Series 13 - Westlake Tasmanian Aboriginal Stone Implement Collection Accession Documentation
Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford


Date Range1908 - 1940
ProvenancePitt Rivers Museum (1884- )
Description

This series includes records for the accession of the Westlake Collection of Tasmanian Aboriginal stone implements by the Pitt Rivers Museum, and related documentation.

These papers are not part of the Westlake Papers in the Pitt Rivers Museum Manuscript Collections, but form one of the Museum's 'Related Documents' series, numbered 1934.83-86. This number reflects the year the initial payment for the Westlake Collection of Tasmanian implements was made (1934), and the four books in which the collection was accessioned (83-86).

While not part of the Westlake Collection in the Pitt Rivers Museum Manuscript Collections, this series includes material that is closely related to, and offers important information for understanding, that archive.

The four Accession Books in this series are bound within two volumes: 'Collections IX' and 'Collections X'. The series also includes two lists of the sites in Tasmania from which Ernest Westlake collected stone implements, as well as labels and notes originally housed with the implements, and correspondence from Aubrey Westlake, Ernest Westlake, R. H. Green, T. K. Penniman, Ian Pearce, Roy Francis Nichols, Rhys Jones and Rebe Taylor dating from 1909-2001.

Note: Many of Aubrey Westlake’s letters dating from the same period, and with somel of the same correspondents included in this series are housed in Series 2, Westlake Collection, Manuscript Collections, Pitt Rivers Museum, and also Series 15, Westlake Archive, Oxford University Museum of Natrual History.


Inventory Listing

Tasmanian Collection: Related Documents. 1934.83 - 86, part 1
Labels and accompanying notes for the Westlake stone tool collection
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These labels and notes were originally kept with the Westlake Collection of Tasmanian Aboriginal stone implements.

The labels and notes give the names of sites from which the implements were collected, and have various authors. The notes written on scraps of paper all appear to be written by Ernest Westlake; the brown paper rectangle labels and white paper round labels appear to be written by Henry Balfour. The note written on a white envelope from 'His Majesty's Government' is signed by Tasmanian Government Geologist R. M. Johnston and relates to stone implements collected by him. A note in pencil on the envelope (possibly by Henry Balfour) suggests these implements were later categorised into 'site 111'.

Further notes and cross references:

These notes and labels do not appear to represent the entirety of such material; a cursory examination by Rebe Taylor in 2008 of one of the 140 boxes in which the Westlake Collection is stored revealed another such note, and more may exist in other boxes.

Such notes and labels may have been the primary source of information for Henry Balfour when organising the Westlake Collection into its original collection sites from 1923-1934. [For more detailed information and references see: WEST00341, ‘Collections IX Westlake 1-3, Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford’ and WEST00338, 'Tasmanian Collection: Related Documents. 1934.83 - 86, part 2', Series 13, in Rebe Taylor, with Michael Jones and Gavan McCarthy, Stories in Stone: an annotated history and guide to the collections and papers of Ernest Westlake (1855-1922), The University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre, 2012].

Creator Pitt Rivers Museum (1884- )
Control 1934.83 - 86 #1
Date range 1908? - 1939?    Quantity 0.7 cm, 1 plastic sleave
Formats Artefacts or Objects/Realia, General Correspondence, Loose Notes, Photocopied Documents and Lists
Inventory Identifier WEST00337 Box Number RRF Series 13
Tasmanian Collection: Related Documents. 1934.83 - 86, part 2
Correspondence, lists of stone implement collecting sites, notes and photocopied materials relating to the Westlake stone tool collection.
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These papers are kept in one folder numbered 1934.83-86; the Westlake Collection Related Documents File, Pitt Rivers Museum. The correspondence in these papers includes:

A letter from Ernest Westlake to Aubrey and Margaret Westlake of 25 December 1909. This letter makes reference to: camping with 'Thompson, his boy and two other fellows' on the Tamar River; travelling to Devonport; collecting stone implements; an article by Everard Field; and Mr. [R H. Green]. It includes a hand-drawn map of where Westlake was travelling, and descriptions of his Christmas dinner, the many flies and ants and sleeping in in a 'cow-shed'.

3 letters to T. K. Penniman from Aubrey Westlake and 1 letter in response dating from 1939-1940 that concern the payment for the Westlake Collection and include detailed information as to how Henry Balfour had organised and accessioned the Westlake Collection.

A letter to Derek Roe from Rhys Jones of the University of Sydney, expressing an interest in seeing the Westlake Collection and the work of Henry Balfour.

2 letters to Ernest Westlake from R. H. Green of Kelso, Tasmania of 1911, concerning his own stone implements; collecting Tasmanian fauna; and Joseph Paxton Moir.

