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Papers of Phillip Law, 1870-2010 [manuscript]
Bib ID 2062582
Format ManuscriptManuscript
Law, P. G. (Phillip Garth), 1912-2010
Related Online
Access Conditions Available for research. Not for loan. 
Description [1870-2010] 
30.55 m (145 boxes) + 18 folio items + 1 map. 

The MS 9458 collection includes personal papers and papers relating to Law's career as an academic, his work with ANARE and other research. They include diaries, drafts for lectures, talks, articles and books, photographs, correspondence, scrapbooks, fieldnotes, video tapes, papers relating to Law's biography by Kathleen Ralston, Law's recordings of cosmic rays and papers of his wife, Nel Law. The correspondents include N. Hudson, P. H. Karmel, A. S. Buchanan, G. J. Allen, J. K. Davis, John Bechervaise, Sir Archibald Grenfell Price, Sir Mark Oliphant, Lord Casy, W. Lorimer, G. Robin, D. Styles, F. Jacka, Sir Douglas Mawson, G. M. Budd and Sir Rupert Hamer (90 boxes, 15 folio boxes).

MS Acc06.158 comprises voyages diaries, 1947-1966; small diaries and pocket diaries from overseas trips, 1944-1998 (5 boxes).

The Acc12.074 instalment comprises daily planner and appointment diaries (1936-2008, incomplete) including diary of trip to Antarctica on the Kapitan Khlebnicov (1997-98); general correspondence (1946-2010); copies of lectures given by Law (2001-2007); writings by Law; general correspondence (1974-2010); photographs, including Mawson Station from its establishment to Law’s last visit; ANARE papers including correspondence and notes on the Amery Ice Shelf project (c1950-2008); maps; transcriptions of interviews given by Law; news cuttings; biographical records; papers relating to Law’s New Guinea War Diary; and papers relating to a biography of Law by Kathleen Ralston. There is also a group of papers of Nel Law (1936-1990) which comprise material from her trip to the Antarctic (1961); diaries, notebooks, correspondence, poems, artwork and photographs.


Scientist and Australian polar explorer who earned the nickname “Mr. Antarctica” for his devotion to the scientific study of that continent, which he visited 28 times, and to the expansion of the Australian Antarctic Territory there. As director (1949–66) of the Australian Antarctic Division and leader of the Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition (ANARE), Law mapped more than 5,000 km (3,100 mi) of Antarctic coastline and established three permanent research stations - Mawson (1954), Davis (1957), and Casey, which was opened in 1969 to replace the Wilkes Station after Law negotiated (1959) the transfer of Wilkes from American to Australian control. In 1987 a summer base in Antarctica’s Larsemann Hills was named Law Base in his honour. Law studied physics at the University of Melbourne (B.Sc., 1939; M.Sc., 1941) and in 1947 joined his first Antarctic expedition as senior scientific officer. After retiring from the Antarctic Division and ANARE in 1966, he served as chairman (1966–80) of the Australian National Committee for Antarctic Research and vice president (1966–77) of the Victoria Institute of Colleges, which he revamped and expanded. He visited Davis Station in 1998, more than four decades after he first opened the station. Law was made CBE in 1961; he was appointed Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 1975 and advanced to Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in 1995. His books include Antarctic Odyssey (1983).


Manuscript reference no.: MS 9458, MS Acc06.158, MS Acc12.074.

Digital master available National Library of Australia

Index/Finding Aid Note Descriptive list available (192 p.). 
Subjects Law, P. G. (Phillip Garth), 1912-2010 -- Archives.  |  Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition.  |  Scientists -- Australia -- Archives.  |  Scientific expeditions -- Antarctica.  |  Antarctica -- Discovery and exploration -- Australian.
Occupation Antarctic expeditionists.  |  Scientists.
Terms of Use Copying of Phillip Law's copyright material is permitted for research purposes. 

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