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Henry (Harry) Evans and Honor Courtney Maude
Papers 1904-1999

MSS 0003

Biographical Note

H.E. Maude, 1943This collection comprises the extensive papers of Henry Evans (Harry) Maude, a former British colonial administrator, head of the Social Development section of the South Pacific Commission, and Professor of Pacific History at the Australian National University, and of his wife, fellow researcher and string figure expert, Honor Maude.

Harry Maude as a young man had read and responded to the timeless appeal of the novels of Herman Melville, Robert Louis Stevenson, Charles Stoddard, Jack London and Louis Becke, and been fired with a passion to experience the romance of the South Seas.  In 1928 he undertook an Honours year in Anthropology at Cambridge University and on graduation nominated as his sole choice in his application for a cadetship in the Colonial Administrative Service the remote Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony - a widespread collection of coral atolls and reef islands incorporating the Gilbert and Ellice island groups, Fanning, Washington, Christmas and Ocean Island. [the Phoenix group of islands were added in 1937]  Thus began what was to be a life-long association with the Pacific islands, one he would share with Honor Maude (nee Courtney King), whom he married in September 1929.

During their eighteen years in the Colony Maude served as District Officer, Native Lands Commissioner and ultimately Resident Commissioner, and undertook a range of special projects including a scheme for the resettlement of Gilbert and Ellice islanders on the uninhabited southern Phoenix islands of Gardner, Hull and Sydney (1937-38), the reorganisation of the constitution, legal code and system of government of Pitcairn Island (1940), negotiation of the purchase of Rabi Island on behalf of the Banabans, and a report on the reorganisation of the Tongan Civil Service. In 1943 he was attached to the U.S. Naval Intelligence Centre at Pearl Harbour, where he served as part of a group familiar with the Gilbert Islands whose local knowledge would be essential during planning of the amphibious offensives against Japanese-occupied Makin and Tarawa.  His services in the Colony, particularly in relation to the Phoenix Islands Settlement Scheme, were recognised by the award of the Order of the British Empire in the New Year's list of 1939.

Between 1949 and 1955 Maude was seconded to the newly formed South Pacific Commission, initially as Deputy-Secretary General and then as Member/Executive Officer for Social Development.  In this position he was able to promote literacy programs and local agricultural and trading cooperatives and other programs for social development. He initiated the South Pacific Literature Bureau to provide secular reading material for island people and the South Pacific Bulletin, a quarterly reading list of books and articles relating to the social development field in the South Pacific, to assist local island government and to inform anyone interested in the region.

Throughout his years as a District Officer years Maude had spent whatever free time he could on anthropological studies and had published two articles on Gilbertese social organisation in the Journal of the Polynesian Society.  Later, influenced by a growing recognition of the complexity of island societies and the process of culture change, he would focus rather on island history, and with Honor began to research and collect source materials. At the South Pacific Commission he was able to utilize and further this broad acquaintance with the literature (and his growing belief in the need for a more island-oriented historiography) with a program to locate and microfilm manuscripts, and to publicise these in the Commissions’s Quarterly Bulletin. From 1952 he began to publish the results of some of his own earlier and continuing research, beginning with an account of the Phoenix Islands settlement scheme that had first been published as a confidential report in 1938.

While at the South Pacific Commission Maude was approached by Professor Jim Davidson to join the recently created Research School of Pacific Studies at the Australian National University.  Though initially rejecting the offer from financial considerations and commitments to the Commission, he was more responsive to a subsequent offer and was ultimately appointed Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Pacific History on 1 January 1957.  He was to spent the next 14 years there, publishing widely, encouraging and assisting other researchers, and co- founding with Davidson the Journal of Pacific History.  He was also responsible for the foundation of the Pacific Microfilm Bureau, devoted to the location and filming of unique manuscripts on the islands, and for the ANU Press Pacific Monographs series of bibliographies of sources relevant to the study of Pacific history.

