Spencer & Gillen

A journey through Aboriginal Australia

Letter from Spencer to Mary 'May' Howitt


Page 1

National Museum Melbourne 25.1.18

My dear Miss Howitt,
Very many thanks for your letter & also for the enclosure of the "nardoo". I think that in a short paper which I have been writing & a copy of which you will receive when it is published I have been able to settle once and for all the identity of nardoo. Very many thanks also for your kindness in offering me the use of Dr. Howitt's ms. material relating to the Burke & Wills Expedition.I must confess that when you said that the ultimate destination of this was to be the Mitchell Library I received rather a severe shock. The Burke and Wills Expedition was entirely organised and financed in Victoria: the

Page 2

"Howitt Contingent Expedition" was the same. In the Public Library of Victoria we have not only a very complete collection of all works relating to this Exploration of Australia but, apart from such ms. material as you may have of Dr Howitt's, - all the records of the Burke & Wills Expedition. Do you know that we have all of his original despatches - his journals - the original ones in his own writing & also his 'chart'. He was a Public Servant of Victoria - the most distinguished one that we have had. All the expenses of his expedition were paid by Victoria & I must confess that it would to me & I think to the public of Victoria be a great disappointment if the whole of is work were not deposited in the Public Library in Melbourne - if you will excuse me saying so I think that, whilst of course you must decide the question, - it belongs rightly to Victoria & not to New South Wales.

Yours very sincerely

W. Baldwin Spencer.

Rights: State Library of Victoria

Document Details

Date Made

Document Details

Letter From
Sir, Spencer, Walter Baldwin
Letter To
Howitt, Mary ‘May’
Number of Pages




State Library of Victoria