Expert Nation

Friends of Doris Mckeller at the University of Melbourne, circa 1917, 1975.0048.00043, University of Melbourne Archives

Our histories of WWI often focus on those who died. Expert Nation: universities, war and 1920s & 1930s Australia is an ARC funded Discovery Project that follows those who survived as they pursued their careers in the 1920s and 30s. It presents an alternate account of the importance of WWI to Australian nation-building; one founded not on the battlefield of Gallipoli, but in the expansion and professionalization of expertise.

The project is led by Dr Tamson Pietsch (UTS), Associate Professor Julia Horne and Professor Stephen Garton (USyd) and Professor Kate Darian Smith and Dr James Waghorne (UMelb).

At the heart of the project is the creation of a new national archives infrastructure that will unlock and bring together the records of approximately six thousand men and women from the universities of Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Tasmania, Queensland and Western Australia with records from the Australian War Memorial and from personal collections.

Search the online Expert Nation database >>

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This database builds on the success of Beyond 1914—The University of Sydney and the Great War, a community resource developed by the University of Sydney. Expert Nation and Beyond 1914 both use the Heurist data management system – an integrated, free and open source web-based tool that enables researchers to build complex databases without investing in technical expertise.

This project is keen to work with any researchers, honours students, community and school groups, teachers and volunteers interested in helping trace the lives and careers of the more than 6000 individuals from across Australia. To join the project please get in touch.

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