Liberating lives: Invisible Australians and biographical networks

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Presented at the 'Life of Information' symposium, ANU, Canberra, 24 September 2010.

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Liberating lives: Invisible Australians and biographical networks

  1. 1. Liberating lives Invisible Australians and biographical networks Tim Sherratt @wragge www.invisibleaustralians.org
  2. 2. www.invisibleaustralians.org
  3. 3. Charlie Allen was born in Sydney in 1896. www.invisibleaustralians.org
  4. 4. His mother was Frances Allen (sometime sweet shop owner and brothel keeper), his father Charlie Gum (a buyer for Wing On company). www.invisibleaustralians.org
  5. 5. Charlie was raised by his mother, but in 1909, at the age of 13, he was taken to China by his father. www.invisibleaustralians.org
  6. 6. His father returned to Sydney, leaving Charlie in China. He lived with relatives in the town of Shekki (inland from Hong Kong) for 6 years. www.invisibleaustralians.org
  7. 7. Charlie was homesick, but had no means of getting back to Australia. His mother attempted to enlist government help but to no avail. Charlie finally returned in 1915. www.invisibleaustralians.org
  8. 8. The following year Charlie enlisted in First AIF (well actually he enlisted three times, and was discharged as medically unfit each time). www.invisibleaustralians.org
  9. 9. Charlie married in Sydney in 1917 and had two daughters soon after. He returned to China in 1922 for 7 months. www.invisibleaustralians.org
  10. 10. Charlie Allen died in 1938 as the result of an industrial accident. He was 41. www.invisibleaustralians.org
  11. 11. How do we know about Charlie Allen? www.invisibleaustralians.org
  12. 12. NAA: ST84/1, 1909/22/41-50 www.invisibleaustralians.org
  13. 13. NAA: ST84/1, 1909/22/41-50 www.invisibleaustralians.org
  14. 14. NAA: A1, 1911/13854 www.invisibleaustralians.org
  15. 15. NAA: B2455, ALLEN C A www.invisibleaustralians.org
  16. 16. NAA: SP42/1, C1922/4449 www.invisibleaustralians.org
  17. 17. NAA: ST84/1, 1909/22/41-50 www.invisibleaustralians.org
  18. 18. Between 1901 and 1911, 400 circulars were issued to port officers about immigration restriction. www.invisibleaustralians.org
  19. 19. The confidential manual on immigration restriction grew from one page in 1902 to more than 200 in 1912. www.invisibleaustralians.org
  20. 20. For the years between 1902 and 1948 there remain: ● More than 50,000 CEDTs ● 90 shelf metres of records ● 15,000 case files www.invisibleaustralians.org
  21. 21. What changes when we examine the world through the collected fragments of knowledge that we can recover about a single person, reorganised as a biographical narrative, rather than as part of an archival system? – Tim Hitchcock www.invisibleaustralians.org
  22. 22. http://www.invisibleaustralians.org www.invisibleaustralians.org
  23. 23. NAA: ST84/1, 1909/22/41-50 www.invisibleaustralians.org
  24. 24. ● Crowdsourced data extraction ● 50,000+ CEDTs ● Other files ● Match identities ● Eeek! http://www.invisibleaustralians.org www.invisibleaustralians.org
  25. 25. Pauline Ah Hee, 1906. NAA: ST84/1, 1906/111-120 www.invisibleaustralians.org
  26. 26. Pauline Ah Hee, 1906. NAA: ST84/1, 1906/111-120 www.invisibleaustralians.org
  27. 27. Choy Hing family including their adopted daughter, Pauline Ah Hee, 1906. NAA: SP244/2, N1950/2/4918 www.invisibleaustralians.org
  28. 28. Pauline Ah Hee, 1906. NAA: SP244/2, N1950/2/4918 www.invisibleaustralians.org
  29. 29. Pauline Ah Hee, 1921. NAA: SP244/2, N1950/2/4918 www.invisibleaustralians.org
  30. 30. Pauline Ah Hee, 1926. NAA: SP244/2, N1950/2/4918 www.invisibleaustralians.org
  31. 31. Pauline Ah Hee, c. 1950. NAA: A659, 1950/1/1954 www.invisibleaustralians.org
  32. 32. Pauline Ah Hee www.invisibleaustralians.org
  33. 33. Shadee Khan, 1916. NAA: E752, 1916/8 www.invisibleaustralians.org
  34. 34. Shadee Khan, 1916. NAA: E752, 1916/8 www.invisibleaustralians.org
  35. 35. Shadee Khan, 1921. NAA: E752, 1921/21 www.invisibleaustralians.org
  36. 36. Shadee Khan, 1925. NAA: E752, 1925/7 www.invisibleaustralians.org
  37. 37. Shadee Khan www.invisibleaustralians.org
  38. 38. Pauline Ah Hee Shadee Khan www.invisibleaustralians.org
  39. 39. www.invisibleaustralians.org
  40. 40. History wall defining.net.au/wall www.invisibleaustralians.org
  41. 41. Use URLs to identify things in the real world www.invisibleaustralians.org
  42. 42. This is me: http://nla.gov.au/nla.party-479364#foaf:Person www.invisibleaustralians.org
  43. 43. Wragge’s identity browser wraggelabs.com/identities www.invisibleaustralians.org
  44. 44. The Flickr Machine Tag Challenge wraggelabs.com/fmtc/ www.invisibleaustralians.org
  45. 45. www.invisibleaustralians.org
  46. 46. ● Make links ● Give advice ● Create tools & examples ● Help! http://www.invisibleaustralians.org www.invisibleaustralians.org

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