Series 308 - Richard Gilson Pacific Research papers on Samoa

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Reference code



Richard Gilson Pacific Research papers on Samoa


  • 1830 - 1954 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

2.1 m (10 type 1 boxes; 1 type 2 box)

Context area

Name of creator

(1925 - 1963)

Biographical history

Richard Gilson was born in Eugene, Oregon in 1925. He was awarded a Fullbright Scholarship to New Zealand in 1949 and was enrolled at the Victoria University College in Wellington where he began his studies of New Zealand, the Cook islands and Western Samoa. Gilson left Wellington in August 1950 and completed his Masters thesis on the Cook Islands at the London School of Economics. He was appointed Research Fellow, Department of Pacific History, Research School of Pacific Studies 1952-1957. Gilson died on 29 April 1963, as a result of a heart attack. His research on Samoa culminated in the book, Samoa 1830-1900, published posthumously in 1970. Gilson’s thesis on the Cook Islands was also prepared for publication as The Cook Islands 1820-1950 (1980).

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Scope and content

Research papers, drafts and notes on the Pacific Islands, with particular focus on the Cook Islands and Samoa relating to the publications Samoa 1830-1900, 1970 and The Cook Islands 1820-1950, 1980. Including material on Fiji, French Polynesia, Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony (Kiribati), Niue and PNG. Papers relating to the German Administration of Western Samoa, translated into English by Mrs Trudi Newbury, and collected by R.P. Gilson from Archives New Zealand.


System of arrangement

Single number imposed, with gaps where no items found when records were transferred to the Pacific Research Archives.

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Conditions governing access

Open access

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Related units of description

Microfilmed by the Pacific Manuscripts Bureau, PMB 1003, PMB 1009

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Dates of creation revision deletion

Prepared by Karina Taylor on 30 September 2008




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