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Research Guides


Papua New Guinea Records 1883–1942: Microfilm Collections


All notes

Appendix 4

A history of the PNG records


1 Part 1 and Part 2 are based on research undertaken in the preparation of the article by Nancy Lutton and Hilary Rowell, 'Return to Port Moresby - the survival copying and restitution of rescued records', in Archives and Manuscripts, vol. 23 no. 2, Nov 1995, pp. 290-305. The article drew on research work undertaken by two former members of staff of the National Archives and its predecessors, H J Gibbney and P J Scott.

2 Peter Ryan (General editor), Encyclopaedia of Papua New Guinea, Melbourne University Press, 1972, volume 1 (German New Guinea, by Marjorie Jacobs), pp. 485-98.

3 British Administration of German New Guinea Government Gazette, vol. 1, no. 1, 15 Oct 1914; Australia, Administration of Nauru: Report for Pre-mandate period ending 17th December, 1920..., Commonwealth Parliamentary Papers, 1922, vol. II, p. 2809; NAA: CP78/23, 89/68.

4 C D Rowley, The Australians in German New Guinea 1914–1921, Melbourne, University Press, 1958, pp. 1-21.

5 Order by the British Administrator dated 6 May 1921, Rabaul Gazette (British Administration of German New Guinea Government Gazette), 7 May 1921, p. 56.

6 Australia, Report of the Royal Commission on late German New Guinea, Commonwealth Parliamentary Papers, 1920.

7 See unpublished paper, 'The Emerging Role of the Australian Colonies in the Administration of British New Guinea, 1884–1890' by Christopher Hurley (1975) based on Colonial Office records.

8 The report of the Royal Commission of inquiry into the present conditions, including the methods of government of the Territory now known as Papua and the best means for their improvement appears in Commonwealth Parliamentary Papers, Senate vol. 1, 1907, pp. 137-463. No records of the Royal Commission survive in the National Archives' custody. Another Royal Commission concerning the Territory which was held in 1904 was that on the Affray at Goaribari Island British New Guinea on 6 March 1904. Its report appears in Commonwealth Parliamentary Papers, 1904, pp. 67-175. Again, no records of the Royal Commission survive.

9 H J Gibbney, Draft Guide to the Records of the Territory of Papua (Inventory No. 7), Commonwealth Archives Office: Report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Circumstances relating to the Suspension of the Civil Administration, 1944–1945 (there is a small quantity of records of this inquiry in the National Archives' custody); Territory of Papua Gazette Extraordinary, 14 Feb 1942.

10 This was raised on several occasions, see the Report of the Royal Commission on late German New Guinea, 1920; C D Rowley, pp. 12-15; and NAA: A518, A800/1/1, O800/1/1.

11 Advice from the Military Administrator, Rabaul in NAA: A2, 1917/3615, part 7.

12 NAA: A457, 720/1; CP78/22, 1921/163; A518, K 850/1/3; A1, 25/1633, 25/8335.

13 NAA: A518, Z 836/2. These files were transferred to the Archives by Prime Minister's Department and by the Department of Territories (I) in 1960. These accessions were later converted to G1 and G2.

14 On 4 January 1946, the Headquarters, First Army (AIF) reported to the Administrator in Port Moresby that inquiries in New Britain and New Ireland revealed that the only property of the Civil Administration found since reoccupation were some library books in Rabaul. No other official documents were found. See NAA: A518, AO 800/1/3, Part 2.

15 NAA: A518, AO 800/1/3, part 1.

16 Extract from letter dated 30 June 1942 from L C Noakes in NAA: A518, AO 800/1/3, part 1.

17 NAA: A518, AO 800/1/3, part 1.

18 NAA: A518, AO 800/1/3, part 2. It is not known what happened to this material after 1945.

19 L/Cpl F Young, see NAA: A518, T 800/1/5. The Territories Branch of Prime Minister's Department had become the Department of External Territories (I) on 26 June 1941.

20 See, for example, Treasury records in NAA: G153.

21 Most of the information about Papuan records is taken from NAA: A518, T 800/1/5.

22 The Commonwealth Archives Office created in 1961, became the National Archives in 1974 and the National Archives of Australia in 1998.

23 H J Gibbney, Draft Guide to the Records of the Territory of Papua (Inventory No. 7), Commonwealth Archives Office.

24 H J Gibbney, Draft Guide.

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