. Elizabeth will be using medical casebooks and journals, hospital reports, personal papers, manuscripts and medical periodicals. Her aim is to use the Library’s collections to understand the relationship between doctors and patients, and the ways in which anaesthesia mediated these relationships after its introduction in the mid-1840s.

Ruth Morgan, “Westralia felix? An environmental history of perceptions and understandings of rainfall decline in south-west Western Australia, 1945-2007”.

Ruth’s thesis will examine how stakeholder conceptions of the regional climate have changed since European settlement in response to cultural and material changes. Ruth will investigate relationships between government and science, climate and culture, and international environmental discourse and Australian policymaking. Ruth will be exploring personal experiences of drought, weather and climate in the twentieth century in the NLA collections.


 Three summer scholars leaning on ventilation cover giving a metalic background

Kate Robertson, “Australian Artists 1890-1914: travel and identity”.

Kate is exploring how through travel, artists considered, manipulated and invented their ‘Australian-ness”. Some of the key artists she will be researching include Charles Conder, Rupert Bunny, Hugh Ramsay and George Lambert, and those somewhat neglected in recent scholarship, such as John Longstaff, James Quinn, Tudor St George Tucker, Ambrose Patterson, George Coates and the critic J.S. McDonald. She will be using biographical cuttings, periodicals and personal papers.

Nicole Berry, “White Australia, Dead or Alive? The Immigration Legacies of Malcolm Fraser and John Howard”.

Nicole’s thesis is a history of immigration and Liberal Party policy, comparing how far and how successfully the recent Liberal Governments of Malcolm Fraser and John Howard moved away from the underlying tenets and principles of the old White Australia Policy in light of the reforms of the 1950s and 60s, and eventual abolition of the policy in the early 1970s.

Dave Earl, “Youths and Young Girls: Problem teenagers and the adolescence problem in early twentieth century Australia”.

Dave plans to focus on several interrelated public issues which arose concerning teenagers during his study period. These include fears about, and solutions to, a perceived "venereal epidemic;" growing concerns about "juvenile delinquency;" and what many saw as an alarming rise in "feeblemindedness" and "mental deficiency”. Dave's research will engage with the growing body of international histories of youth and welfare, and draw conceptual insights from gender, cultural and disability histories.  He will be using monographs, periodicals and manuscripts primarily relating to three areas of his thesis: "mental deficiency”, child and youth health initiatives, and venereal disease.


 Four summer scholars climbing over Moore sculpture on Patrick White Lawns

Inaurgral Seymour Scholar

Alexander Cameron-Smith, A biographical study of the tropical health pioneer Sir Raphael Cilento

Alexander will consider broader historical trends in public health and colonial administration. As well as Cilento’s medical reforms in Australia, Alexander will explore his work in Malaya and New Guinea, with the League of Nations in the interwar period and thereafter, the United Nations. The Library’s collections include not only Cilento’s personal papers and oral history interviews with him and his medico wife, Lady Phyllis, but also the papers of his colleagues J.H.L. Cumpston, E.W.P. Chinnery, and several other key colonial administrators in the period.

Raphael Cilento: a life in context
NLA News July 2008 Volume XVIII Number 10

Norman McCann Summer Scholars

Sophie Loy-Wilson, Sydney and Shanghai as ‘cosmopolitan capitals’ from 1900 to 1940.

Using personal papers, oral history interviews, advertising ephemera, manuscripts and business periodicals Sophie will seek to understand Australian national identity and the relationships between Australia and Asia. Sophie reads Mandarin and intends to take advantage of the National Library’s collection of Chinese language sources to enrich the history of Australia’s engagement with Asia. .

From man of the British Empire to proud Australian
NLA News July 2008 Volume XVIII Number 10

Andrew Thackrah, The history of neo-liberal thought in Australia.

The key question that Andrew will research is whether there is a distinct Australian neo-liberalism, or whether neo-liberalism is better characterised as a transnational philosophy. Andrew will be using a range of published and unpublished resources, focusing, in particular, on the very substantial archival records of the Institute for Public Affairs.

The ascendancy of neo-liberal think tanks in Australia
NLA News July 2008 Volume XVIII Number 10

Rebecca Sanders, The history of Churchill Island, in Western Port Bay, Victoria.

