About the Archives
ABM is most fortunate to have an extensive archive collection which reflects the wide ranging history of the organisation. It holds many records of ABM’s involvement and care of the Aboriginal people. Early records which belonged to the Gribble family show their care and commitment to the welfare of people from Forrest River Mission in Western Australia, Yarrabah and Palm Island in North Queensland. These are among the earliest records in the collection, some dating from the 1880s. The work of others in Papua New Guinea is also widely represented. To hold in one’s hand a letter written by one of the New Guinea martyrs to her parents telling them not to worry, is most moving. The work of the Auxiliary continues to add depth and context to their representation in the Archives.
But the Archives doesn’t only represent the past works of ABM, it also collects material of the present work being carried out. We continue to collect publications and photographs, as well as many other records which show what is being done and to be kept for future generations.
ABM Related Memorabilia
We are always glad to accept donations relating to ABM which allow us to broaden our knowledge of the organisation’s history. Maybe you have a relative who worked in PNG and are not sure of an appropriate home for their letters? Or perhaps you went on a pilgrimage as a young person and have your diary and impressions! If you think you might have some memorabilia which would interest us, please feel free to contact the Archives.
Accessing the Archives
The bulk of the ABM Archives are held at the State Library of New South Wales. They are available to view on request. You will need to fill in an ABM request form, and once we are satisfied, we will grant permission which can be presented to the Library.
The Archivist at ABM is only available on a Tuesday, but can be contacted by email. Please note that, as the Collection is held off site, researching is not able to be done quickly and it might take more than a few days to answer your request. We try to do so as quickly as we can.