1 letter from Ian Pearce, Senior Archivist, Tasmanian Archives Office and 1 letter from Roy Francis Nichols, State Secretary of the Aboriginal Information Service, Tasmania, both in May 1976 and both introducing B. C. Mollison to the Pitt Rivers Museum as a researcher of Tasmanian Aboriginal geneaologies whom they hope will be assisted with relevant information.

2 emails to Alison Petch from Rebe Taylor from 30 July 2001 regarding the dates of Ernest Westlake's journey to Tasmania and Rebe Taylor's research notes.

These papers also include 2 lists of the Tasmanian sites from which Ernest Westlake collected his stone implements: a 3-page computer-generated list in alphabetical order and, significantly, a 6-page typed list in numercial order that was created by Henry Balfour between about 1923-1934.

The typed list includes Tasmanian sites from which Ernest Westlake collected stone implements, and gives a good indication of the places to which he travelled. The list is numbered 1-126 followed by 16 sites (mostly from Bruny Island) identified by the letter X, Y or Z (and mostly with an additional number). The last of these, 'Z.1-3,' are entitled 'Tasmania not located'.

These papers also include:

2 photocopied pages (numbered 494-495) from an unidentified book (a guide to archives?) that summarise the Westlake Papers among other archival collections in the Pitt Rivers Museum.

A 1-page typed list of microfilms kept in the Bodleian Library that includes the 4 Accession Books of the Westlake Collection ['Collections IX' and 'Collections X'] and 35mm negatives of Ernest Westlake's diaries and letters created in 1965. These are most likely the 'photo copies' that Rhys Jones mentions having seen in his letter of 3 May 1966, which is included in this Series.

16 photocopied pages (which are numbered 62-94; only the even numbers are included) from 'Collections X', the fourth Accession Book of the Westlake Collection [WEST00341, Series 13, Collections IX Westlake 1-3, Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford, Westlake Collection, Related Documents, Pitt Rivers Museum]).

Further notes and cross references:

Ernest Westlake’s letter to Aubrey and Margaret Westlake of 25 December 1909 fits chronologically with his letters in: [WEST00024, ‘Correspondence from Ernest Westlake: September 1909 - February 1910’, Series 2, Pitt Rivers Museum Manuscript Collections, Westlake Papers].

Aubrey Westlake’s letters to T. K. Penniman of 1939-1940 follow the death of Henry Balfour in 1939 when T. K. Penniman, Balfour’s successor, wrote to Aubrey Westlake to request information about the Westlake Collection. These letters fit chronologically with:[images 18-19, WEST00012, letter to T. K. Penniman from the Manager of the Westminster Bank Oxford, 8 May 1939 and images 20-21, WEST00012, letter to T. K. Penniman from Aubrey Westlake, 23 January 1940, 'Aubrey Westlake Correspondence: Tasmanian Collection, 1923-1976', Series 2, Pitt Rivers Museum Manuscript Collections, Westlake Papers].

Aubrey Westlake's letter to T. K. Penniman of 7 November 1939 quotes, at length, a letter from Henry Balfour of 3 April 1934 explaining how he has organised the Westlake Collection into localities, creating a list and numbering each implement [this letter is kept with letters to Henry Balfour from Aubrey Westlake, 1923-1929, Westlake Papers, Oxford Natural History Museum].

When Rhys Jones wrote to Derek Roe in 1966 he was in the early stages of his doctoral research on Aboriginal sites in the north-west of Tasmania, enrolled at the University of Sydney [Rhys Jones, 1971].

Jones’ letter refers to a list of Ernest Westlake’s collecting sites and a set of 'photo copies' of the Tasmanian stone tools in the Westlake Collection. These ‘photo copies’ are possibly the 'reels' in the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, that include images from 4 Accession Books of the Westlake Collection as well as Ernest Westlake's diaries and letters. (2 lists of Westlake’s collecting sites, and a list of the ‘reels’ are listed above).

The typed list of Ernest Westlake's collecting sites was kept originally in a sleeve at the back of the volume 'Collections IX' (in which the first three of the 4 accession books of Westlake Collection are bound). The site numbers on the list correspond with the sites in the accession books, although Roman numerals are used in the latter (with the exception of the 16 sites identified by a letter). Henry Balfour also recorded Roman numerals on each of the stone implements.

This list also corresponds to numbers on the lists of plates and the map-overlay that accompany Henry Balfour's unpublished paper ‘Stone Implements of the Natives of Tasmania’ [WEST00334, ‘Stone Implements of the Natives of Tasmania’, Series 14, Manuscript Collections Pitt Rivers Museum, Balfour Papers; WEST00340, Series 11, 'Map of Tasmania with an overlay of the collection sites for the Westlake collection of stone implements', Manuscript Collections Pitt Rivers Museum, Balfour Papers; and WEST00339, ‘Plates of the Westlake Collection of stone implements by Henry Balfour’, Manuscript Collections Pitt Rivers Museum, Balfour Papers].

