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Papers of Robert Hamilton Mathews, 1866-1984 [manuscript]
Bib ID 1186177
Format ManuscriptManuscript, OnlineOnline
Mathews, R. H. (Robert Hamilton), 1841-1918
Online Versions
Related Online
Access Conditions Permission required for research at the discretion of the Curator of Manuscripts. Not for loan. 
Description [1866-1984] 
5.75 m. (33 boxes) + 1 fol. box. 

MS 8006 comprises papers organised in the following series: 1. Diaries, 1879-1913. 2. Correspondence regarding the anthropology of Australian Aborigines, 1893-1918. 3. Notebooks, mostly anthropological and linguistic, 1872-1910. 4. Anthropological and linguistic working notes. 5. Drafts of papers on the anthropology of the Australian Aborigines. 6. Photographs of Australian Aborigines and Aboriginal rock art with accompanying notes. 7. Miscellaneous papers, 1870-1946, including biographical and bibliographical material on Mathews assembled by A.P. Elkin, 1942-46. 8. Publications and reprints of articles by Mathews on anthropology, 1890-1910 (13 boxes).

The Acc09.011 instalment largely comprises binders containing notes and transcripts relating to genealogical research undertaken by Mathews' son, William Washington Mathews. The remaining papers comprise correspondence, both from family and with anthropological societies in Europe and Australia; notebooks from R.H. Mathews years as a surveyor; family photograph albums; and ephemera. There are also papers accumulated by Janet Mathews (granddaughter-in-law of R.H. Mathews), who was an anthropologist in her own right. Much of the material is biographical rather than anthropological in nature (20 boxes, 1 fol. box).


Surveyor and anthropologist. After his retirement as a surveyor in the early 1890s, he spent twenty years researching the anthropology and languages of the Australian Aborigines. During this time he had over 100 papers published in anthropological and scientific journals. R.H. Mathews was the father of ornithologist Gregory Mathews.


Manuscript reference no.: MS 8006, MS Acc09.011.

Selected item(s) available online

Related Material Memorial to John Gilbert at Drakes Ford, Western Australia; Located at; National Library of Australia Pictures collection PIC/9166/1 LOC Box PIC/9166.  Some R.H. Mathews papers are also held by the Mitchell Library, Sydney. 
Cited In

Guide to collections of manuscripts relating to Australia ; E751.

Index/Finding Aid Note Finding aid available online. 
Subjects Mathews, R. H. (Robert Hamilton), 1841-1918 -- Archives.  |  Surveyors -- Australia -- Archives.  |  Anthropologists -- Australia -- Archives.  |  Linguists -- Australia -- Archives.  |  Aboriginal Australians -- Languages.  |  Aboriginal Australians -- Social life and customs.  |  Rock paintings -- Australia.  |  Anthropology -- Australia.
Time Coverage 1866-1984 
Occupation Surveyors.  |  Anthropologists.  |  Linguists.
Other authors/contributors Elkin, A. P. (Adolphus Peter), 1891-1979
Terms of Use Permission required for research copying, at the discretion of the Curator of Manuscripts. 

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MS 8006 Special Collections Reading Room
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MS Acc09.011 Special Collections Reading Room - Prior notice required
Unprocessed instalment
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Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and other First Nations people are advised that this catalogue contains names, recordings and images of deceased people and other content that may be culturally sensitive. Please also be aware that you may see certain words or descriptions in this catalogue which reflect the author’s attitude or that of the period in which the item was created and may now be considered offensive.