The Papers of F. E. Williams

In July 1953, on the way from Canberra to take up my new post in Vancouver I had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Williams, the widow of F.E., who kindly allowed me to inspect the papers she had with her.  I found that almost all of them were simply the texts of his books, but there were some miscellaneous papers which Mrs. Williams allowed me to  keep.

Unfortunately, in the rush and confusion of changing continents, those papers remained stowed away, and in fact I forgot that I had the non-book materials, small but interesting though they are.   Would that I had met Mrs. Williams long before.  The Hanuabada references should have been incorporated into The Great Village — but it was already being typeset.

I knew that the other materials would be retained by the Government of Papua in some form, but I didn’t know what that would be and it was too late to track them down.  Now Ira Bashkow informs me that there is a collection of material in the PNG Archives, which is where I would expect them to be, with a microfilm of them in the Mitchell Library. And Rod Ewins tells me that a volume of Williams’ photos by Michael Young is about to be published by Crawford House   .

Meanwhile in the next couple of weeks I will be putting on line what I have, including some original illustrations.  There are unanswered questions here, which I hope some of you will be able to answer.