FOR PNG, REPORTS from government patrols represent a major source of primary information on the pre-independence era.
Patrol officers and other officials wrote detailed documents reporting on all aspects of the work carried out by patrols.
These documents give first hand accounts on many events - first contacts, censuses, tax collection, healthcare, courts, agriculture, missions, anthropology and tribal warfare, to name just a few.
The library of the University of California, San Diego reports that it has acquired extensive microform sets of these reports and accompanying materials in its Melanesian Studies Resource Centre.
These documents include files of correspondence, journals and patrol reports of British New Guinea and Papuan outstations from 1890-1941 and Papua and New Guinea patrol reports from 1922-55.
The Library notes that microfiche versions of these documents may be purchased directly PNG’s National Archives (PO Box 1089, Boroko).
It’s good to know that this is one aspect of the Australian legacy in PNG that it is still valued and making a productive contribution.
Spotter: Assoc Prof Martin Hadlow