archival musings

I’m at AIATSIS for a few days doing archive work, so here are some random things I’ve seen today.

Hariott Barlow’s paper from 1873 on Queensland languages was the only paper in the volume with the note “the following paper was also read at the meeting”. It was also the only paper with a female author.

I wanted to photocopy Science of Man vocabularies (the journal ran from about 1898-1913). It’s fascinating. Dr Allan Carroll, BA, MA, PhD, D Phil, & c & c & c clearly exercised strong editorial control. Seeing the first announcement in the journal of the discovery of the Piltdown man and how it’d revolutionise our views of archaeology was cool. I also hadn’t realised how much microbiology and neuroscience was going on before Florey and Fleming and that lot. For example, someone discovered the organism that causes trachoma, there was something on the epidemiology of malaria in Ancient Greece.

I got to look at the Leeson vocabularies. They are all Science of Man compilations. I don’t know yet what the source of the Lawrance vocabularies are, because there are three rolls of microfilm with Language – English words (thousands of them), but the source languages are 103b, 2, 9, etc. They look suspiciously like Curr numbers but I won’t know until tomorrow.

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