During this period Honor Maude also continued her research and publications on string figures, an intriguing and exacting field of study to which she was first introduced by the book String figures for beginners that she read on the voyage out to the Gilbert islands as a new bride in 1929.  In her early years in the Colony she had collected over 100 figures and published on these in a series of papers in the Journal of the Polynesian Society between 1936 and 1938.  Further collections were made on visits to Nauru in 1937 and to New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands in 1950.  These collections and those of other anthropologists (including Raymond Firth, Gerd Koch, Pearl Beaglehole and Camilla Wedgwood) were subsequently published in more than a dozen monographs and articles, a number under the imprint of Honor Maude's own Homa Press.  A distinctive feature of these publications is the examination of the influences on the creation, modification and transfer of particular patterns and the citation of the source of the figures, drawing on relevant written and oral sources, in the Maude scholarly tradition.

Although Maude retired from the University in 1970 his research and publishing output barely slowed.  His important study of the labour trade in Polynesia, Slavers in Paradise, was published in 1981.   Subsequently he and Honor concentrated on publishing works on the oral traditions and traditional stories of the Gilbertese (officially known as the I-Kiribati from independence in 1979), based upon data collected by themselves and others, particularly Sir Arthur Grimble, who had served in the Colony from 1914 and was Resident Commissioner during their early years there. Seven titles were published between 1977 and 1994, including a reprint of The evolution of the Gilbertese boti, first published in 1963, Tungaru traditions, a collection of Grimble’s writings on the atoll culture of the Gilberts, and The book of Banaba, a work intended “to provide the present and future generations of Rabi islanders with all that has been recorded of their former way of life on Banaba from the time their forbears first settled it over a thousand years ago.”

These papers were received between 1985 and 1998, as described below.  The Library had already acquired the Maude's Pacific Islands library, which comprises some 6000 books, journals and pamphlets. The 1995 catalogue Journeys through Pacific history contains further details on the Library and on the Maudes: see also Susan Woodburn Where our hearts still lie: Harry and Honor Maude in the Pacific islands (2003).

Overview of the Papers of H.E. and H.C. Maude

Part I  Series A-J papers were received from Professor H.E. Maude between February 1985 and March 1986, in the listed order and accompanied by detailed series and file descriptions. Series titles have been provided and some additional description given where it was thought useful to identify particular documents or to alert researchers to the existence of significant reports and items of correspondence or to background papers earlier or broader than the given dates or description might suggest. The descriptive notes in italics are those supplied by Professor Maude.

Series K and L and the accompanying descriptions were received from Professor Maude in 1991 after his completion of Tungaru Traditions. The two volumes added as Series M were received in April 1994 and Series N and O in 1997-98.

A further extensive collection of papers was received between August 1995 and January 1998. These papers were assigned group numbers by Professor Maude, and some had their own detailed lists. Given the duplication of numbers and the differing types of material contained in this transfer it has been felt useful to designate these papers as Part II, Pacific islands history resources (original notes, copies of documents, research files, photographs, etc) and Part III, Maude’s working/correspondence files as a Pacific historian.

Papers received as part of this transfer and subsequently without any series identification have been incorporated into the series that seemed most appropriate.

A Contents List describes the main components of the collection. This can be keyword-searched in its online version. Further special lists to particular groups or series, created by Professor Maude, are identified with the notes to those series and can be consulted with the collection.

Access Restrictions

Access to the collections is by application to the Special Collections Librarian on the Manuscript Access form.
Copyright in the collection remains with Dr Alaric Maude and copying and reproduction of any significant portion of the collection also requires written authorization.

Digitised Works

The Maude Papers are being progressively digitised and are available through the H.E. Maude Digital Archive

In 2017 work was started on creating a StoryMap using the information from Harry and Honor's letters home. The Storymap acts as both a timeline and a map, allowing the reader to follow Harry and Honor around the Pacific Islands during their time working for the South Pacfic Commission. This project is also ongoing.

Contents Summary

Part I

A.  Pitcairn Island
Papers relating to administrative visits by H.E. Maude.  1940-41 and 1944, with extensive background papers 1904-45.  20 cm.

