Series 686 - Administrative files

Identity area

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Administrative files


  • 1960s-1990s (Creation)

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(1957 -)

Biographical history

The Australian Dictionary of Biography had its beginnings in 1957 when a conference in Canberra of representatives of university history departments throughout the country supported the concept of a large-scale biographical project. From this meeting there developed a national committee; an editorial board chaired successively by Professors Keith Hancock, John Andrew La Nauze and Kenneth Stanley Inglis, all from the Australian National University's Research School of Social Sciences, and later by Professor Jill Roe; State and specialist working parties; and a small central staff. Professor Douglas Pike was appointed founding general editor in 1962; in 1974, Mr Noel Bede Nairn was appointed to produce Volume 6, and next year he and Dr Geoff Serle were made joint general editors. Mr Nairn retired in 1984 and Dr Serle in 1987. Dr John Ritchie succeeded Serle as general editor in 1988 and retired in 2002. Dr Di Langmore took up the position of general editor in 2001 to 2008 and was succeeded by Professor Melanie Nolan as inaugural Director of the National Centre of Biography on 2 June 2008, which has produced the ADB since 2008.

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Scope and content

This series contains the administrative files of the Australian Dictionary of Biography from 1960s-1990s. The files in this series span correspondence (editorial and research); research files; press cuttings and reviews; state and subject working party minutes and correspondence; staff files; Editorial Board files; Ellis dispute files; and copyright/form of signature of authors.


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