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There’s an archive in that tunnel

By johnboy - 6 January 2014 34

The ABC has a fascinating story of the Noel Butlin Archives at ANU which is built into the space we know of as the Parkes Way tunnel:

More than 30 years ago a hidden bunker was constructed above the Parkes Way tunnel on the Australian National University (ANU) campus.

ANU archivist Maggie Shapley says the two-storey structure disguised inside the hill includes the Noel Butlin Archives Centre.

“There’s 20 kilometres of records in that structure so that is certainly something to think about when you are driving through,” she said.

“It might look like a very utilitarian building but it in fact holds some of Australia’s historic treasures.”

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34 Responses to
There’s an archive in that tunnel
Gungahlin Al 9:18 am 07 Jan 14

Masquara: amazing but not extraordinary. Unfortunately history is littered with such examples of near horizon-ism.

Gungahlin Al 9:17 am 07 Jan 14

Roundhead89 said :

It’s a pity they haven’t given their climate change records the same treatment and dumped the scientists who produced that drivel into that dumpster as well.

Roundhead > flat Earth. Back to 2UE you go.

c_c™ 12:20 am 07 Jan 14

Primal said :

HiddenDragon said :

Yes – I think there have been other stories about it on the ABC or in the CT, so not exactly a highly classified national secret.

Yes, it’s only the superbunker under LBG that they don’t like us mentioning…

Get you’re facts straight, the bunker’s under Mt Ainslie. LBG is where they hid the Minutemen silo, why else would they have the West-German engineers design a dam that can drain the lake in less than 15mins?

Primal 12:11 am 07 Jan 14

HiddenDragon said :

Yes – I think there have been other stories about it on the ABC or in the CT, so not exactly a highly classified national secret.

Yes, it’s only the superbunker under LBG that they don’t like us mentioning…

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 9:40 pm 06 Jan 14

Masquara said :

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

Masquara said :

The ANU didn’t mention, did they that the ANU managers made the decision to put an entire economics history library (formed under the aegis of Noel Butlin, and with materials from the 1790s to the 1980s) into a dumpster in 1999? Hmmm, thought they wouldn’t. Not even scanned for posterity. Academics managed to rescue much of the archive for their personal libraries, but it was criminal behavior on the part of the ANU.

You got a source on that?

The remains of the collection fitted in a dumpster only because a handful of academics had room in their libraries to accomodate a partial rescue. I can name two of the academics who rescued around 100 shelf metres of the material, but obviously don’t wish to without their permission. The ANU appears to have wiped the episode from their records. A distressed manager put out a call for the rescue (this was happening at the same time as the ANU got rid of the Coombs Building’s purpose built outdoor wooden furniture and replaced it with plastic). The range of material was amazing – eg the 1862 Census still wrapped in brown paper and tied up with string; state yearbooks going back to the 1860s; hundreds and hundreds of Commonwealth records including early water records; lists of property owners going back again to the 1850s; soldier settler allocation lists; property issue transcriptions; old maps; travelling stock route records and maps; economics journals (full sets); Indigenous records from state governments; early legislation bound in hide; court proceedings involving pearl diving in the Top End, including Japanese pearl divers’ testimony; WWII original documents around Defence funding. It was a very, very distressing matter and a savage loss, and I’m not surprised the ANU doesn’t like to recall it. This also occurred at the same time Sydney University slashed its library funding, so no doubt the resource was the casualty of a similar funding dispute – new managerialists versus the worthies. The worthies lost.

I agree, disgusting…if true.

Again, source?

Masquara 8:13 pm 06 Jan 14

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

Masquara said :

The ANU didn’t mention, did they that the ANU managers made the decision to put an entire economics history library (formed under the aegis of Noel Butlin, and with materials from the 1790s to the 1980s) into a dumpster in 1999? Hmmm, thought they wouldn’t. Not even scanned for posterity. Academics managed to rescue much of the archive for their personal libraries, but it was criminal behavior on the part of the ANU.

You got a source on that?

