The Pacific Collection of more than 8,000 volumes is based on the library acquired in 1972 from Professor Henry Evans (Harry) Maude, 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.
This expanding collection includes both books and journals on the history, culture, art, fiction and language of the Pacific islands of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia, with particular emphasis on the central Pacific. Additional strengths include mission history and Pacific anthropology/ethnology journals.
Maude assiduously collected all of the Pacific material that he could locate, and being "on the spot" collected a great deal of ephemeral material. Aspects of the Collection reflect Maude's interest in beachcomber literature (often the earliest accounts of the customs and language of Pacific peoples) and his activities as administrator in the island colonies, including schemes for the resettlement of Gilbert, Ellice and Banaban Islanders, as well as the reorganisation of government structures of Pitcairn Island in 1940.
The Pacific Collection is also supplemented by the personal papers of Harry Maude and Honor Maude (his wife and string figure expert) and some of their colleagues and associates, including the linguist H.G.A. Hughes.
A more complete description is available electronically in Journeys through Pacific history: a guide to the Pacific islands library and the papers of H.E. and H.C. Maude (1995). Please note: the guide does not take into account additions since the time of publication.