Creator Pitt Rivers Museum (1884- )
Control 1934.83 - 86 #2
Date range 1909? - 2000?    Quantity 0.7 cm, 1 plastic sleave
Formats General Correspondence, News Clippings, Loose Notes and Photocopied Documents
Inventory Identifier WEST00338 Box Number RRF Series 13
Collections IX Westlake 1-3, Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford
1. Tasmanian Stone Implements, Collection No. 1934.83
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This is the first of 4 Accession Books of the Westlake Collection created by former Pitt Rivers Museum Curator Henry Balfour from about 1923 to about 1939. This Guide has treated each of the 4 books as a unique entity, although Books 1-3 are bound in 'Collections IX'. Book 4 is bound in 'Collections X'. This description applies to all 4 Accession Books. Its detail reflects the complexity of Henry Balfour's categorical system.

Further notes and cross references:

These Accession Books correspond to Henry Balfour's 6-page typed list of sites in the Westlake Collection [images 27-32, WEST00338, 'Tasmanian Collection: Related Documents. 1934.83 - 86, part 2', Series 13, Pitt Rivers Museum]; and to his unpublished paper with accompanying map and plates: [WEST00334, ‘Stone Implements of the Natives of Tasmania’, Series 14, Manuscript Collections Pitt Rivers Museum, Balfour Papers; WEST00340, 'Map of Tasmania with an overlay of the collection sites for the Westlake collection of stone implements', Series 11, Manuscript Collections Pitt Rivers Museum, Balfour Papers; and WEST00339, ‘Plates of the Westlake Collection of stone implements by Henry Balfour’, Series 14, Manuscript Collections Pitt Rivers Museum, Balfour Papers].

Descriptions of this list and manuscript offer important additional information about Henry Balfour's work on the Westlake Collection. [See: WEST00338, 'Tasmanian Collection: Related Documents. 1934.83 - 86, part 2' , Series 13; and WEST00334, ‘Stone Implements of the Natives of Tasmania’, Series 14, in Rebe Taylor, with Michael Jones and Gavan McCarthy, Stories in Stone: an annotated history and guide to the collections and papers of Ernest Westlake (1855-1922), The University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre, 2012].

Henry Balfour organised his 4 books into approximately 142 Tasmanian sites from which Ernest Westlake collected, giving each site (in his 4 Accession Books) a Roman numeral. Henry Balfour recorded Roman numerals on each of the implements in red ink to identify their original locality. As there are over 12,000 stone implements in the Westlake Collection, many implements presumably share the same number.

In a letter of 7 January 1934 Henry Balfour explained to Aubrey Westlake that: ‘Every implement has a number which refers to its exact locality (where known) and... a list of the localities is printed with the corresponding number’. [Image 70, WEST00355, Letter to Aubrey Westlake from Henry Balfour, 7 January 1934, 'Correspondence: French Collection 1923-1993 part 1', Westlake Archive, Oxford Natural History Museum]. [Also quoted in: [images 12-14, WEST00338, Letter to T. K. Penniman from Aubrey Westlake, 7 November 1939, 'Tasmanian Collection: Related Documents. 1934.83 - 86, part 2', Series 13, Westlake Collection Related Documents File 1934.83-86, Pitt Rivers Museum]

This list of localities gives a good indication of where Ernest Westlake travelled in Tasmania. As there are no notebooks in which Westlake might have detailed what implements he collected in Tasmania (that can now be located, or to which Henry Balfour referred) it can only be assumed that Henry Balfour organised the Westlake Collection using notes and labels [such as those found in WEST00337, ‘Labels and accompanying notes for the Westlake stone tool collection’, Series 13, Westake Collection Related Documents files 1934. 83 - 86, Pitt Rivers Museum].

Henry Balfour further categorised the implements within each collection site according to his typological descriptions. For example, in collection site XXVII, Swanport (Collections IX, Book 1, page 158) there are 4 ‘rough chopper scrapers with more or less flat backs and bevelled cutting edges’.

Henry Balfour also sketched many implements in the Accession Books, seemingly working from a traced outline which he then detailed to show the worked edge/s. (Henry Balfour also illustrated 131 of the implements in fine detail for his unpublished paper 'Stone Implements of the Natives of Tasmania', [WEST00339, ‘Plates of the Westlake Collection of stone implements by Henry Balfour’, Manuscript Collections Pitt Rivers Museum, Balfour Papers].).

