Southeast Asia Archives Project

SEAI

In 1969, the Government of the Republic of Indonesia sent an almost life-size bronze statue of Saraswati, Goddess of Wisdom, as a gift to the Australian National University. Saraswati was cast in bronze by students of sculptor Budiani at the Academy of Fine Arts in Yogyakarta, Central Java. Saraswati welcomes visitors to the university Chancelry, where she sits on a plinth surrounded by a small pool with water plants, thoughtfully reading and bringing a sense of calm to her surroundings. The choice of Saraswati, who is also patron of the arts, languages and science, was particularly appropriate for a university that was developing an international reputation in each of those areas.

The Project highlights and documents the Australian National University’s formidable legacy in Southeast Asian Studies. From the 1960s until recent times, ANU has had an exceptional concentration of specialists in the history, culture, language, politics and economics of the region, and helped to define the new international field of Southeast Asian Studies.

In collaboration with the ANU Archives, the Southeast Asia Institute invites past and present scholars to identify valuable material for future researchers. This material could be field notebooks, audiovisual recordings, interview notes, correspondence, translations, ANU administrative records, photographs or ephemeral publications. Material donated to the Archives will be searchable in the Archives database and in the National Library’s Trove, and select material digitised for online research use.

The Archives already holds some of the papers of Professors David Marr, Anthony Reid, Harold Crouch, Dr Margaret George and Dr Emily Sadka. The following material is already accessible in the University’s Open Research repository:

  • Photograph of ANU Southeast Asian scholars visiting China in 1980;

  • Professor David Marr’s unique collection of posters and other graphic material related to Vietnam and the Indochina conflict. Collected throughout his career, the series contains prints and originals from the 1930s to the 1990s. The works largely focus on the Vietnam War and present perspectives from both North and South Vietnam as well as Australia, Europe and the United States. The series also contains a range of Vietnamese art on calendars and with some original prints. The digitisation work was undertaken by ANU Museum Studies student Ben Houghton and the images are accessible on the Open Research website. A full description and listing is on the ANU Archives database website. Future digitisation of David Marr’s papers will include material from the September 1967 South Vietnamese election and the 1974 correspondence and press clippings of John Spragens Jnr at the Indochina Resource Center. For more information please contact Holly Nguyen - holly.nguyen@anu.edu.au.

  • Recording of the King of Thailand’s visit to ANU in 1962, the announcement of the Asian Fellowship by Pro Chancellor HC Coombs and His Majesty’s response;

  • Oral history interview with Professor Tony Johns.

Digitisation projects currently underway:

  • Recordings of the ‘Asia behind the News’ radio program from the late 1970s to 1980s.

If you have materials to donate to the project, please contact Maggie Shapley, University Archivist - maggie.shapley@anu.edu.au.

David Marr Poster

Updated:  15 September 2014/Responsible Officer:  Web Communications Coordinator/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team