15 October 2018: Acquisition of the Peter Hastings Collection

The papers of the well-known journalist Peter Hastings (MSS 374) are now available for access by researchers. His widow Jolika Hastings recently donated the collection to UNSW Canberra. An Australian journalist specialising in reporting from South East Asia and the Pacific, Peter Hastings was editor of the Bulletin (1962-64) and foreign affairs writer for the Australian (1966-70) and the Sydney Morning Herald (1970-74, 1976-90). The collection spans his reporting, research and political interests from 1950 to 1990 and includes photographs recording his work and travels. Of particular note are records and reporting on Australia’s political relations with Papua New Guinea, including correspondence with then Governor General Sir John Kerr, and Australia’s relations with East Timor including a visit to the country with Prime Minister Gough Whitlam in 1982. The 20 boxes contain rich and interesting content for researchers and complement the collection of journalist Michael Richardson MSS 190.

Photograph of Peter Hastings MSS 374 –Photograph Album 3.


3 May 2018: Official Opening of new Repository

Yesterday we had the official opening of our new repository. Francesca Beddie performed the honours, gave a speech  and cut the ribbon. Rose Holley gave a vote of thanks to the people involved. A large crowd watched and then had a walk through the new facility. Read more about it and watch the news clip.



27 April 2018: Vacancies at UNSW Canberra Special Collections

We have two newly created full time ongoing positions at UNSW Canberra Special Collections now available. Download the position descriptions and apply online before 20 May 2018!








Archivist Level 7 $91,755 - $99,306 plus 17% superannuation
Assistant Curator

Level 8 $102,567 - $115,564 plus 17% superannuation

Contact: Professor Nicole Moore, Associate Dean Special Collections Tel 00-61-2-6268 8856



13 April 2018: The strategic rebuilding and repositioning of Special Collections UNSW Canberra 2014-2018








The 30 minute presentation given by Rose Holley, Special Collections Curator at the VALA Conference in Melbourne this year is now available to watch. Hear about the projects undertaken over the last four years and the strategy ahead. 



4 April 2018: Re-discovering the photographs of Timor’s Declaration of Independence on 28 November 1975


Prompted by an enquiry from John Waddingham the co-ordinator of the Clearing House for Archival Records on Timor (CHART) Project we took a closer look at the manuscript collection of Michael Richardson MS 190.

Michael Richardson, South-East Asia correspondent for The Age newspaper (Melbourne), visited Portuguese East Timor and Indonesia several times in 1974-75. From both sides of the Indonesian border in late September 1975 he reported the last days of the civil war, seeing retreating UDT leaders move into Indonesian West Timor. In November/December, he reported and photographed pre-invasion Indonesian military operations in Timor and also Fretilin’s unilateral declaration of independence on 28 November 1975.  To our excitement we discovered prints from 4 rolls of film, not before seen.  We have now digitised these and made them available for researchers.  In conjunction with the CHART website that John Waddingham co-ordinates we are appealing for help in identifying the people and places in the photographs. Read more about the discovery and how you can help identifying the images from John’s blog: Photo: Fretilin’s unilateral declaration of independence, Dili, 28 November 1975. Photographer: Michael Richardson/The Age.



3 April 2018: UNSW Canberra 50th Anniversary Digitisation Project 

The UNSW Canberra 50th anniversary digitisation project was completed today after 12 months of work. The project was a joint collaboration between UNSW Sydney Library, UNSW Canberra Special Collections and UNSW Records and Archives, Sydney.

The result of the project is that a complete virtual set of 50 years of high use UNSW Canberra historical publications are now digitally available and easily accessible. These comprise the UNSW Canberra/ADFA Degree Conferral Booklets (Graduation Ceremonies) and UNSW Canberra/ADFA Handbooks from 1968-2017.

They can be accessed here through the Special Collections Finding Aid pages:



15 March 2018: New Repository is completed!

We are so excited that our new repository has finished being built.  It gives us more space on site. It was a big project for us, firstly moving the staff out of the office space, then moving our collections off site, demolishing office walls, laying down tracks, building a false floor, installing compactus, and adding environmental control. With many thanks to our shelving design consultant Ross Stewart of Dinkum Business. His experience, professionalism and an eye for detail were unsurpassed and helped us kick off the project. Our shelving was manufactured and supplied by APC and their project manager Gary Wren was outstanding at listening to our needs and giving us a perfect solution. John Barry's team of Shelvmaster did the install to their usual high standard. Read more about it.


28 February 2018: Associate Dean (Special Collections) appointed.

From Professor Michael Frater, UNSW Canberra Rector

To support the ongoing development and expansion of Special Collections the new position of Associate Dean (Special Collections) has been created. I’d like to congratulate Professor Nicole Moore who has been appointed to this role. She will provide strategic oversight to the continued growth and management of the collection, whilst driving philanthropic activities to support further development and expansion. Nicole brings a wealth of experience to the role from her research interests in Australian Literature, including her current ARC Future Fellowship working on a biography of the Australian feminist poet Dorothy Hewett. The special collections in the UNSW Canberra Library are of national significance. Nicole will take the lead in their ongoing development for a five-year term.


13 February 2018: Special Collections Curator, Rose Holley is honoured with award.

From Professor Michael Frater, UNSW Canberra Rector

I’d like to congratulate Special Collections Curator Rose Holley who was awarded the prestigious Robert D. Williamson Award at the recent VALA digital technologies in libraries conference.
Rose was judged by her peers to have shown leadership, excellence, curiosity and innovation by championing the development of IT and digital technologies in libraries, including implementing the award-winning Trove discovery service for the National Library of Australia, prior to her role facilitating access to the Special Collections here at UNSW Canberra.Rose Holley received the award from Robert Williamson’s 97 year old widow, Enid Williamson. Watch the presentation.