VU Special Collections - How to access and use: PNG & Pacific Collection (2020)

Collection in Focus:  PNG [Papua New Guinea] and the Pacific collection

The PNG and the Pacific collection aims to provide materials for researchers in the Asian and Pacific studies area.  It is a historic collection, initially from the 1960s, and then expanded to include material from Pacific regions. In this collection there is material preferencing colonial-settler voices, rather than those of Indigenous experts and holders of cultural knowledge. Some of these books raise questions regarding how we hold such items in a way that is culturally respectful and sensitive to the people of Papua New Guinea and the Pacific

The Collection's strengths are: economics, development and trade, statistical data, governance and administration, language and linguistics, education, culture, society and history.

Themes explored this month are Language and Culture, Regional history, Social Structures, Community and Economic development, and Physical spaces and Places.

Links to information about this collection:

PNG and the Pacific collection: Language and Culture


Say it in Motu : an instant introduction to the common language of Papua

Author: Percy Chatterton
Publisher: Pacific Publications
Date: 1975


Maiba: a Papuan novel

Author: Russell Soaba
Publisher: Three Continents Press
Date: 1985

A 1995 thesis titled ‘The work of Russell Soaba’ by Maretta Kula Semos provides an analysis of his work which includes Maiba as well as poetry and short stories.


Cultural diversity and national unity: past and future contexts for anthropology and sociology in New Guinea

Author: Ralph N. H. Bulmer
Publisher: University of Papua and New Guinea
Date: 1979


A new course in Tok Pisin (New Guinea Pidgin)

Author: Tom Dutton
Publisher: Australian National University
Date: 1985

The author of this book is also the editor of this 1985 paper Handbook of Tok Pisin (New Guinea pidgin), Languages For Intercultural Communication In The Pacific Area Project of The Australian Academy of The Humanities, Publication No. 1

The ANU Asia-Pacific Linguistics / Pacific Linguistics Press at Australian National University has a large collection of material including Australian Languages which can be explored.


Day of shining red : an essay on understanding ritual

Author: Gilbert Lewis
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Date: 1980 


Through Melanesian eyes : an anthology of Papua New Guinean writing

Author: Ganga Powell (ed)
Publisher: Macmillan
Date: 1987

The 1990 article ‘Papua New Guinean Writing Today: The Growth of a Literary Culture’ by Steven Edmund Winduo  (VU access credentials required) explores PNG literature as a “form of cultural expression and identity”. Written in    title is described as one of several anthologies written in this time. A similar anthology available at VU is Voices of independence: new black writing from Papua New Guinea / edited by Ulli Beier .


A survey of New Guinea languages

Author: A. Capell
Publisher: Sydney University Press
Date: 1969


Bislama : an introduction to the national language of Vanuatu

Author: Darrell T. Tryon
Publisher: Australian National University
Date: 1987


Sinabouda Lily : A folk tale from New Guinea

Author:  Robin Anderson,  Jennifer Allen
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Date: 1979

Here is the story being read in traditional language from a different publication (Librairie Papyrus, an independent bookstore in Mauritius)


Say it in Fijian : an entertaining introduction to the language of Fiji

Author: A.H. Schütz
Publisher: Pacific Publications
Date: 1977


Interactions : essays on the literature and culture of the Asia-Pacific Region

Author: Dennis Haskell,  Ron Shapiro (eds.)
Publisher: University of Western Australia Press
Date: 2000


The Jacaranda dictionary and grammar of Melanesian Pidgin

Author: F. Mihalic
Publisher: Jacaranda Press
Date: 1975

Some languages can be fluid in nature including Melanesian Pidgin, or Tok Pisin in Papua New Guinea. While this text may be a worthwhile reference there are also independent websites which provide translation resources including:

PNG and the Pacific collection: Regional history

isbn 0862328659

Blood on their banner: nationalist struggles in the South Pacific

Author: David Robie
Publisher: Pluto Press Australia
Date: c1989


Fiji's times: a history of Fiji in three parts

Author: Kim Gravelle
Publisher: The Fiji Times and Herald
Date: 1979            

isbn: 0283984341

A history of the Pacific from the stone age to the present day

Author: Glen Barclay
Publisher: Sidgwick & Jackson
Date: 1978

isbn: 9820101968

A garland of achievement: the University of the South Pacific, 1968-1993

Author & Publisher: University of the South Pacific
Date: 1993

The University of the South Pacific operates over several Pacific countries including the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Read about their teaching and research program on their website .