B.  Holland Papers
Papers of F.G.L. Holland, principally re the war-time occupation of Tarawa, Banaban affairs and the post-war administration of Rabi.  1931-49.  8 cm.
see also Series F and  J

C.  Slavers in Paradise
Correspondence, notes, drafts and copies of source documents of H.E. Maude’s book Slavers in Paradise (published 1981).  1970-81 and source materials of earlier date.  50 cm. and 4 reels of microfilm.
see also  Series I

D.  Honor Maude Papers
Draft text of publications by H.C. Maude on string figures, with related notes, illustrations and correspondence; together with general correspondence on string figures, articles on string figures by others; and talks on the Gilbert Islands and Nauru.  c1946-98.  50 cm.

E.  Phoenix Islands Settlement Scheme
Papers relating to the establishment and progress of a scheme for settlement of people from the Gilbert and Ellice Islands in the Phoenix Islands.  1936-40.  10 cm.
see also Series G45 and J

F.  The Banaban Action v The Crown
Record of proceedings of the court actions brought by the Banaban Council of Elders, together with extensive correspondence, contemporary press reports and copies of documents and notes compiled by Maude and others in preparation for the case.  1975-79, with earlier background papers.  30 cm.   
see also Series G1, H10-12 and Part II section 6 files on Ocean Island/Banaba and group F files, F2 (12) - (17)

G.  Correspondence and Papers on Specific Subjects
Files compiled by H.E. Maude on matters connected with his employment with the Colonial Service, South Pacific Commission and Australian National University; the Pacific Manuscript Bureau and Journal of Pacific History; congresses and publications contributed to; grant of doctorate by the University of the South Pacific; notes on manuscript sources; death of Amelia Earhart.  1932-93.  60 cm.

H.  Correspondence with Particular Persons
Correspondence with friends, colleagues, and research students: J.W. Davidson, Ida Leeson, Edouard Stackpole, , Martin Silverman, G.K. Roth, Phyllis Mander Jones, John Young, Ian Diamond, Margaret Titcomb, David Lewis, Lester Gaynor, P.D. Macdonald, R.G. Crocombe, Derek Freeman and Caroline Melville (Ralston).  1957-87.  30 cm.
see also Series J and Part III

I.  Publications
Copies of published articles and books, some with drafts and related correspondence, notes and source documents; together with some unpublished articles and addresses.
see also Series C and Part III Working/correspondence files ‘G

J.  General/Personal Correspondence
Correspondence with family, friends, colleagues and other researchers, and ‘letters home’ while in the islands.  1929-99.  2 metres
see also Series G and H and Part III

K.  “Miscellaneous Personal Relics” and Biographical material
Interviews, articles, autobiographical notes; Personal records kept during early years in the Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony, including household accounts, a divorce register and list of official dinner guests; also passports, driver’s licences and travel diaries.  also biographical material (including curriculum vitae, copies of newspaper articles re Maude, lists of publications, etc),  tapes and transcript of 1995 National Library interview by Peter Biskup, and tapes of interviews with Susan Woodburn 1997 and  a collection of notes prepared in 1998 to assist in her preparation of the Maudes’ biography.  1927-98.

L.  Field Notes of and Papers relating to Sir Arthur Grimble
Reports, field notes, typescript and manuscript papers and articles collected and compiled by Grimble during his service in the GEIC Administrative Service between 1913 and 1932.  50 cm.
[for additional papers re Arthur Grimble see Series JI52; Part II, sections 3 and 12 ; and Part III, Series C/26]

M.  Simmons papers
Traditional stories told to missionary Miss B.E. Simmons by Ten Tiroba of Buariki (Tarawa), with a translation by Reid Cowell. 1920s and 1990.  2 v.

N.  Macdonald papers
Collection of unpublished stories/proposed articles by P.D. Macdonald: ‘Tales from the Pacific’, ‘The Western Pacific High Commission’.  undated [1980s]  4 cm.
[for additional papers re Paddy Macdonald see Series H 10-12, J, and photographs in Part II]

O.  Pateman papers
Creation stories, genealogies, myths and legends of the Gilbert Islands, collected by May Pateman of the London Missionary Society on Beru c1926-27.  8 cm.

Part II

Resources for Central Pacific Islands history, particularly the Gilbert and Ellice Islands, including original notebooks, research and reference files, photographs and copies of source documents.