After Henry Balfour's death in 1939, the 4 Accession Books were numbered 1934.83, 1934.84, 1934.85 and 1934.86. Further, each implement was given an individual number. Implements in Book 1 were given the prefix 1934.83 and then numbered from 1 in running order. Implements in Book 2 were given the prefix 1934.84 and also numbered from 1, and so forth. These numbers were added in pencil next to Henry Balfour’s typological descriptions so, for example, his 4 ‘rough chopper scrapers with irregular sharp back and coarsely bevelled edge’ in collection site XXVII (Accession Book 1, Volume IX, page 158) were given the numbers 1934.83.1284-1287.

These numbers were entered into the Pitt Rivers Museum's electronic catalogue in 2001. They were not recorded on the stone implements themselves.

Some of Henry Balfour's descriptions of the implements in the Accession Books have, in brackets, the words ‘kept’ or ‘not kept’ next to them, most likely written by Henry Balfour. Aubrey Westlake wrote that Henry Balfour had planned to divide the Westlake Collection into 'type sets' to sell to other museums, but that he would keep 'the best and most representative' implements in Oxford'. [Images 10-11, WEST00338, letter to T. K. Penniman from Aubrey Westlake, 4 May 1939, 'Tasmanian Collection: Related Documents. 1934.83 - 86, part 2', Series 13, Westlake Collection Related Documents file 1934. 83-86, Pitt Rivers Museum].

This plan was never executed and T. K Penniman confirmed it would not go ahead. [Image 16, WEST00338, letter to Aubrey Westlake from T. K. Penniman, 9 November 1939, 'Tasmanian Collection: Related Documents. 1934.83 - 86, part 2', Series 13, Westlake Collection Related Documents file 1934. 83-86, Pitt Rivers Museum]. The implements marked by Henry Balfour as 'not kept' have accession numbers with a 1934 prefix and it seems likely these implements are still in the collection.

Creator Pitt Rivers Museum (1884- )
Control Collections [ 9] IX #1
Date range c. 1923 - c. 1938    Quantity 2 cm, 1 volume (part 1)
Formats Register, Illustrations, Notebooks and Sketches
Inventory Identifier WEST00341 Box Number RRC Series 13
Collections IX Westlake 1-3, Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford
2. Tasmanian Stone Implements, Collection No. 1934.83
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This is Accession Book 2 of the Westlake Collection, created by Henry Balfour; pages 169-456 in the bound volume 'Collections IX'.

For a detailed description, see: WEST00341, ‘Collections IX Westlake 1-3, Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford’, Series 13, in Rebe Taylor, with Michael Jones and Gavan McCarthy, Stories in Stone: an annotated history and guide to the collections and papers of Ernest Westlake (1855-1922), The University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre, 2012.

Creator Pitt Rivers Museum (1884- )
Control Collections [ 9] IX #2
Date range c. 1923 - c. 1938    Quantity 2 cm, 1 volume (part 2)
Formats Register, Illustrations, Notebooks and Sketches
Inventory Identifier WEST00342 Box Number RRC Series 13
Collections IX Westlake 1-3, Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford
3. Tasmanian Stone Implements, Collection No. 1934.83
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This is Accession Book 3 of the Westlake Collection, created by Henry Balfour; pages 458-860 in the bound volume 'Collections IX'.

For a detailed description, see: WEST00341, ‘Collections IX Westlake 1-3, Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford’, Series 13, in Rebe Taylor, with Michael Jones and Gavan McCarthy, Stories in Stone: an annotated history and guide to the collections and papers of Ernest Westlake (1855-1922), The University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre, 2012.

Creator Pitt Rivers Museum (1884- )
Control Collections [ 9] IX #3
Date range c. 1923 - c. 1938    Quantity 2 cm, 1 volume (part 3)
Formats Register, Illustrations, Notebooks and Sketches
Inventory Identifier WEST00343 Box Number RRC Series 13
Collections X Westlake 4, Wood, Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford
4. Tasmanian Stone Implements, Collection No. 1934.83
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This is Accession Book 4 of the Westlake Collection, created by Henry Balfour, bound volume 'Collections X'.

For a detailed description, see: WEST00341, ‘Collections IX Westlake 1-3, Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford’, Series 13, in Rebe Taylor, with Michael Jones and Gavan McCarthy, Stories in Stone: an annotated history and guide to the collections and papers of Ernest Westlake (1855-1922), The University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre, 2012.

Creator Pitt Rivers Museum (1884- )
Control Collections [10] X #1
Date range c. 1923 - c. 1938    Quantity 2 cm, 1 volume (first part)
Formats Register, Illustrations, Notebooks and Sketches
Inventory Identifier WEST00344 Box Number RRC Series 13

Published by the The University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre and the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, August 2010
Listed by Rebe Taylor, with Michael Jones and Gavan McCarthy
HTML edition
Updated 14 February 2017
http://web.esrc.unimelb.edu.au/WEST/WESS13.htm

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