NLA Fellowship for Paul Diamond

15 September 2016: Māori Curator awarded National Library of Australia Fellowship

Alexander Turnbull Library's Māori Curator, Paul Diamond has been given an opportunity to enhance description of Māori collections at the National Library of Australia (NLA).

Paul was awarded a National Library of Australia Fellowship in early September, one of nine fellowships awards for 2017.

He says that a desire to foster Māori engagement with the Māori collections of the NLA underpins his project.

The NLA holds the collections of the late Rex Nan Kivell, an ex-pat New Zealander who collected books, paintings, prints, documents, manuscripts and artefacts relating to the history of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific.

Paul’s project will focus on Māori material within the Rex Nan Kivell Collection, but will also consider other Māori material from the NLA collections, with a particular focus on Māori language materials.

“Rex Nan Kivell and Alexander Horsburgh Turnbull were both passionate about historical material relating to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, and the information this could reveal. Both collectors have inspired enthusiasm among the custodians and researchers who’ve followed.” Paul says.

“Nan Kivell wanted his collection to be accessible for research and educational purposes in New Zealand. My fellowship project will support that desire and allow more Māori to be part of the ‘unending conversation’ that began when his collection was shared with the world,” he says.

Paul will be based at the library in Canberra for three months from April to June 2017.

Robyn Holmes, Secretary to the Library’s Fellowships Committee, says: “Paul was awarded this highly competitive research Fellowship on the strength of his scholarship and the depth of his knowledge of Māori language and culture.”

“His research and description will significantly improve people’s access to unique and largely hidden Māori materials that document historical encounters between Māori and Europeans,” Robyn says.

The fellowship highlights the significant commitment and cooperation between both national libraries to enhance cultural awareness and knowledge of rich indigenous collections held across the Tasman.


Darin To’o, Department of Internal Affairs,