Skip to content

John Calvert 
Research papers on Douglas Pike (1908-1974)

MSS 160


Douglas Pike was founding editor of the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

There papers were collected by John Calvert while undertaking research for his thesis, ‘Douglas Pike (1908-1974) : South Australian and Australian historian’ (2008)

Douglas Henry Pike was born in China in 1908, the second of five children, whose Australian parents were missionaries with a Protestant interdenominational faith mission, the China Inland Mission. Following graduation from an English style mission boarding school at Chefoo in northern China, Pike came to Melbourne in 1924; and from 1926 spent twelve years jackerooing on various New South Wales country properties. He returned to Melbourne in 1938, trained for the ministry in a Churches of Christ College, graduated in November 1941, married Olive Hagger and was sent to Adelaide. During pastorates at Colonel Light Gardens and Glenelg he studied at the University of Adelaide for his BA. He achieved History Honours, resigned from the ministry, taught briefly in Adelaide and at the University of Western Australia then returned to Adelaide as Reader from 1950 to 1960. Pike obtained his MA, then the D. Litt. for Paradise of Dissent, a history of South Australia. During the 1950s he wrote a series of newspaper articles, 'Early Adelaide with the lid off'. However, apart from book reviews, obituaries in newspapers and journals, biographical paragraphs and the ADB, Pike's contribution and significance to Australian historiography has been largely neglected. My thesis is based on personal interviews and correspondence with people who knew Douglas Pike, including family members, together with archival material from the Australian National Library and the universities where Pike worked. Printed sources include newspapers, journals, and Pike's own published writings.”

Taken from the thesis abstract. Submitted for M.A. University of Adelaide, School of History and Politics, Discipline of History 2008


Folder 1: Biographical. Information on Douglas Pike, including obituaries and Australian Dictionary of Biography information

Folder 2: Family, Information about members of the Pike family, including articles, transcripts of interviews, emails and other correspondence

Folder 3: Photographs collected for Calvert’s thesis (printouts and transparencies only)

Folder 4: China, collected information on the China Inland Mission School at Chefoo, China, including: correspondence and interviews about the school, articles, copy of Chefoo Magazine, Vol 79, No 2, 1986 and copies of sections from a thesis by Phillip Edgar Brotchie “The important of the contribution of Australian to the Penetration of China by the China Inland Mission…” (1999)

Folder 5: China’s Millions Magazine. Copies of articles predominantly featuring or written by Douglas Pike and his family.

Folder 6: Melbourne University – Teaching. Includes copies of staff card and correspondence

Folder 7:  Bush, NSW. Information on various areas where Pike was working as a jackaroo. Photocopies of source material and some correspondence.

Folder 8: Victoria – College of the Bible. Includes some correspondence, and an A4 display folder of collected research, photographs, notes and copies of source material.

Folder 9: South Australia – University of Adelaide. Correspondence and source material collected on Douglas Pike during his time in Adelaide. Includes copies of docket files and related material from University Archives, photocopies of articles and papers, correspondence and reports.

Folder 10: Newspaper cuttings and articles on Pike. Photocopies.

Folder 11: University of Western Australia. Correspondence and copies of University records.

Folder 12: Churches of Christ. Background information, correspondence and references.

Folder 13: Tasmania. Copies of University of Tasmania records, correspondence and copies of articles.

Folder 14: ANU/ADB. Documentation regarding Pike’s appointment to ANU as editor of the ADB, history of the ADB and correspondence, articles and source material regarding ADB and Douglas Pike. Also includes correspondence between Pike and the Oxford University Press.

Folder 15: Source documents from National Library of Australia

Folder 16: Source documents from ANU Archives.

Folder 17: Pike’s publications and writings

Folder 18: ‘Paradise of Dissent’ Includes reviews, correspondence etc.

Folder 19: Interviews A-Ph (Organised into subjects) (Includes bag of index cards labelled ‘Douglas Pike. Contacts and Interviews by John Calvert)

Folder 20: Interviews Pi-W (Organised into subjects)

Folder 21: Correspondence with other re: Douglas Pike. Contains interviews/questionnaires and correspondence.

Folder 22: Australian Historians. Source material and correspondence.

Folder 23: Miscellaneous notes on sources/papers/publications

Folder 24: Correspondence with Archives etc.

Folder 25: Thesis Bibliography and notes on resources

Folder 26: Supplementary research. Collected for Ph.D Thesis on Max Crawford (University of Melbourne) (housed in Blue document wallet)

University Library

Barr Smith Library
South Australia 5005


Phone: +61 8 8313 5224