The remains of the collection fitted in a dumpster only because a handful of academics had room in their libraries to accomodate a partial rescue. I can name two of the academics who rescued around 100 shelf metres of the material, but obviously don’t wish to without their permission. The ANU appears to have wiped the episode from their records. A distressed manager put out a call for the rescue (this was happening at the same time as the ANU got rid of the Coombs Building’s purpose built outdoor wooden furniture and replaced it with plastic). The range of material was amazing – eg the 1862 Census still wrapped in brown paper and tied up with string; state yearbooks going back to the 1860s; hundreds and hundreds of Commonwealth records including early water records; lists of property owners going back again to the 1850s; soldier settler allocation lists; property issue transcriptions; old maps; travelling stock route records and maps; economics journals (full sets); Indigenous records from state governments; early legislation bound in hide; court proceedings involving pearl diving in the Top End, including Japanese pearl divers’ testimony; WWII original documents around Defence funding. It was a very, very distressing matter and a savage loss, and I’m not surprised the ANU doesn’t like to recall it. This also occurred at the same time Sydney University slashed its library funding, so no doubt the resource was the casualty of a similar funding dispute – new managerialists versus the worthies. The worthies lost.

Masquara 7:52 pm 06 Jan 14

c_c™ said :

Masquara said :

The ANU didn’t mention, did they that the ANU managers made the decision to put an entire economics history library (formed under the aegis of Noel Butlin, and with materials from the 1790s to the 1980s) into a dumpster in 1999? Hmmm, thought they wouldn’t. Not even scanned for posterity. Academics managed to rescue much of the archive for their personal libraries, but it was criminal behavior on the part of the ANU.

If the entire economics history library fit ‘into a dumpster’ then it can’t have been that extensive a collection.

It was a big collection. An entire library – occupied three rooms at the Coombs building.

HiddenDragon 6:15 pm 06 Jan 14

HipBookfairy said :

“Well it’s not so hidden now, is it.”

It was never intended to be actually hidden. It just happens to be where you can’t see it. The tunnel contains loads of valuable material that users can no longer consult in the library, but have to request for it to be brought out.

Yes – I think there have been other stories about it on the ABC or in the CT, so not exactly a highly classified national secret.

poetix 5:31 pm 06 Jan 14

Mmmm…Was this built before or after the English holiday camps?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butlins

Perhaps there are ghostly cries of ‘Bingo’ and conga lines every night.

Thumper should investigate.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 5:28 pm 06 Jan 14

Masquara said :

The ANU didn’t mention, did they that the ANU managers made the decision to put an entire economics history library (formed under the aegis of Noel Butlin, and with materials from the 1790s to the 1980s) into a dumpster in 1999? Hmmm, thought they wouldn’t. Not even scanned for posterity. Academics managed to rescue much of the archive for their personal libraries, but it was criminal behavior on the part of the ANU.

You got a source on that?

Roundhead89 5:24 pm 06 Jan 14

c_c™ said :

Masquara said :

The ANU didn’t mention, did they that the ANU managers made the decision to put an entire economics history library (formed under the aegis of Noel Butlin, and with materials from the 1790s to the 1980s) into a dumpster in 1999? Hmmm, thought they wouldn’t. Not even scanned for posterity. Academics managed to rescue much of the archive for their personal libraries, but it was criminal behavior on the part of the ANU.

If the entire economics history library fit ‘into a dumpster’ then it can’t have been that extensive a collection.

It’s a pity they haven’t given their climate change records the same treatment and dumped the scientists who produced that drivel into that dumpster as well.

HipBookfairy 5:19 pm 06 Jan 14

“Well it’s not so hidden now, is it.”

It was never intended to be actually hidden. It just happens to be where you can’t see it. The tunnel contains loads of valuable material that users can no longer consult in the library, but have to request for it to be brought out.

c_c™ 5:14 pm 06 Jan 14

Masquara said :

The ANU didn’t mention, did they that the ANU managers made the decision to put an entire economics history library (formed under the aegis of Noel Butlin, and with materials from the 1790s to the 1980s) into a dumpster in 1999? Hmmm, thought they wouldn’t. Not even scanned for posterity. Academics managed to rescue much of the archive for their personal libraries, but it was criminal behavior on the part of the ANU.

If the entire economics history library fit ‘into a dumpster’ then it can’t have been that extensive a collection.

Masquara 5:00 pm 06 Jan 14

The ANU didn’t mention, did they that the ANU managers made the decision to put an entire economics history library (formed under the aegis of Noel Butlin, and with materials from the 1790s to the 1980s) into a dumpster in 1999? Hmmm, thought they wouldn’t. Not even scanned for posterity. Academics managed to rescue much of the archive for their personal libraries, but it was criminal behavior on the part of the ANU.

Solidarity 4:00 pm 06 Jan 14

Well it’s not so hidden now, is it.

Thanks ABC.

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