C.H Currey Memorial Fellowships

For the writing of Australian history from original sources, preferably making use of the State Library's resources.

The C. H. Currey Memorial Fellowship was established in 1974 by the Library Council of New South Wales under the terms of the bequest of the late Dr Charles Herbert Currey, a well-known Australian historian who was conscious of the needs of research workers not supported by grants from institutions such as universities.

Applying for a Fellowship

2015 applications now closed.

Hail Fellows, well met: A night with the Library Fellows

Library fellows present a fascinating night of learnign about a diverse range of reseach ideas.

CH Currey Fellow 2010

Rachel Standfield, C.H. Currey Fellow 2010

Rachel Standfield examines the career of William Thomas, Assistant Protector and Guardian of Aborigines in Victoria from 1839 to 1860. Thomas's role was crucial in the development and implementation of policies to manage relations with Indigenous people in colonial Victoria.

16 November 2011


Dr Ruth Pullin, C.H. Curry Memorial Fellow 2009

Ruth Pullin discusses Eugène von Guérard's beautiful sketchbooks, which can be read as diaries as much as visual records.

29 September 2010



Dr Mark Dunn for his project, Civilised or Savage?: the colonial legacy of Robert and Helenus Scott.


Dr Gianfranco Cresciani, for his project: Italian Communists in Sydney: their activities, policies and liaison with the Italian and Communist Parties, 1970-1990.


Dr Christine Jennett, Saving the Gurindji – the story of the Sydney-based support campaign for the Gurindji peoples struggle for equal pay and land rights 1966-75. This project will explore the Library’s collections to document the rise and subsequent role played by the "Save the Gurindji Campaign" (later the Curindji Campaign) by consulting the papers of Dr Hannah Middleton, an anthropologist who conducted field work at Wattie Creek / Dugargu placement at Wattie Creek in 1970.


Dr Kyle Harvey for his project is 'A history of the Australian anti-nuclear movement, 1965-2000'. He will make extensive use of the Library’s substantial archives on this subject to produce a thorough examination of the diverse array of anti-nuclear activity which began to emerge in Australia shortly after the Second World War.


Dr Angela Dunstan for her project Celebrity circuits: the impact and influence of celebrity visitors to nineteenth century Australia. This project looks at the relationship between 19th century Australia and the celebrities who visited its shores.

Scholarly articles and conference papers by Angela arising from research supported by the C. H. Currey Fellowship  include:

‘The Shelley Society and the Global Circulation of English Literature and Scholarly Practice’, Modern Language Quarterly (accepted 10 July 2012, forthcoming March 2014).

‘“These Bad Times for Sculpture”: The Shifting Value of Victorian Sculpture in the International Marketplace’, presented at ‘Victorian Value’, the British Association for Victorian Studies annual conference, Sheffield University, United Kingdom, August 2012.

‘“The Grammar of Art”: Victorian Vocabularies and Aesthetics in Thomas Woolner’s Letters and Forgotten Royal Academy Lectures’, presented at ‘Victorian Vocabularies’, Australasian Victorian Studies Association annual conference, Griffith University, Australia, April 2012.

'The Shelley Society, the Periodical Press and the “Scientific” Study of English Literature from London to the Antipodes’, invited paper for one day symposium ‘Lessons from the Past’, jointly held by University of New England and University of Wollongong, Australia, May 2012.


Dr Anne-Maree Whitaker for her project: ‘The librarian as historian: Hugh Wright, C.H. Bertie and their circle’. This project will examine the careers as librarians, historians and collaborators of Hugh Wright, first Mitchell Librarian (1909-1932), and Charles Henry Bertie, first City of Sydney Librarian (1909-1939).


Dr Rachel Standfield for her project, Protection, politics and persistence: the colonial career of William Thomas, 1839-1860. Thomas is an important figure in the history of early colonial indigenous interaction, because of his position and because of his extensive archive, held at the Library.

View Rachel's biography and references to published articles.


Dr Ruth Pullin for her project ‘Eugène von Guérard sketchbooks: An artist’s diary’. This project looks at the Dixson galleries’ 33 von Guérard sketchbooks. Dr Pullin’s project will explore how these interact with his overall oeuvre, and help define a genealogy for the creation of his major oils and lithographs, providing new evidence on his stylistic influences.


Jointly to Dr Nathan Garvey for research on Botany Bay and British popular literature, 1786-1840; and Mr Robert Holden for research on the ANZAC diaries in the Mitchell Library. 


Ms Eileen Chanin for research on David Scott Mitchell's bequest collection and the development of Australia's creative spirit.

In 2011 Eileen published Book life : the life and times of David Scott Mitchell / Eileen Chanin.


Dr Mark Hearn for research on the fin de siècle imagination in Australia, 1890-1914.


Dr Lisa Featherstone for research on a history of sexualities in 20th century Australia.


Mr Jock Given for research on a biography on Ernest Fisk and the AWA (Amalgamated Wireless Australasia) Papers.


Dr Sylvia Martin for research on a biography on Ida Leeson, Mitchell Librarian, 1932-1946.

Sylvia has since published Ida Leeson:a Life: Not a Blue-stocking Lady/ by Sylvia Martin.  Copies are held in Mitchell Library and State Reference Library. Registered NSW residents can also view it from home as an ebook.


Dr Judith Godden for biography of Lucy Osburn, pioneer of the nursing profession in Australia.

 Judith has since published Lucy Osburn, a lady displaced : Florence Nightingale's envoy to Australia / by Judith Godden.


Dr Sue Robinson for research on a biography of Australian composer Peggy Glanville-Hicks.


Dr Suzanne Rickard for researching on connections between colonial Australia and British India between 1788 and 1858.


Mr Isadore Wyner to research a history of the NSW branch of the Ship Painters and Dockers Union 1900-1930.


Jointly to Dr Peter Cochrane for research on the rise and fall of British Australia, a history of British identity in Australia from the colonial period to the late twentieth century; and Mr Barry Hill, to research and write a literary biography of anthropologist, linguist and poet T. G. H. Strehlow.

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