Transcription of Thomas Papers Project
VACL are very pleased to announce a grant from the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust to enable completion of the collation of significant historic Kulin Nation language material from the papers of William Thomas. William Thomas was Assistant Protector of Aborigines at Port Phillip and Victoria from 1839 to 1867. The 10,000 pages of the William Thomas Papers, held by the State Library of NSW, contain extensive language materials and a journal of 28 years recording almost daily contact with the Kulin people around Melbourne and adjacent districts. The journal is the most comprehensive daily record of Black-White contact in this frontier period of Victorian history, recording in incomparable detail, the lives of over 150 named Kulin men, women and children.
Researcher Dr Marguerita Stephens has been painstakingly transcribing the journal over a number of years and has now been employed by VACL for the next 12 months to complete the transcribing. The project includes a comprehensive Kulin community consultation process.
The journal and language materials, collected by VACL from the Thomas Papers over the past decade, will be published digitally and will provide new insights to the impact of colonial expansion whilst detailing previously unrecognised aspects of Aboriginal culture.
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