Part II/1. Group “A” (ringbinders):
Manuscript and typescript notes on the GEIC, other islands, trade, missions and source materials, from manuscripts, newspapers, journals, books, official reports, etc.  1.3 metres

Part II/2. Group “B” (files): A-F
Extracts from and photocopies of source materials, with notes and cuttings, on the Gilbert and Ellice Islands, Phoenix islands, Line islands, other groups and islands, and the history of the Central Pacific generally.  45 cm.

Part II/3. “F” (files): 1-8
Bibliographies and other source material, notes and articles on the Gilbert and Ellice Islands, Pitcairn, the Central Pacific and Pacific History generally.  8 v.

Part II/4: 1-12

Sections 1-5: Gilbert and Ellice Islands
Files created by Maude while District Officer on Beru and subsequently, including both administrative, land, anthropological and historical information.  55 cm.
1.  Old Beru Files 1-18, “classified by subject”
2.  Gilbert and Ellice Islands Files 1-{19}
3.  Gilbert and Ellice Islands notebooks 1-{16}
4.  Un-numbered files and notebooks on Language and culture
5. Un-numbered notebooks, diaries and files on Administrative and Lands matters

6. Banaba/Ocean Island papers
Bibliography, documents relating to Japanese administration, notes and histories, etc.  c1902-1996. 12 cm.

7. Nui Island papers
Legends, traditions and genealogies, source materials and  typescripts re the history of Nui.  1867-1991 and undated   4 cm.

8. Raine Island papers
Correspondence re history and restoration of the Raine Island Beacon and historical and contemporary sources and notes on the Island’s history. 1988-89 [with sources of earlier date]  5 cm.

9. Newspaper cuttings of articles on the Pacific and history generally (including book reviews.  1930-80 [but principally around 1950].  3 v.

10. Philately magazines (various, general and on Gilbert Islands), 1935-1949 and stamp auction catalogues, 1947 and 1950.  5 cm.

11.  Photographic and microfilm copies of records and manuscripts collected as source materials. 1 metre.
[Comprising a numbered and indexed collection relating to various islands, particularly the Gilbert and Ellice islands and Pitcairn, 1805-1975 and undated, a further collection of un-numbered copies, 1788-1977 and undated and copies of maps, charts and illustrations,1788-1861.

12. Photographs and glass and paper negatives. c1908-96.  1.4 metres
Including Pemba (Zanzibar) 1936, Gilbert and Ellice islands 1929ff, Tonga 1941, Pitcairn 1940-4, personal c1908-90s, miscellaneous Pacific views, including postcards, Paddy Macdonald June 1977, etc.

13. Indexes and notes by Maude re his archival collections. Includes listings of Group B files; indexes to notes, books and papers on anthropology; books on the I-Kiribati; issues published of Tero and Tala o Tuvalu; photostats from the U.K.; lists of items in their original locations in Maude's house; and List of specimens deposited in the Auckland Museum.

Part III

Working/correspondence files
B:  Correspondence with Booksellers. 1959-92. 15 cm.
Booksellers catalogues 1927-early1950s are also included with this series.

C: Correspondence. 1959-95.  30 cm
Correspondence with and re students, Visitors to the University, requests for references & testimonials, Barr Smith Library, Gilbert Islands Independence Celebrations: Gilbert Islands [includes Honor’s diary of the visit], Republic of Nauru Fund Committee, Gilbert Islands: Cultural Affairs [includes comment on Grimble as administrator and anthropologist], and University Appointments

D: Requests for information and advice. 1958-85.  45 cm.

E: Correspondence with Societies. 1959-88.  6 cm.
Correspondence with the Polynesian Society, Société des Océanistes and other Societies, principally re publications and subscriptions.

G: Correspondence re Publications. 1961-96. 12 cm.
Correspondence re publications (including reviews and distribution) and re lectures and addresses.

Artefacts/material culture items
Shark tooth fish-hook {from Banaba?} and piece of sandalwood in box at end of collection
Woven pandanus mats in Map Cabinet
Typewriter.on display in Collections Room

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