This post, co-written with Mike Jones, has been reproduced with permission from the Melbourne University Publishing blog, where it first appeared on 7 March 2017: http://mupublishing.tumblr.com/post/158092338163/the-ernest-westlake-archive-the-extensive-online

One of the extraordinary things about Into the Heart of Tasmania, is that most of the book’s original archival sources are available online for readers to freely explore.

Stories in Stone: an annotated history and guide to the collections and papers of Ernest Westlake (1855-1922) by Rebe, Mike and Gavan McCarthy of the University of Melbourne’s eScholarship Research Centre, makes available the digitised papers of Ernest Westlake, including those created during his journey to Tasmania in 1908-1910, when he collected over 13,000 stone tools.

Here are Rebe and Mike to tell the story of the archive and explain how two publications and two journeys became entwined.


Picture
Ernest Westlake, around 1910 from Delair, Justin B., 1985: ‘Ernest Westlake (1855-1922) Founder Member of the Hampshire Field Club’, Hampshire Field Club Archaeological Society, 41, 37-44. Rebe Taylor
Rebe Taylor

The first time I encountered Ernest Westlake’s papers was in the archival reading room of the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, in January 2000. I remember thinking, ‘How do I start? Which box, which folder?’ I knew almost nothing of the archive, or of the man who created it.

I decided to begin with Westlake’s letters to his children, for they trace his journey from England to Tasmania, and they were written to those he loved. In these delightful and personal letters I felt got to know Westlake; a tenacious, passionate and eccentric man. They make engrossing reading in their own right.

Picture
Letter from Ernest Westlake to Margaret and Aubrey Westlake, begun 24 September 1908, copyright Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford Pitt Rivers Museum Manuscript Collections, Westlake Papers, Box 2, Folder 1a, folio 6 recto. Accessed online via: Stories in Stone: an annotated history and guide to the collections and papers of Ernest Westlake (1855-1922).
When I turned to Westlake’s six field notebooks, I was surprised and pleased anew. He collected not only stone artefacts, but memories! Westlake spoke to many settler Tasmanians; his notebooks are filled with accounts of massacres, warfare and shame. Westlake spoke to many Tasmanian Aborigines as well who shared with him their continuing cultural practices and language. In Westlake’s little field notebooks beats the archival ‘heart of Tasmania’ of the book’s title.
Picture
Ernest Westlake’s notes from Oyster Cove, January 1909, copyright Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford Pitt Rivers Museum Manuscript Collections, Westlake Papers, Box 1, Notebook 2, pp. 42–43. Accessed online via: Stories in Stone: an annotated history and guide to the collections and papers of Ernest Westlake (1855-1922).
Picture
The photograph that Westlake sketched in his Notebook 2, page 42: ‘The last Aboriginal people of Tasmania’, Henry Albert Frith, Hobart, around 1864. From left: William Lanne, Bessy Clark (Plangernowidedic), Mary Ann Arthur and Truganini. National Library of Australia, nla.obj-133844253.
Stories in Stone includes more than 8000 images of records. Not all of these relate to Westlake’s Tasmanian journey, for he was a man of many and multifarious interests. Also included are the papers of those esteemed scholars who studied Westlake’s collections after his death.

As Mike Jones notes below, there are many reasons why researchers might explore Stories in Stone. Westlake’s lifework could never be captured in one book! Its breadth is why I wanted to digitise his papers before I began a narrative history. As I reflect in Into the Heart of Tasmania:
“It is rare that a historian has their chief archive available online for readers. You can go and query my interpretation, or travel beyond my focus on [Westlake’s] Tasmanian journey to carry out your own exploration of Westlake’s life and work. Indeed, I hope you do.”
Having my ‘chief archive’ online is humbling, but it has also been liberating. It has allowed me to write more imaginatively, knowing that readers can substantiate my text; that I didn’t ‘make it all up’! So it is that I felt able to write as if I could ‘see’ Westlake; watch him walk up the stairs of British Museum, cross a busy Swanston Street in Melbourne, or fall off his bike in Tasmania.