Islands of the South Pacific

Author: Sir Harry Luke
Publisher: George G. Harrap
Date: c1962


isbn: 1878453149

Pacific history: papers from the 8th Pacific History Association Conference

Author: Pacific History Association
Publisher: University of Guam Press & Micronesian Area Research Center
Date: c1992

Parliament of a thousand tribes: a study of New Guinea

Author: Osmar White
Publisher: Heinemann
Date: 1965

White, Osmar Egmont (1909–1991) is listed in the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

The Papers of Omar White are located at the National Library of Australia and there is a mention of “Correspondence, contracts etc. relating to the publication 'Parliament of a thousand tribes', 1965-1973”

isbn: 0855520361

Race relations and colonial rule in Papua New Guinea

Author: Edward P. Wolfers
Publisher: Australia and New Zealand Book Co
Date: 1975

The challenge of New Guinea: Australian aid to Papuan progress

Author: Sir A. Grenfell Price
Publisher: Angus and Robertson
Date: 1965

isbn: 9820200318

The making of modern Samoa: traditional authority and colonial administration in the history of Western Samoa

Author: Malama Meleisea
Publisher: Institute of Pacific Studies of the University of the South Pacific
Date: 1987

This text is used in several articles including (VU authenication required):

Regulating Custom: Land, Law and Central Judiciary in Samoa 
Resistance and Colonial Government: A Comparative Study of Samoa
Beyond Governance in Sāmoa: Understanding Samoan Political Thought

isbn: 0207165920

Tiger lilies: women adventurers in the South Pacific

Author: Shirley Fenton Huie
Publisher: Angus & Robertson
Date: 1990

isbn: 0804728992

Times enmeshed: gender, space, and history among the Duna of Papua New Guinea

Author: Gabriele Stürzenhofecker
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Date: 1998


isbn: 0909197385

Wings of gold: how the aeroplane developed New Guinea

Author: James Sinclair
Publisher: Robert Brown & Associates
Date: 1983

PNG and the Pacific collection: Social structures

Coming of age in Samoa

Author: Margaret Mead
Publisher: Morrow
Date: 1928

This text is available to be read on the Internet Archive, a "a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more."

The author is the subject of this exhibition, Margaret Mead: Human Nature and the Power of Culture at the Library of Congress.


Sambia sexual culture : essays from the field

Author: Gilbert Herdt
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Date: 1999 


Pigs for the ancestors: ritual in the ecology of a New Guinea people

Author: Roy A. Rappaport
Publisher: Yale University Press
Date: 1984

Read the transcript of the conversation Striving for Unity: A Conversation with Roy Rappaport, from Retrospectives: Works and Lives of Michigan Anthropologists.

Tradition and change in the Fijian village

Author: R.R. Nayacakalou
Publisher: South Pacific Social Sciences Association
Date: 1978

Link through to information regarding live in Fijian Village:
Weaving the Community: An Ethnography of a Fijian Village  
Village Life in Savusavu, Fiji
Rural Village Life – Stepping Back in Time 

Women's experiences of aging in the Western Pacific Region : a diversity of challenges and opportunities

Author: World Health Organization. Regional office for the Western Pacific
Publisher: WHO/ROWP
Date: 1995



Working women in South-East Asia: development, subordination and emancipation

Author: Noeleen Heyzer
Publisher: Open University Press
Date: 1986


Highland peoples of New Guinea

Author: Paula Brown
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Date: 1978

Author Paula Brown spent much of her career in the PNG Highlands with the Chimbu peoples.

This 1976 ANU report Chimbu: issues in development  is one of the many reports published by the Pacific Institute: ANU College of Asia & the Pacific.


Social development in Papua New Guinea 1972-1990: searching for solutions in a changing world

Author: Maev O'Collins
Publisher:  Australian National University
Date: 1993


Women in transition: social control in Papua New Guinea

Author: Cyndi Banks
Publisher: Australian Institute of Criminology
Date: 1993


The making of great men: male domination and power among the New Guinea Baruya

Author: Maurice Godelier
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Date: 1986 


Weaving new patterns: women's struggle for change in Asia and the Pacific

Author: Jennie Clarke
Publisher: World Student Christian Federation, Asia/Pacific Region
Date: 1986

The New Guinea villager: a retrospect from 1964

Author: C.D. Rowley
Publisher: Cheshire
Date: 1965


The world of talk on a Fijian island :an ethnography of law and communicative causation

