Local History Project Award goes to The Journal of William Thomas
Huge congratulations go out to Marguerita Stephens and the team at VACL for picking up the 'Local History Project Award' yesterday at the Victorian Community History Awards announced at the State Library of Victoria. The awards are managed by the Public Records Office of Victoria in partnership with the Royal Historical Society of Victoria.
Here's what they said:
'Described in the forward as 'the best white man any Aboriginal was likely to meet in Melbourne in 1839' [Bruce Pascoe], Thomas left very substantial journals covering nearly 30 years of almost constant contact with Aborigines in Victoria.
Long recognised as an important source about 'contact history', the hand written journals, mainly held in the Mitchell Library, were microfilmed in the 1980s. This massive work makes material that is notoriously difficult to read much more accessible through transcription. It also published journal material recently acquired by the State Library of Victoria.
The journals are impeccably and appropriately annotated. The index is very comprehensive both for people and subjects. The fourth volume collects language material from Thomas and others. Overall, this publication is enormously useful. It represents sustained effort by those involved. It has had considerable involvement of representative Victorian Aboriginal communities and approval by them.'