About the records

Title Records of Barwick, Diane Elizabeth (1938-1986)
Date Range 1492 - 2006
Reference MS 13521
Creator Barwick, Diane Elizabeth (1938 - 1986)
Extent 37 metres (3,246 items)
Repository State Library of Victoria
Abstract This is a guide to the main record collection of Diane Elizabeth Barwick (1938-1986), political and historical anthropologist. Diane Barwick was renowned for her depth of knowledge about Aboriginal history and culture and her commitment to Aboriginal justice and equality. She migrated from Canada in 1960 to research kin networks among Aboriginal Victorians. In her subsequent career Diane Barwick helped pioneer the discipline of ethnohistory in Australia. The records in this collection were collected in 2005 from her family home in Canberra where they were in the custody of her widower Richard Barwick. The collection documents Diane Barwick's extensive body of published works, her PhD on regional kin networks and group identity among Aboriginal Victorians, the major roles she played in the establishment of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies and the Aboriginal History journal, and many other aspects of her life and works.

Cultural Advice Statement

Users of the guide are advised that the Diane Barwick Collection and the associated Guide to Records may include the names of deceased persons, which may cause sadness or distress in some Indigenous communities. It is a condition of use of the Diane Barwick Collection and the associated Guide to Records that researchers ensure that any information they disclose respects the views and sensitivities of Indigenous Australians.


Diane Barwick's records are held by the State Library of Victoria. The collection contains sensitive and private information. Access conditions apply to some records. The relevant series in the Barwick Guide have been annotated accordingly. For more details, consult the staff of the Australian Manuscripts section of the State Library of Victoria.

Administrative Information

  • The collection is comprised of records from 51 accessions. The codes used to uniquely identify each accession range from BARW2005-0001 to BARW2012-0002.
  • The records have been allocated to 45 series. The codes used to uniquely identify each series range from BARS0001 to BARS4007.
  • Through the processing of the records, 8 provenance entities were identified. The codes used to uniquely identify each provenance entity, i.e. records creator or custodian, range from BARP001 to BARP008.
  • The inventory covers 3,246 items, and may include records of continuing value, records sentenced for destruction and records that have been destroyed. The codes used to uniquely identify each inventory item range from BARI00001 to BARI03263. The total collection occupies 3,707 linear cm of shelf space (or its equivalent).
  • The documentation of the records at inventory level started on 29 June 2005. The latest additions were made on 13 December 2012. The latest modifications were made on 14 December 2012. This collection profile was updated on 28 November 2014.

Scope and Content

Scope of the Barwick Collection

When Diane Barwick died unexpectedly in 1986, she left behind a comprehensive body of records of her working life. Diane Barwick had a dynamic public and academic career in which she was a pioneer of the discipline of Aboriginal history in Australia. For further information about Diane Barwick, see the relevant provenance entry in the Diane Barwick Guide to Records.

Subjects extensively documented in the Barwick Collection include:
- Diane Barwick's publications and conference papers;
- Diane Barwick's PhD (ANU, 1963);
- Diane Barwick's work with the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies;
- Diane Barwick's work on major research projects such as the archival cataloguing of the records of W. E. H. Stanner (1905-1981);
- The development in Australia from the 1960s to the 1980s of the discipline of Aboriginal studies and the Aboriginal rights movement, and the history of government policy on Aboriginal affairs;
- Reference material in anthropology, ethnography and history, compiled by Diane Barwick;
- Collected Genealogies of Aboriginal Victorian families.

Most of the records in the Diane Barwick Guide to Records relate to Australia, and the state of Victoria in particular. Other countries documented in the collection include Canada, the United States, and New Zealand.

Accessioning Diane Barwick’s Records

The archival processing of Diane Barwick's records was part of an Australian Research Council (ARC) funded research project entitled the Koori Health Research Database (2000-). The Diane Barwick Guide to Records is the result of scholarly and detailed work. The cataloguing process itself involved significant research. The Diane Barwick Guide to Records consists of approximately 60 web pages, and approximately 389,000 words.

Records in the Diane Barwick Guide to Records were registered as found during the archival accessioning process, conducted in situ at the Barwick family home. The list that resulted from this accessioning process was used as a guide in the subsequent processing of the material and the creation of the current series structure. The archival process used enables complete reconstruction back to the state in which the records were found, should this ever be required by researchers. The series structure endeavours to be consistent with and reflect Diane Barwick's recordkeeping systems. It has also been designed to promote the navigability, usability and citability of the records.

The records in the Barwick Collection (Accessions 1-49) were registered by Gavan McCarthy, Director of Austehc (Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, University of Melbourne, predecessor to the e-Scholarship Research Centre), who carried out the accessioning at the home of Richard Barwick, Diane Barwick's widower, between 7 February and 10 June 2005. Richard Barwick had maintained custody of the records since Diane Barwick's death. The records were housed in several rooms of the family home or on the property, namely the workshop, kitchen - breakfast room, spare bedroom, and small study. Gavan McCarthy photographed the records at each stage of the project to show their original arrangement (unboxed), original cartons where used, overviews of the whole collection, and other aspects of the accessioning process. The record lists were entered into HDMS progressively through the accession registration process.