Into the Heart of Tasmania recounts not only Westlake’s journey, but also my journey of following in his footsteps, trying to hear and see that which he failed to understand: a living Tasmanian Aboriginal culture. It is a book of two, entwined journeys. In the same way, the book and the web resource are also entwined. They can be explored in parallel so that they inform and enrich each other.


Mike Jones

In 2006 Rebe Taylor began conversations with Gavan McCarthy, Director of the University of Melbourne’s Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, which became the eScholarship Research Centre (ESRC) in 2007. Gavan agreed that the archive deserved a full digital guide to make the collection more discoverable and accessible to users. He began working with Rebe to bring her notes and paper listing into the Heritage Documentation Management System (HDMS), a standards-compliant archives collection management system developed and used by the ESRC and its predecessors.

However, Gavan and Rebe knew that to truly make the collection accessible – including to Australian researchers and Tasmanian communities – the archive needed to be digitised. The first stage took place in 2008, when Gavan and Rebe travelled to the Pitt Rivers Museum and digitised the Westlake Papers and related documents (3678 images) using a portable overhead camera, tripod and lights. Two years later, Mike Jones visited the Oxford University Museum of Natural History and the Pitt Rivers and created an additional 4586 images including material related to Westlake’s French eolith collection and papers related to his interest in psychical phenomenon.

The resulting guide contains full inventory-level descriptions of these collections – papers from five collections, four listed in their entirety – as well as the access images. But Stories in Stone is also much more than a basic archival finding aid. Drawing on her deep knowledge of the collections and her research into Westlake’s life and travels, Rebe combined archival description with detailed contextual information, biographical notes, cross-references and more to produce a rich, scholarly digital publication.

Innovative, comprehensive and generous in its approach, Stories in Stone was recognised by the Australian Society of Archivists in 2013, winning the Mander Jones Award for ‘Best finding aid to an archival collection held by an Australian institution or about Australia’. It is both a companion piece to Into the Heart of Tasmania and a significant achievement in its own right.
Picture
The Stories in Stone homepage
The Stories in Stone online archive was first published in 2010 by the eScholarship Research Centre, The University of Melbourne in conjunction with the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford and the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. You can explore the archive at westlakehistory.info.

Into the Heart of Tasmania is out now. 

 


Comments

03/31/2017 2:02am

Ernest Westlake has some done serious research about the place. His words and writings make us learn learn so much about the country. I am glad that you brought this to everyone and was really happy reading it.

Reply

This is a very historical information that you share. It seems that Ernest Westlake really wants to research and show us the research that he studied. I'm very curious about the information that he discovered. I very happy that I read this post and it is my honor to that I got a chance to read this. Thanks for sharing this post, the information is really old, it seems really true.

Reply
04/01/2017 2:58pm

It was a pleasure to read this post. Some of these notes are so old and rare!

Reply
04/11/2017 10:38pm

It is truly a pleasure to read posts like this. Rebe Taylor brought to life the story of MR. Westlake and the collections he brought to life. Into the heart of Tasmania is a historical type of book. This book recounts a story of discovery and realization. Dr Taylor describes Ernest Westlake’s journey of discovery.

Reply
04/11/2017 1:43am

It's time for us to think deeper about this issue... Let's get stared...

Reply
04/13/2017 4:57am

you could easily locate writing work inside your very own university. simply allow your self pass round other students who're clearly in need of a author who has a first-rate writing. This weblog helped me to collect some applicable information.

Reply

Excellent posts to read keep it up and keep going on this way. And keep sharing these types of things Thanks

Reply
04/28/2017 4:25am

most of the time it's far hard to discover useful records concerning your career oriented topics however this blog added a few factors to my knowledge. I also need to deliver some facts related to tests through this blog.

Reply
05/01/2017 11:56pm

Thank you for sharing such a good historic events with us.

Reply
05/02/2017 12:55am

Thank you for putting a light on these kind of historic events.

