Sunday, 18 September 2011

The Australian Women's Register

The searchable-on-line Australian Women's Register is a valuable and growing source of biographical data about Australian women and their organisations, with hyper-links to the archival repositories and libraries where their records are held and to other sources of information. Women and women's organisations are listed alphabetically. You' can also search by functional classification, for example, 'P' covers physicists, politicians, pharmacists, pacifists and many more.

The Register is an initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne, funded by the Australian Research Council.The Australian Women's Archive Project promotes the keeping and care of personal records and encourages individuals and organisations to deposit records appropriately in available archives and libraries. National institutions preserve the papers of well known women and significant organisations. The AWAP register will tell you that the National Library of Australia holds the archives of Judith Wright (1915-2000) poet and conservationist, the John Oxley Library in the State Library of Queensland holds the records of the Queensland Country Women's Association from 1922 onwards and the Mortlock Library at the State Library of South Australia holds the papers of Dame Roma Mitchell (1913-2000) the first woman governor of an Australian state.

But there are many smaller institutions with fascinating archival collections. The Warringah Library's local studies collection at Dee Why NSW holds the records of surfboard rider and swimming instructor Isabel Letham (1899-1995). The Geelong City Council's Heritage Centre (Vic) holds the records of local Girl Guides groups from the 1930s - 1960s. The Charles Sturt University Regional Archives in Wagga, NSW holds the records of the Coolamon Mothers' Union (1947-85) and the Italian Historical Society (Vic) holds the records of Lena Santospirito (1895-1993) a community worker and migrant community advocate.

This resource is a good supplement to the free online version of the Australian
Dictionary of Biography

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