The accession registration revealed various groups, arranged variously by record type (eg Accession 12 – Correspondence); record system (eg Accession 15 – Collected Genealogies); institution (eg Accession 19 – Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies – Printed Materials and Associated Files) or by publication (eg Accession 22 – Rebellion at Coranderrk Manuscripts). The Barwick Collection was transported by courier from the Barwick family home in Canberra, arriving at the University of Melbourne, where they were to be archivally processed, on the 27th and 28th of June, 2005. Upon completion of this processing, they were transferred to the State Library of Victoria on the 17th of April, 2007. Activity on the guide was continued on a part-time basis throughout 2007, during which time attention was given to transfer issues and access arrangements, in conjunction with the State Library of Victoria. The Diane Barwick Guide to Records was finalised during November 2007, and launched as part of the State History Lecture, delivered by Professor Janet McCalman, on the 29th of November 2007.

Inventory Item Processing

The item processing of Diane Barwick's records was undertaken with a view to facilitating the digitisation of the records and their ultimate incorporation into a digital record set. The level of granularity and citation of the records was intended to be manageable. Consequently, attention was given to the creation of small, practical units.

All of the records listed in the Diane Barwick Guide to Records are extant in the Barwick Collection. The only exceptions to this are several records from Series 1 - Personal and Biographical Records. These records possessed particular personal or legal significance to the Barwick family, and they have therefore been returned to the Barwick family. In keeping with standard archival practice, where records have been documented but removed from the collection, this removal has been documented in the record's description.

Attention has been given in the archival processing of this collection to recording the original file titles and other recordkeeping methods used by Diane Barwick. Diane Barwick's original file titles have been recorded in single quotation marks. (The practice of recording the titles of published articles within single quotation marks has also been observed.) Part file numbers in square brackets, eg Folder [1], indicate that material was originally housed in the same folder or other enclosure. Records described as 'originally housed together' were originally housed adjacent to each other but not enclosed in a folder or other enclosure. Some minor rearrangements of material have been made to promote usability, such as filing published journals in order by date of publication.

Contextual information about the archival processing of this collection is held in the Barwick office files (including the Accession Notes of the Diane Barwick HDMS database) created by the staff of the Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre (Austehc, predecessor to the eScholarship Research Centre), where the Diane Barwick Guide to Records was created, from June 2005 to November 2006.


Digital images have been made of selected records from the Barwick Collection, which have been identified as being of especially high research value.

These records are as follows:
- Diane Barwick's PhD thesis - final copy (Series 5) and fieldwork notebooks (selected items from Series 6);

- Comprehensive family trees for Aboriginal Victorian families (selected items from Series 33 and Series 37);

- Collected Genealogies of Aboriginal Victorian families (Series 33, Series 34, Series 35 and Series 36).

The imaging was carried out by staff of the eScholarship Research Centre with a Canon Powershot G5 camera between October 2006 and January 2007. Inventory item descriptions in the Diane Barwick Guide to Records have been annotated to show which ones have been digitised.

This imaging was funded by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS).

Dates of Records

The date range shown for each inventory item in the Diane Barwick Guide to Records is intended to be inclusive. The dates recorded are usually the earliest and latest years stamped on the records (such as correspondence) that are contained in any given inventory item. Such dates serve in this context as opening and closing dates for that item. In cases where an inventory item contains records with substantial historical content, the date range shown is likely to include the earliest year covered by that material. More detail has been provided about the historical content of some records in the Barwick Collection, in particular the Collected Genealogies (Series 33 to Series 36).


The Diane Elizabeth Barwick (1938-1986) Guide to Records has been published by the University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre. You may download, temporarily store in cache and display the material on this web site in unaltered form only. You may also print and copy the material on this site in unaltered form as permitted by the Copyright Act 1968 only (retaining this copyright notice). This guide is the result of serious scholarly research and must be formally acknowledged as such when the guide itself or the records it catalogues are cited.

The Diane Barwick Collection is held by the State Library of Victoria. The State Library of Victoria manages any rights (including moral rights) in all material contained in the Diane Barwick Collection.

All information in the guide to this collection and in the material of the collection itself, served from Australia, is administered under Australian Intellectual Property Laws.

How These Records Can Be Used

The records in the Diane Barwick Collection were collected as part of Diane Barwick's working life and it is assumed that, with exceptions, they were not intended for formal publication. They include records of a personal, private or sensitive nature. Access to these materials may be closely controlled. Researchers wishing to consult these records will need to contact the State Library of Victoria regarding the access conditions that may apply to specific series or inventory items.

Where material from the Diane Barwick Collection is copied or quoted the source of the material must be acknowledged.


Any corrections to inaccuracies or additional information in any section of the Diane Barwick Guide to Records are actively sought and encouraged.

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Preferred Citation

Records from the Diane Barwick Collection should be cited as [Inventory item number and title], [Series number], Diane Barwick Collection, MS 13521, State Library of Victoria, Australia.

For citation of the published guide, an acceptable form would be: McCarthy, Ann and McCarthy, Gavan, Diane Elizabeth Barwick (1938-1986) Guide to Records, The University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre, 2007 [URL and date accessed].

Explanatory Note about the Index

Readers interested in accessing the Barwick Collection may wish to start by viewing the index provided in this guide. This index is intended as a helpful reference point, and it should not be taken as an exhaustive list of subject headings on any given topic.

Project Sponsors and Supporters

Australian Research Council - University of Melbourne - Richard and Laura Barwick - Ian Anderson, Onemda VicHealth Koori Health Unit, University of Melbourne - Melbourne Museum - Sandra Smith, Bunjilaka, Melbourne Museum - Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) - State Library of Victoria - Richard Broome - Simon Flagg, Public Record Office - Victoria and National Archives Australia - Gary Presland

Published by the The University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre, 5 October 2007
Listed by Ann McCarthy and Gavan McCarthy
HTML edition
Updated 28 November 2014

The template for this finding aid is part of the Heritage Documentation Management System

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