SRO catalogue enhancement discoveries

David Whiteford Thursday, September 24, 2015 - 11:45

Where SRO’s old AEON online catalogue could only show item titles – which can be uninformative - our new online catalogue allows us to add content and scope notes to the catalogue record. Work is underway on some 1890s Mines Department files in Consignment 964 and catalogue records are now including names of people applying for positions with the Department, people applying for mining leases, Asiatics applying for miner’s rights, and other detail of value to researchers. Some interesting discoveries have been made, such as the employment file (1896/13575) for Ernest Giles, the well-known explorer, who was employed as a clerk with the Department in Coolgardie in 1896 until his death the following year. The file records his feeling unwell and having to go home from work, and his death a few days later.   Two files relating to David W Carnegie, whose book Spinifex and Sand detailing his explorations in W.A. has rarely been out of print, were also found. The Western Australian explorers’ diaries project is presently working on Carnegie and was excited to learn of these two files. File 1897/03219 covers his arrival in Halls Creek and an offer to immediately leave to search for a missing party and file 1897/09856 has correspondence between Carnegie and the Government regarding remuneration for his exploration expenses. This latter file had escaped online cataloguing and is awaiting commencement of loading of new collection listings into the new system.