Rebecca will study the way the landscape of Churchill Island has been used and understood by owners and visitors for pleasure, for economic activities, as a home and as a tourist attraction. Rebecca will examine early European activities in Western Port Bay and Churchill Island from 1798 to 1850, based on sailors’ and settlers’ logbooks and diaries, as well as the Library’s rich cartographic and pictorial collections.

Rediscovering the location of Victoria's first colonial garden
NLA News July 2008 Volume XVIII Number 10


 Three summer scholars in studio with camera suspended above them, looking up.

Sarah De Santis, "Locating US immigration restrictions in its world context".

Her aim while at the National Library is to investigate the connections between Australian Prime Minister William Morris Hughes and several key US policymakers in the months preceding the passing of the Johnson-Reed Act of 1924.

Trans-national links to our national story
NLA News July 2007 Volume XVII Number 10

Caitlin Murray, "Interpreting madness in the primitive mind: medical understandings of Aboriginal insanity in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries".

Aboriginal people began to be integrated into the asylum system from the mid-nineteenth century onwards. Clinical case records provided a wealth of material for doctors interested in 'Aboriginal insanity' and a number of articles on the subject appeared in medical journals and conference proceedings from the late 1880s through to the 1920s. At the Library Ms Murray is investigating anthropological, scientific and popular influences of the period in order to understand how and why doctors reached conclusions about 'Aboriginal insanity'.

Seeing Civilisation and Savagery: Mapping our History
NLA News July 2007 Volume XVII Number 10

Nicole Starbuck, The Baudin Expedition's sojourn in colonial Port Jackson and the influence of that experience on the remaining voyage.

The Frenchmen sought respite from their scientific voyage of discovery in the English colony of New South Wales and stayed for five months. During the sojourn they developed a fascination with the colony itself and a heightened awareness of England's jealousy regarding Australian territory and commerce. Ms Starbuck is investigating how the explorers’ English colonial experiences influenced their objectives and attitudes in the context of exploration and French nationalism.

The Baudin Exhibition in Australia, 1800-1803
NLA News July 2007 Volume XVII Number 10


 Four summer scholars sitting in row on top step out the front of NLA, the lintel sculpture can be seen behind them

Georgia Shiells, "Testing the borders of whiteness? 'White aliens' in white Australia, 1901-1945".

Georgia Shiells described the Library’s collection as critical for her research on the various dimensions of 'whiteness' that were grounded in class, religion and culture as well as 'race' in the White Australia policy during the interwar years. She explored a wide range of published newspapers and journals, as well as autobiographies, oral histories, songs and poetry, gathering evidence of 'white labour'  and 'white work' amidst non-British European migrant workers, in particular from Italian and Jewish migrant communities.

A Different Shade of White
NLA News August 2006 Volume XVI Number 11

Agnieszka Sobocinska, "History of Australian travel to Asia, 1939-2005".

Agnieszka Sobocinska was particularly interested in how people internalised ideas about Asia and Asians before they left Australia and the effect of these discourses on their travel experiences. Ms Sobocinska’s research took her to all the Library’s special collections but she found the Oral History collection especially rewarding.

The Ultimate Trip
NLA News August 2006 Volume XVI Number 11

Dunya Lindsey, "Narratives of young Ireland convictism".

Dunya Lindsey examined the letters, diaries and novels of those members of the ‘Young Ireland’ movement, transported to Australia, to consider how these testimonies depict the relationship between Ireland and Australia and what constitutes their “Irishness”. As well as making heavy use of the Manuscripts collection she found a wealth of information in early publications including newspapers.

A Fanatic Heart
NLA News August 2006 Volume XVI Number 11

Avan Stallard, "Charting the evolution of cartographic depictions of the Great Southern Land and Australia from around 1500 to 1800".

Avan’s research charted the evolution of cartographic depictions of the Great South Land and Australia from around 1500 to 1800. His research examined how maps were reflective representations of contemporary cosmographic and geographic thinking, heuristic devices which stimulated geographic scholarship and exploration and examples of, independent cartographic scholarship interpreting the results of recent exploration.

The Mis-Craft of Map Makers
NLA News August 2006 Volume XVI Number 11