History of the UOW Archives
In 1968 Jim Hagan and Ross Duncan of the University's Department of History initiated the process of building a collection of source materials to support research in the department. This collection was initially housed off-campus in storage space at the K-Mart shopping centre in Warrawong.
In 1972 the Warrawong repository was partially flooded and the records were subsequently moved to the basement of Wollongong City Council's Kenny Street car park in Wollongong, where they remained until 1984.
It was understandably not desirable that the collection be housed off-campus, away from archives staff and users. After 1976 suitable storage space within the Library and also the Pentagon (now the Communications Centre) was eventually secured.
1973 saw the appointment of Baiba Irving as the first full-time Archives Officer (later Archivist). The following year the Kenny Street repository became operational and the task of acquiring University records began. An official Archives Policy was proclaimed by University Council, on 1 January 1975, and an additional Archivist, Ken Smith, appointed.
In 1976 the founding staff departed and the Archives was designated a section of the University Library. Laurie Dillon was appointed Archivist during that year and an office was established in the Library, thus providing a campus presence for the Unit.
In 1977 John Shipp was appointed Assistant Archivist and a full-time administrative assistant was also secured to assist with listing and indexing the collections. In 1979 the Archives office was expanded to provide a secure research room and enhanced work and storage areas.
When Laurie Dillon left Wollongong University in 1980 to take up a position as foundation Archivist of the University of New South Wales, John Shipp assumed the role of University Archivist. In 1986 he was appointed University Librarian, though he continued to act as University Archivist until 1987 when Annabel Lloyd was appointed to the position. A period of consolidation of the holdings then occurred. Compactus storage was provided within the Library following building extensions.
Ms Lloyd resigned in 1992 and the Archives was without an archivist for a period, until Patrick Brownlee was appointed temporary Archivist-in-training during 1993. During this period storage space was lost in the Pentagon (Communications Centre) due to building alterations.
In February 1995 Michael Organ was appointed Archivist, then Susan Jones in 2002; adopting the role for almost 13 years! The current Archivist since 2015 is Kerry Ross.
Throughout its long history, the University of Wollongong Archives has played an important role in assisting the various research and teaching programs of the University, along with serving the interests of the local community and external students. It continues to play a multi-faceted role, whilst adhering to the tenets of the Collection Policy enunciated by Council in 1982.