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  • Title
    George Augustus Robinson papers, 1818-1924
  • Creator
  • Level of description
  • Date

  • Type of material
  • Reference code
  • Issue Copy
    Partly DigitisedMicrofilm
  • Physical Description
    72 volumes including the Guide.
    Textual Records
    Textual Records - (printed)

    George Augustus Robinson (1788-1866) was Chief Protector of Aborigines in Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) between 1829 and 1838. In 1832, Robinson inspected Flinders Island (Bass Strait) and recommended it as a suitable place on which to found a home for the Aborigines. In 1838 it was decided to bring in a scheme to protect the Aborigines on the mainland of Australia and Robinson was appointed Chief Protector, with four assistants. One of his assistants was William Thomas (see also his collection of microfilmed papers at MLMSS 214/1-28). Robinson moved to Port Phillip in 1839, to head the Aboriginal Protectorate. Over the next 11 years he undertook a number of lengthy excursions throughout Victoria and compiled detailed journals and reports. After claims of weak and expensive administration, the Port Phillip Protectorate was abolished in Dec. 1849 and Robinson returned to England in 1853.
  • Collection history
    Purchased by the Maggs Brothers on behalf of the Mitchell Library in Sydney the day before World War II broke out in September 1939 and held in the National Library of Wales at Aberystwyth until February 1947 when they were transferred to the Mitchell Library
  • Scope and Content
    SERIES 1
    George Augustus Robinson Great Britain voyage to Van Diemen's Land etc, 1818-1844
    Includes journals, miscellaneous papers, sketches, notebooks.

    SERIES 2
    George Augustus Robinson journals, 1829-1849
    1. Van Diemen's Land, 1829-1834
    2. Flinders Island, 1835-1838
    3. Port Phillip Protectorate, 1839-1849

    SERIES 3
    George Augustus Robinson letter Books, 1829-1849

    SERIES 4
    George Augustus Robinson correspondence and related papers, both official and private, 1829-1850
    1. Van Diemen's Land, 1829-ca.1865
    2. Flinders Island, 1831-1842
    3. Port Phillip Protectorate, 1839-1850

    SERIES 5
    George Augustus Robinson Aboriginal vocabularies, 1830-1866
    1. Tasmania. See also journals and pt.4 of A 7086.
    2. South-East Australia. See also journals and pt.1 of A 7088

    SERIES 6
    George Augustus Robinson miscellanea, 1839-1924
    1. Sketchbook, 1853-64 and photographs
    2. Various journals and papers (including Account of visit to Oyster Cove), 1839, 1843, 1850-52
    3. Family and general correspondence, 1846-1924
    4. Personal and concerning Robinson's papers and collections
    5. Common place material
    6. Blank forms, used envelopes and covers

    SERIES 7
    George Augustus Robinson pictorial material and realia, ca. 1820-1866
  • System of arrangement
    This collection is arranged into seven record series
  • Copying Conditions
    Out of copyright
    Reproduction Restricted
  • Finding Aids
    Guide located at A 7093 -
  • General note

    The papers were arranged by Mr. N.J.B. Plomley, 1961-1962.

    The collection was copied onto preservation microfilm between the years 1971 and 1998. Further microfilm or digital / paper copies from microfilm may be purchased for research use: microforms@sl.nsw.gov.au

    The papers relating to Tasmania, 1829-1834, in this collection (ML A 7023 - A 7031) were edited by Mr. N.J.B. Plomley and published in 1966 under the title 'Friendly Mission' (see: ML 572.996/8A1). Appendices include lists of Aboriginal place names, Aboriginal people, sealers, settlers etc with biographical notes. There is also an index which can be used as a key to the manuscripts.

    See also - TRANSCRIPTS: 'The papers of George Augustus Robinson, Chief Protector, Port Phillip Aboriginal Protectorate', edited by Dr. Ian D. Clark [Ballarat & Melbourne, Vic., 1998-2001].
    Three separate sets of publications are held:
    [1] ML Q994.502/9 (6 vols.): Transcripts of the Port Phillip Protectorate journals, Jan. 1839 - Sept. 1852 (originals: A 7035 - A 7041 & A 7088).
    [2] ML 994.502/15 (4 vols.): Transcripts of Port Phillip Protectorate office journals, 1839-1850 (original: A 7079); Aboriginal vocabularies for South East Australia, 1839-1852 (A 7086); Miscellanea, including sketches and vocabularies (A 7083 - A 7084); Reports, 1841-1849 (A 7080 - A 7082).
    [3] ML 994.502/16 (6 vols.): 2nd Edition transcripts of the Port Phillip Protectorate journals, Jan. 1839 - Sept. 1852 (originals: A 7035 - A 7041 & A 7088).
    See also William Thomas' papers, 1834-1868, located at MLMSS 214/1-28, and copied onto 22 reels of preservation microfilm. William Thomas held the positions of Assistant Protector of Aboriginals (Port Phillip District), 1838-1849, and Guardian of Aboriginals, 1850-c.1860.

    Guide at A 7093 (Microfilm: CY 2058, frames 1-123)
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