Reply
05/02/2017 1:02am

Thank you for putting a light on these kind of historic events.

Reply
05/03/2017 10:13pm

Thanks for sharing.

Reply

Great information.

Reply
05/15/2017 3:25am

It verbalizes a limitless creativeness. i'm definitely inspired with the real transformation ability of author used for remodeling his thoughts and supplied right here. impressed with deep which means of this text.

Reply
05/15/2017 11:57pm

Thank you for sharing such a good information with us.

Reply

Such a great ship it is.

Reply

Thanks for such a great post.

Reply
05/24/2017 12:59am

Keep it up.

Reply
06/15/2017 5:57am

The intensity of articles can with out troubles be felt of this weblog. Very unique and straight away to the mark. I understood with out issue the trouble of truth which the writer of this weblog desired to deliver thru his mind. looking for greater.

Reply
06/21/2017 11:14pm

This blog is really helpful regarding all educational knowledge I earned. It covered a great area of subject which can assist a lot of needy people. Everything mentioned here is clear and very useful.

Reply
06/28/2017 5:36am

This blog conscious me approximately precise programs that can end up very beneficial for our buddies and youngsters. Few net websites provide combined guides and few of the are one by one for unmarried situation. happy to get this statistics.

Reply
07/01/2017 12:31pm

Many people today like to play poker online for fun and enjoyment. You never know whom you will meet in an online poker room.

Reply
07/08/2017 1:12pm

I just got to this amazing site not long ago. I was actually captured with the piece of resources you have got here. Big thumbs up for making such wonderful blog page!

Reply
07/09/2017 11:05am

I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

Reply
07/09/2017 11:39am

I’ve read some good stuff here. Definitely worth bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how much effort you put to create such a great informative website.

Reply
07/09/2017 1:29pm

So luck to come across your excellent blog. Your blog brings me a great deal of fun.. Good luck with the site.

Reply

Kami menikah pada 14 Oktober 1950, di Gereja S

Reply
07/16/2017 7:48am

This was among the best posts and episode from your team it let me learn many new things.

Reply
07/29/2017 5:25am

I do like to Share this interesting Blog thank you so much for this latest update.

Reply
Anonymous
07/31/2017 1:25pm

Reply
08/15/2017 12:42am

It is a good and amazing article. Your information is very useful for me and for others. thank you so much.

Reply
08/26/2017 8:07am

Stories in Stone: a commented on history and manual for the accumulations and papers of Ernest West lake (1855-1922) by Rebe, Mike and Gavin McCarthy of the University of Melbourne's e Scholarship Research Center, makes accessible the digitized papers of Ernest West lake, including those made amid his trip to Tasmania in 1908-1910, when he gathered more than 13,000 stone instruments.

Reply
10/12/2017 9:39am

Beauti Queen amazing kolkata escorts agency alwyas ready for you at your doorstep. Beauti Queen provide you high profile independent girl in kolkata, escorts service in kolkata, kolkata escorts. If you are looking for the ultimate encounter in Kolkata then I am your sophisticated young Kolkata escorts that provides upscale companionship for making your night becomes true.

Reply
10/15/2017 10:19am

Jiya Roy is a high class luxury and premium independent escorts agency in Gurgaon offering sexy independent escort Girls, models and cheap rate call girls for incalls and outcalls and travel arrangements. Female companions available 24/7 for business events, tour guide and much more.

Reply
10/17/2017 11:10pm

Renu Das Kolkata Escorts Services has gorgeous females provides Independent Escorts Service in Kolkata call girls at 100% satisfaction with VIP models. Provided Kolkata escorts at our agency are professional in nature and are eager to serve you at your place.

Reply
10/18/2017 7:30pm

This is why the Thousand Island became the mainstay tour of the city of Jakarta, because Wisata without congestion in Jakarta. A wide range of facilities for the convenience of traveling tourists on offer at Pulau Seribu.

Reply



Leave a Reply