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University of Wollongong Australia

History of the Library: Donations

An archive of the historical milestones reached by UOW Library since 1972 in words and pictures

Passmore Philosophy Collection

John Arthur Passmore AC (1914 – 2004) was one of Australia’s pre-eminent philosophers, a major figure in the history of ideas and one of the first to give shape to the field of ‘applied philosophy’.

In 1988 he provided an initial donation of books from his personal and working library. Following his death in 2004, his family offered the remainder of his library to UOW.

The books are a valuable addition of around 2000 items in the areas of philosophy, ethics, logic, moral thought and the history of thought.

The Passmore Collection provides an indication of the eclectic nature of his interests and supplements his personal papers and writings that have been donated to the National Library of Australia.

Image capture of original story in UOW News (9 Feb 2006)

Year Title
1934 T.S. Eliot, Literary Society, University of Sydney
1951 Ralph Cudworth, Cambridge University Press
1952 Hume's intentions, Cambridge University Press
1957 A hundred years of philosophy, Duckworth and Co
1961 Philosophy reasoning, Duckworth and Co
1965 Introduction to Joseph Priestly, Collier Books
1970 The perfectibility of man, Duckworth and Co
1974 Man's responsibility to nature, Duckworth and Co
1978 Science and its critics, Rutgers University Press
1980 The philosophy of teaching, Duckworth and Co
1985 Recent philosophers, Duckworth and Co
1991 Serious art, Duckworth and Co
1997 Memoirs of a semi-detached Australian, Melbourne University Press
1914 Born 9 September, Manly NSW
1918-1928 Attended Manly Public School
1929-1930 Attended Sydney Boys' High School
1931-1934 Studied at University of Sydney, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts, first class honours in Philosophy and English literature
1935-1949 Successively Tutor, Lecturer, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Sydney
1950-1954 Professor of Philosophy at Otago University, Dunedin, New Zealand
1955 Reader of Philosophy, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University
1959 Professor of Philosophy, Australian National University
1965 Awarded the Mackie Medal by the Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science
1967-1970 Visiting Scholar, Institute of Education, London
1971 Visiting Fellow, Clare Hall, Cambridge, United Kingdom
1974 Honorary Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Science
1974-1977 President of the Australian Academy of Humanities
1976 Gauss Lecturer, Princeton University
1978 Visiting Fellow, All Souls College, Oxford
1979 Foreign Member of the Royal Danish Academy of Science and Letters
1980 Tanner Lecturer, Cambridge University
1980-1982 University Fellow in History of Ideas, Australian National University
1981 Boyer Lecturer for the ABC, presenting a series of discussions on the limits of government
1985-1991 Visiting Distinguished Professor and General Editor, Bertrand Russell Project, McMaster University, Canada
1992 Honorary Graduate, University of Wollongong
1993 Awarded the Order of Australia for his contribution to philosophy
1995-2004 Visiting Fellow in History and Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, Australian National University

Australia at the time of the First Fleet — The voyage of Governor Phillip

The Voyage of Governor Phillip to Botany Bay: With an Account of the Establishment of the Colonies of Port Jackson and Norfolk Island is one of the first substantial works published in Australia’s European history.

Researchers now have the opportunity to study an original early volume, recently restored for UOW Library and now housed in the Rare Books Collection. “It’s a rare and significant work, which is deserving of preservation and in this instance we’ve been able to do that”, said Susan Jones, UOW Archivist.

Originally published in 1789, this firsthand account of the convict colony in Sydney also offers a glimpse into the lives of Indigenous Australians, the local landscapes, and Australia’s native flora and fauna.

First Fleet journals such as this were an important means of reporting back to England. The authors, contemporaries of Governor Arthur Phillip, documented details of the colony, and one of the first things they did was look around and start to record the animals, the bird life and other elements of the local environment.

As one of the very first published accounts of Australian flora and fauna, the illustrations in The Voyage of Governor Phillip formed a noteworthy addition to the annals of science.

When Mr Barry Becarevic donated The Voyage of Governor Phillip to UOW, as is often the case with antiquarian volumes, it was in dire need of restoration. The leather cover showed signs of deterioration, and the pages were affected by mould and water damage.

Multi-award winning bookbinder Barbara Schmelzer was entrusted with the restoration. She meticulously assessed and bathed individual pages to stabilise them, and inserted a special, lightweight paper between the illustrations to preserve them.

The painstaking restoration process retained as much of the original material as possible, including the leather cover and parts of the spine that had remained intact. Barbara recreated missing parts with the same style and materials, and finally the book was rebound and ready for display.


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