Author: Andrew Arno
Publisher: Ablex Publishing
DAte: 1993


Face value: women in Papua and New Guinea

Author: Elizabeth Durack
Publisher: Ure Smith
Date: 1970

PNG and the Pacific collection: Community and economic development


Economics for the developing nation

Author: Andrew Mickleburgh
Publisher: Pearson Education Australia
Date: 1992


Subsistence and survival: rural ecology in the Pacific

Author: Timothy P. Bayliss-Smith and Richard G. Feachem
Publisher: Academic Press
Date: 1977



Land tenure and economic development : problems and policies in Papua-New Guinea and Kenya

Author: S. Rowton Simpson
Publisher:  Australian National University
Date: 1971

isbn: 0708107532

Change and development in rural Melanesia: papers delivered at the Fifth Waigani Seminar

Author: Waigani Seminar
Publisher: Research School of Pacific Studies, ANU & the University of Papua and New Guinea
Date: 1972

isbn: 0909150141

Chimbu, issues in development: a report to the Central Planning Office, Papua New Guinea

Author: Dianna Howlett
Publisher: Australian National University
Date: 1976

isbn: 9718817093

Civil society in the Asia-Pacific region

Author: Isagani R. Serrano
Publisher: CIVICUS
Date: 1994

isbn: 0813375401

Deep water: development and change in Pacific village fisheries

Author: Margaret Critchlow Rodman
Publisher: Westview Press
Date: 1989

Education for rural development: the Tutu experiment and its relevance for the Pacific

Author: University of the South Pacific
Publisher: Institute of Pacific Studies
Date: 1984

isbn: 0869360161

Liklik buk bilong kain kain samting: a rural development handbook

Author: P. R. Hale and B.D. Williams
Publisher: Melanesian Council of Churches
Date: 1976

isbn: 9980840420

Population, family health and development

Author: Waigani Semiar (19th: 1991 Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea)
Publisher: University of Papua New Guinea Press
Date: 1993

isbn: 9781922137678

Socioeconomic agricultural research in Papua New Guinea: proceedings of a workshop held in Lae, PNG, 5-6 June 2013

Editor: G. Hickey
Publisher: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research

isbn: 0958672865

South Pacific futures : Oceania toward 2050

Author; Anthony Van Fossen
Publisher: Foundation for Development Cooperation
Date: c2005

New Guinea on the threshold: aspects of social political and economic development

Editor: E.K. Frisk
Publisher:  Australian National University Press
Date: 1966

PNG and the Pacific collection: Physical space and places


The Penguin historical atlas of the Pacific [cartographic material]

Author: Colin McEvedy
Publisher: Penguin
Date: 1998


In Papua New Guinea

Author: Christina Dodwell
Publisher: Pan Books
Date: 1985


Papua New Guinea population distribution by province

Author: National Census Project
Date: 1981


The climate of Mt. Wilhelm

Authors: R.J. Hnatiuk, J.M.B. Smith and D.N. McVean
Publisher: Australian National University
Date: 1976 


Canoe to school: discovering New Guinea with Kari and Kateo

Author: June Macpherson
Publisher: Ure Smith
Date: 1971


Cruising Papua New Guinea

Author: Alan Lucas
Publisher: Horwitz
Date: 1980


Fly River Netherlands New Guinea, Territory of New Guinea, Territory of Papua

Author: Division of National Mapping
Publisher: Department of National Development
Date: 1962


Papua New Guinea handbook and travel guide

Publisher: Pacific Publications
Date: 1980


Land and politics in New Caledonia

Author: Alan Ward
Publisher: Australian National University
Date: 1982


Trees of paradise

Authors: Richard Edmunds and Nigel Hughes
Publisher: Green Press
Date: 1991



Author: Army Map Service, Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army
Publisher: Royal Australian Survey Corps
Date: 1966


Exploiting the tropical rain forest: an account of pulpwood logging in Papua New Guinea

Author: D. Lamb
Publisher: Parthenon Publishing Group
Date: 1990


The Kingdom of Tonga: action strategy for managing the environment

Authors: Robert Thistlethwaite, David Sheppard & Netatua Prescott
Publisher: South Pacific Regional Environment Programme
Date: 1993


Action plan for managing the environment of the Pacific Islands regions, 2005-2009

Author: South Pacific Regional Environment Programme
Publisher: SPREP
Date: 2005


SPREP strategic programmes 2004-2013

Author: South Pacific Regional Environment Programme
Publisher: SPREP
Date: 2005