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Archives Outside - For people who love, use and manage archives

On the Hunt for the Lost Threlkeld Manuscript

Gionni Di Gravio is University Archivist at the University of Newcastle

 An original manuscript Journal belonging to the late Reverend Lancelot Threlkeld, missionary to the Aborigines in the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie areas in the 1820s onward has been digitised and uploaded to the University of Newcastle’s Virtual Sourcebook for Aboriginal Studies in the Hunter Region.

We sincerely thank Mrs Marjorie Raven, great grand daughter of the late Reverend Threlkeld for her permission to publish this important Journal. We also thank her son Lindsay and grandson Blake for preparing the digital files on CDrom for us.

The original Journal which covers the period from December 1828 to around February 1846 is now lost, and presumably formed part of a series of Journal diaries. It originally was in the possession of an owner in Cattai. Prior to his death, the manuscript was lent to Mrs Raven, who then lent it to the Mitchell Library who digitised the full manuscript including additional papers belonging to Mrs Raven.

The Journal was then returned to the owner, and following his death, subsequently lost. Every avenue of locating it pursued by Mrs Raven has come to no avail causing great concern for the fate of such an important historical document to Hunter Region and the Australian nation.

Its importance to local indigenous and non indigenous researchers at the University and wider regional community is inestimable.

It is vitally important and urgent that we track down the original and ensure that it is preserved and stored in a proper archival temperature and humidity controlled environment. It therefore is greatly appreciated if anyone knowing the present whereabouts of the original could contact us on or 02 49215819.

Download the this Australian regional treasure here (note this is a very large file):    


   Threlkeld, L.E. (Lancelot Edward), 1788-1859. [Manuscript] A Journal Kept By Lancelot Edward Threlkeld. [65MB PDF]