University Foundation

The University Association was constituted in 1872 to promote the establishment of a university in Adelaide. The Association's aims were to secure further members and financial support, appoint professors and lecturers, arrange classes and to establish the university formally by an Act of Parliament.

The University Association Minute Book is an important foundational document in the University of Adelaide’s history. Its significance is recognised by its inclusion in the University Archives 2013 inscription into the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register.

Prominent South Australians were invited to join the Association and this volume provides an account of the discussions and decisions made. As well as detailing specific resolutions, it includes members’ names, newspaper articles, public circulars, letters, particulars regarding financial contributions and endorsements, and treasurer’s accounts.

Following the passage of the University of Adelaide Act in November 1874, the University Council was appointed and the Association lapsed, holding a final meeting in May 1875 to formally disband itself and authorise transfer of its records to the University.

Digitisation of a University treasure

In 2017, a project was undertaken to digitise the volume in order to further promote its significance, create awareness, increase access and contribute to its preservation. Beginning with digital scanning, the project entailed a transcription process and the compilation of a summary and index to assist researchers.

The University Archives appreciates the contribution of Mandy Mayer who undertook the project as part of her studies for the award of Graduate Diploma of Information Management.