Hunters and Collectors is about historical consciousness and environmental sensibilities in European Australia from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. It is in part a collective biography of amateur antiquarians, archaeologists, naturalists, journalists and historians: people who shaped the Australian historical imagination. Dr Griffiths illuminates the way these avid collectors and investigators of the Australian land and of its indigenous inhabitants contributed a sense of identity at colony-wide and eventually nationwide level. He also considers the rise of professional history, anthropology and archaeology in the universities, which ignored the efforts of the amateurs. Griffiths shows how the seemingly trivial activities of these hunters and collectors feed into the political and environmental debates of the 1990s. This book is outstanding in its originality, interpretative insight, and literary flair.
Tom Griffiths (Sir Robert Menzies Centre for Australian Studies)
Cambridge University Pres
Country of Publication:
Series: Studies in Australian History
01 April 1996
Professional and scholarly
Part I. Collection: 1. Hunting culture; 2. Victorian skulduggery; 3. The stone age; 4. The nuclear family; Part II. Possession: 5. Past silences; 6. The natural history of Melbourne; 7. Land rites; 8. Journeys to the centre; Part III. Preservation: 9. The discipline of memory; 10. Keeping places; 11. Progress through preservation; 12. History and natural history; Epilogue.
Reviews for Hunters and Collectors: The Antiquarian Imagination in Australia
Review of the hardback: '... Griffiths breaks some fascinating ground in this thought provoking and engaging study of private Australian collectors ...' The Australian Review of the hardback: '... is a challenging, imaginative study of the politics and processes that continue to shape our history. While aimed at a specialist audience, the writing is lucid enough to appeal to the general reader'. The Bulletin
- Winner of Ernest Scott Prize for History 1997
- Winner of Ernest Scott Prize for History 1997.