Australia's women : a documentary history : from a selection of personal letters, diary entries, pamphlets, official records, government and police reports, speeches and radio talks

Daniels, Kay and Murnane, Mary Australia's women : a documentary history : from a selection of personal letters, diary entries, pamphlets, official records, government and police reports, speeches and radio talks. St. Lucia , Qld.: University of Queensland Press., 1989.

Attached Files (Some files may be inaccessible until you login with your UQ eSpace credentials)
Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Read with bookreader  HQ1822_U63_1989.pdf Full text application/pdf 41.98MB 630
Author Daniels, Kay
Murnane, Mary
Title Australia's women : a documentary history : from a selection of personal letters, diary entries, pamphlets, official records, government and police reports, speeches and radio talks
Place of Publication St. Lucia , Qld.
Publisher University of Queensland Press.
Publication year 1989
Sub-type Other
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
ISBN 0702222356
9780702222351
Language eng
Total number of pages 335
Subjects 430101 History - Australian
Formatted Abstract/Summary
Introduction

This book is intended to bring the reader into an active relationship with the past. The problem in compiling it has been to put together a collection of documents that does not create a false relationship between reader and compiler.

Books of historical documents often give the reader the illusion of acting as a historian, by preseoting a selection of documents as if they are raw material waiting to be turned into new and exciting history. The compiler pretends not to press upon the reader an historical interpretation. Documents are left to speak for themselves, a surrogate archives in which the reader is invited to wander. But collections of documents are not substitutes for libraries and archives, and instead of generating new ideas, often the effect of the documentary collection is to direct the reader backwards into the already known. History, in its polished state, is disguised as documents. There remains little chance for the reader to become more than a passive consumer.

We hope that this collection does not do these things, but raises new ideas and encourages the reader to participate by moving beyond our selection of documents and our interpretation. With that in mind, we have tried throughout to retain the sense that these are historical documents that, examined internally and in relation to each other, can help to reveal the way that history is written and therefore help to make both our past and our present more intelligible. But documents, even in aggregation, give only a partial picture and need to be seen as part of the social history of the period and the themes pursued and tested in the broader context.

As compilers, we have not tried to remain invisible behind the documents. We have been intrusive rather than self-effacing, and the collection is structured in such a way as to express our own ideas about the position of women in Australia and the way that the study of women's history can be approached. The documents have been introduced in such a way that they can be seen not only in relation to each other -- sometimes confirming, sometimes antagonistic -- but are also given the coherence of a continuing commentary.

The selection is large and covers a diverse range of women's experiences. It includes women from different classes, ages and races, over a wide area of Australia from the early days of settlement until the beginning of the 1950s. We have used a variety of different kinds of records, many of them unpublished -- government reports, comments by eminent visitors, the pencilled notes of ordinary women, minutes of organizations, pamphlets, speeches, letters, depositions, radio talks, police reports. Most are written records; but the past also resides in the memories of the living and we have supplemented the written personal testimonies with some tape-recorded interviews. We do not wish to assert the paramountcy of one kind of record over another and we hope that the collection demonstrates that our knowledge of the past is enriched by assessing different types of historical evidence.

The documents are divided into four sections and into subgroups in three of those sections. Each section is concerned with themes over a broad period of time. We have also made use of clusters of documents relating to an episode; for example, in the case of Biloela Industrial School, a number of documents expressing the attitudes of different people at a point of crisis in the institution together provide a picture of one aspect of social relations in Sydney, as well as illustrating the movement in welfare away from untrained and often uneducated officers to the professional. Similar clusters around the themes of prostitution, birth control and eugenics offer some indication of the importance of these themes in the history of women in Australian society.   .....................................
Keyword Women -- Australia -- History -- Sources.
Q-Index Code AX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Access Statistics: 193 Abstract Views, 783 File Downloads  -  Detailed Statistics
Created: Fri, 14 May 2010, 16:25:24 EST by Muhammad Noman Ali on behalf of Social Sciences and Humanities Library Service