Tasmania's Heritage

Agency Details

Agency Number: NG1436
Title: GEOFFREY THOMAS STILWELL
Start Date: 07 Jan 1931
End Date: 11 Mar 2000
Description:

Geoffrey Thomas Stilwell, AM, BA, ALIA was the Curator of the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts at the State Library of Tasmania, Hobart. He was born in 1931 and died in Hobart 11 March 2000.

He grew up at Ranelagh, where his family farmed apples and hops. He was educated at The Hutchins School and from a very early age developed a great interest in and deep genealogical knowledge of Tasmanian colonial families. His interests were expressed in later life in the restoration of his home, an elegant stone Georgian cottage at 351 Liverpool Street, Hobart which he purchased in 1963.

His encylopaedic knowledge of Tasmanian art, decorative arts as well as history and genealogy was an invaluable rescource to historians .

He first joined the staff of the State Library of Tasmania on 21 February 1949 but resigned to undertake an Arts degree in 1954 at the University of Tasmania. He then worked as a cataloguer in the Mitchell Library in Sydney and at Bathurst Teachers College, before a working holiday in Europe. He joined the staff of the Archives Office at the State Library of Tasmania in 1959, and on the sudden death of the State Archivist Peter Eldershaw in 1967 he was acting State Archivist for some months. In 1966 he was appointed Special Collections Librarian in charge of the W. L. Crowther and Tasmanian Collection and the recently acquired Allport bequest which he supervised moving from 'Cedar Court' in Sandy Bay to a purpose-built museum within the State Libray of Tasmaina building. The acquisition of items for the State Library's collection from the Launceston- based Tasmanian collection of Dr Clifford Craig in 1975 was also a major undertaking. He was appointed Curator of the Allport collection in 1984. a position he held until his retirement in 1995.

His leisure time was largely spent on historical matters. He was a founding member of the Southern Regional Committee of the National Trust in 1963, where he made a notable contribution to the Building Classification and the 'Runnymede' Committees and was a co-author of the trust's book 'Priceless Heritage', a trustee at Narryna Folk Museum from 1979, a founding member of the Tasmanian Historical Research Association in 1951 and a comittee member since 1959, secretary from 1961 - 1968 and later vice-chairman, a member of the working party of the Australian Dictionary of Biography and a member of the Nomenclature Board from 1972 and Liason Officer for Tasmania for the Australian Dictionary of Australian Artists from 1980 until publication in 1992.

In 1988 he was awarded an AM and the following year the State Library organised an oral history recording program conducted with Geoffrey by Joan Buckie. In 1992 'Tasmanian Insights, a festschrift', a collection of essays by local, interstate and overseas authors who had benefitted from Geoffrey's research and editorial assistance, was published by the State Library of Tasmania.

This agency registration includes many series that were given to Geoffrey by friends and acquaitances because of his well known interest in Tasmanian history. Many such donations he passed to the Archives Office in his official capacity and he was able to provide details of the donors. If that is the case the records have been registered under the relevant creating agency. Where Geoffrey acquired material in a private capacity these have been included here and in this respect Geoffrey Stilwell maybe seen as a "Collector"

Information Sources:

THRA Papers and Proceedings Vol47 No3

State Library of Tasmania Newsletter - April 2000 - page 10 article by Gillian Winter, Tasmaniana Library.

Legislation Administered:

Legislation Creating:

Legislation Abolishing Agency:

Functions Performed:
32 ARCHIVAL COLLECTIONS
37 ARTS AND CULTURE
34 FAMILY ARCHIVES
Related Agencies:
NG390 FRANCOMBE FAMILY 01 Jan 1870
TA34 STATE LIBRARY OF TASMANIA 01 Jan 1943 31 Oct 2006
Series Created By Agency:
NS2825  CARD INDEX COMPILED BY G.T. STILWELL OF TASMANIAN BIRTH, DEATH AND MARRIAGE NOTICES IN HOBART TOWN COURIER AND SOME OTHER COLONIAL NEWPAPERS. 01 Jan 1816 31 Dec 1908
NS1152  SUMMARY OF THE TITLE TO LAND KELLY STREET WEELINGTON (LATER WATERLOO) STREETS BATTERY POINT 08 Apr 1839
NS932  PLAN OF COTTAGE GREEN, PROPERTY OF DR RICHARDSON - TO BE AUCTIONED BY THOMAS LOWES 29 Dec 1852
NS453  COPIES OF LETTERS FROM LADY JANE FRANKLIN TO MR THOMAS STILWELL 01 Jan 1863 31 Dec 1865
NS1383  NOTES FOR AN ARTICLE, LETTERS AND PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE FRANCOMB/ STILWELL FAMILIES 01 Jan 1870 31 Dec 1974
NS858  DIARY OF MR BACON OF OATLANDS 01 Jan 1873 31 Dec 1879
NS2824  CARD INDEX TO INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION SEASON TICKET HOLDERS, HOBART 1894 - 1895 01 Jan 1894 31 Dec 1895
NS696  FAMILY PHOTOGRAPH ALBUMS 01 Jan 1915 31 Dec 1925
NS697  NOTEBOOK OF NOTICES READ IN CHURCH BY A ROMAN CATHOLIC MINISTER IN THE FORTH AREA 14 Apr 1946 01 Dec 1946
NS1750  35MM COLOUR SLIDES OF 1963 ROYAL VISIT 01 Jan 1963 31 Dec 1963
NS1677  CASSETTE TAPE OF LECTURE ON MARY MORTON ALLPORT PRESENTED AT THE UNIVERSITY BY GEOFFREY STILWELL 01 Jan 1987
NS1436  AUDIO TAPES OF ORAL HISTORY INTERVIEWS WITH GEOFFREY STILWELL, CONDUCTED BY JOAN BUCKIE 01 Feb 1989 08 May 1989