About the records

Title Records of Duffield, Walter Geoffrey
Date Range 1880 - 1987
Reference MS095
Creator Walter Geoffrey Duffield (1879 - 1929)
Extent 1.14 metres (160 items)
Repository Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science, Canberra
Abstract Duffield was Professor of Physics, Reading University, England 1910-1923 and was appointed the inaugural Director of the Solar Physics Observatory, Mount Stromlo near Canberra, in 1924.

Administrative Information

The majority of the Duffield papers were handed to Dr Rosaleen Love, Department of Humanities, Swinburne Institute of Technology, by Miss Joan Duffield, the daughter of W. G. Duffield, for reference work on her article 'Science and Government in Australia 1905-14: Geoffrey Duffield and the Foundation of the Commonwealth Solar Observatory', Historical Records of Australian Science, 6 (2) (December 1985). Those papers were transferred directly to the ASAP for archiving and further small accessions were subsequently received from Miss Duffield.

  • The records have been allocated to 10 series. The codes used to uniquely identify each series range from DUFFS001 to DUFFS010.

  • Through the processing of the records, 2 provenance entities were identified. The codes used to uniquely identify each provenance entity, i.e. records creator or custodian, range from DUFFP01 to DUFFP02.

  • The inventory covers 160 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 DUFF00001 to DUFF00164. The total collection occupies 114 linear cm of shelf space (or its equivalent).

  • The documentation of the records at inventory level started on 20 January 2004. The latest additions were made on 18 February 2004. The latest modifications were made on 29 June 2007. This collection profile was updated on 8 November 2007.

Scope and Content

The collection comprises the records of W. G. Duffield which survived a basement flood destroying perhaps 80% of the material. Needless to say there are significant gaps in the documentary record; however most of the records are in good condition though conservation work was required to flatten one large photograph that had been rolled for many years.

'From a 19th-century Australian school education in science, where science subjects were given to children in much the same spirit as the classics, as mental training for whatever else might follow in life, Duffield moved on to take an undergraduate science degree at Adelaide University. But then instead of turning, as most of his university contemporaries did, to what they saw as the 'real world' of business, or finance or sheep-breeding, Duffield took seriously the notion of science as a career, and from a fairly undistinguished and ordinary education he adopted an out-of-the-ordinary ambition.'
R. Love, Science and Government ... HRAS 6(2)(December 1985) p.171

Note: Throughout this Handlist the 'File Title' is, as closely as possible, a transcription of the title given by the creator of the file. Extra description of the file is given in square brackets. The Handlist and Index are a guide to the collection and not a comprehensive reflection of its contents.

Published by the Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre on AustehcWeb, April 2004
With support from Ian Potter Foundation, Bank of Tokyo (Australia) Ltd and The University of Melbourne
Listed by Gavan McCarthy and Howard Sankey
HTML edition Ailie Smith
Updated 8 November 2007

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

[ Top of Page | Home | Series | Provenance | Search | Index ]