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John Aloysius FitzHerbert (1892-1970)
Papers 1882-1963

MSS 0030


John Aloysius Fitz-Herbert was born in Launceston, Tasmania on 19 May 1892. He enlisting in the war in November, 1913, in King Edward''s Horse (Special Reserve Cavalry) while at Trinity College, Cambridge. He crossed to France 3 times between 1915 and 1918, promoted to Lieutenant and being awarded the M.C. (Military Award) in 1917.

He completed his B.A. at the University of Sydney in 1913, and then studied for a B.A. at Trinity College, England in 1920. In 1923 he became a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh from 1923 to 1928, after which he returned to Australia, where he was awarded an M.A. at the University of Adelaide.

Appointed as Professor of Classics at the University of Adelaide in 1928, FitzHerbert encouraged a focus on Aboriginal languages. He worked closely with Norman Tindale from the South Australian Museum, and Charles Chewings to device a phonetic system suited to typewriters for the transcription of Aboriginal languages. In the 1930s Fitzherbert took on two students of Aboriginal Languages, J.R. B. Love, who undertook studies of the Worrora language, and T. G. H. Strehlow, (son of missionary Carl Strehlow) who undertook research on the Aranda Language.

FitzHerbert died in Adelaide on the 15 April 1970.

Contents Listing

1.  Letters of reference on behalf of Mr. FitzHerbert [J.F. FitzHerbert's father] from the Mayor of Ballarat and others, December 1882 [application for the position of City Surveyor of Launceston]; and letter of condolence to Mrs. FitzHerbert on her husband's death, from the Town Clerk of Launceston, December 1891.  4 items.

2.  Personal correspondence (letters and postcards)  1910-1970.   3 cm.
[Very scattered.  Most items are letters received by FitzHerbert, with the exception of two postcards to his mother, Dec. 1910 and Oct. 1918, one postcard to A.J. FitzHerbert,  May 1924 and one letter to E.A. FitzHerbert, March 1962.  Series includes letters from the University of Sydney, January 1910 regarding scholarships and June 1913 regarding award of an Exhibition; letter of introduction from the Premier of New South Wales, July 1913; papers relating to his war-time service (1916) and his relinquishment of commission in the Special Reserve and retired pay, 1920-22.  Also includes a copy of his application for the Chair of Latin at Sydney University, 1921, with reference of D.S. Robertson, Cambridge, Robertson's reference with regard to application for the Chair of Greek at Belfast, 1923; note from Douglas Mawson on SS Discovery notepaper prior to his departure 1936;  and letter of the University Librarian August 1970 regarding books selected from FitzHerbert's library.]

3.  Photographs, mainly of J.A. FitzHerbert.  1908, 1914 and undated.
10 items.
[1908 Riverview Regatta; 1914 Lt. FitzHerbert in Artillery; undated, groups of army personnel, some including Fitzherbert.]

4.  Certificates, University of Sydney Bachelor of Arts, 1913 and University of Adelaide Master of Arts (ad eundem gradum) 1928.  2 items.

5.  Newspaper cuttings, both about FitzHerbert (1909-20 and undated) and collected by him, mainly on archaeology and workers' education (1928, 1955 and undated).

6.  Miscellaneous programmes, certificates, reports, etc.  1907-1963.  13 items.
Programme of 21st annual regatta, St. Ignatius' College Rowing Club, Riverview, 4 May 1907.
Rules of The Magpie and Stump Debating Society, Trinity College, Cambridge, 1907.
Funeral Service for Private Vaughan Percy-Dove, killed 11 July 1917.
Certificate of membership of Comrades of the Great War, Cambridge University post, 28 June 1919, and statement regarding the movement.
Passenger list of SS Orvieto from London, 3 July 1920 [Fitzherbert a passenger, returning to Australia.]
Order of Service at Unveiling and Dedication of War Memorial, University of Edinburgh, 19 February 1923.
Sydney University Extension Lectures - History of Greek Sculpture.  Outline of lectures 1,2 and 4.  n.d.]
Memorandum by E.G. Biaggini on Adult Education, October 1948
Report on establishment of a Committee at the University of Adelaide to enquire into adult education, from ABC news broadcast 7 and 8 June 19..?
Report on study leave 1955-56 by A. French, Department of Classics.
Agenda of Board for Anthropological Research, 7 May 1963 - includes item regarding Australian Linguistics.
Extracts from Tennyson and Shelley, for use in teaching. n.d.

7.  Medals.  1907-1909. 13 items.
[University of Sydney, Junior Public Examination, Greek, Arithmetic, Latin, Algebra, 1907
St. Ignatius College, Christian Doctrine, 1908
University of Sydney, B.A. Examinations, Classics, Mathematics, 1913
University of Sydney, Senior Examination, Physics Part ii,  Trigonometry, Greek, Algebra, 1909
2 unidentified, n.d.]

8.  Postcards (unused) and greeting cards. n.d. 8 items.

See also further manuscript collections relating to linguistics, including correspondence of FitzHerbert with T.G.H. Strehlow, Charles Chewings, J.R.B. Love and L.M.T. Short on Aboriginal languages of Australia and Papua, listed in an accompanying inventory held in Special Collections.

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