VU Special Collections - How to access and use: Ruth & Maurie Crow Collection (2020)

Collection in Focus: Ruth & Maurie Crow Collection

During fifty years of political and social activism in Melbourne, Ruth Crow A.M. (1916 - 1999) and Maurie Crow (1915 - 1988) resourced several generations of urban campaigners, particularly during their residence in North Melbourne.

Their collection of printed material and working papers constitutes an important basis for understanding the wide variety of causes with which they were associated - from Ruth's work with women and children in Brunswick during WWII, and Maurie's in the Clerk's Union, to the pioneering work they did from the 1960's onwards in relation to public participation in urban planning, building neighbourhood communities and creating a sustainable future.

Themes explored this month are Urban Planning, Women's Issues, Labour Economics, Social Issues and Services, and Conservation.

Links to information about this collection:


Crow collection: Urban Planning

City, class, and power

Author: Manuel Castells
Publisher: Macmillan
Date: 1978

ISBN 0385128681

The double E

Author: Percival Goodman
Publisher: Garden City
Date: 1977

Percival Goodman was an American Architect who works for over 50 years in urban planning with a particular interest in religious architecture.

Shape of community: realization of human potential

Author: Serge Chermayeff, Alexander Tzonis
Publisher: Penguin
Date: 1971

ISBN 0080170196

Sub-regional planning studies: an evaluation

Author: T. M. Cowling and G. C. Steeley
Publisher: Pergamon Press
Date: 1973

VU staff and students can read a review of this book published in The Town Planning Review, Vol. 46, No. 1 in 1975. Click here for the review.


ISBN 0080180558

Growth centres in spatial planning

Author: Malcolm J. Moseley
Publisher: Pergamon Press
Date: 1974

ISBN 0249440717

The making of cities

Author: Walter G. Bor
Publisher: L. Hill
Date: 1972

An extended interview with Walter Bor is available from the British Library Oral History library. It forms part of the 'Architecture' Collection.

ISBN 0702208787

Australian town planning law: uniformity and change

Author: Alan Stuart Fogg
Publisher: University of Queensland Press
Date: 1974

ISBN 0720109000

Soviet urban and regional planning: a bibliography with abstracts

Author: Paul M. White
Publisher: Mansell Information Publishing
Date: 1979

ISBN 0724003266

The new cities of Campbelltown, Camden, Appin: structure plan

Author: State Planning Authority of New South Wales
Publisher: State Planning Authority of New South Wales
Date: 1973



ISBN 0851170129

The village in the city

Author: Nicholas Taylor
Publisher: Temple Smith
Date: 1973

Link to the electronic version on the Open Library.


ISBN 008017020X

Models in planning; an introduction to the use of quantitative models in planning

Author: Colin Lee
Publisher: Pergamon Press
Date: 1973

ISBN 0091196506

Citizens in conflict: the sociology of town planning

Author: James Martin Simmie
Publisher: Hutchinson
Date: 1974

ISBN 9780262120722

Managing the sense of a region

Author: Kevin Lynch                
Publisher: MIT Press
Date: 1976

The first book Kevin Lynch published was 'The Image of a City' which was based on a five year study looking at the elements of city in urban design. Here is a 2013 presentation on 'The Image of a City'




ISBN 0959957804

The city forest : the Keyline plan for the human environment revolution

Author: Percival Alfred Yeomans
Publisher: Keyline
Date: 1971

ISBN 0855520280

Australian urban and regional development

Author: Frank J.B. Stilwell
Publisher: Australian and New Zealand Book Company
Date: 1974

ISBN 0586080880

The international urban crisis

Author:Thomas L. Blair
Publisher: Paladin
Date: 1974

Crow collection: Women's Issues


Woman's consciousness, man's world

Author: Sheila Rowbotham
​Publisher: Penguin
Date: 1972    


Taking time : a women's historical data kit

Author: Yvonne Smith
Publisher: Union of Australian Women (Victoria) 
Date: 1988

The Union of Australian Women is an ongoing organisation.



The captive wife : conflicts of housebound mothers

Author: Hannah Gavron
Publisher: Penguin
Date: 1968


Woman's Estate

Author: Juliet Mitchell
Publisher: Penguin
Date: 1971

Special Collections has this book in three individual collections. It is in The Rationalist and the Patrick Wolfe collections as well as the Ruth & Maurie Crow collection.



The dialectic of sex : the case for feminist revolution

Author: Shulamith Firestone
Publisher: Cape
Date: 1971



The female eunuch

Author: Germaine Greer
Publisher: MacGibbon & Kee
Date: 1970

This book challenged a woman's traditional role in society, challenging social norms and questioned authority. 


Women in development : a resource guide for organization and action

Author: Women's International Information and Communication Service
Publisher: ISIS
Date: 1983



Mothers and daughters : women of the intelligentsia in nineteenth century Russia

Author: Barbara Alpern Engel
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Date: 1983



Breaking the chains : communist party women & the women's liberation movement 1965-1975

Author: Margaret Penson 
Publisher: Breaking the Chains Collective
Date: 1999



Women who dared

Author: Valjean McLenighan
Publisher: Raintree 
Date: 1979 


Women shaping history

Author: Denise DeClue
​Publisher: Raintree 
Date: 1979


The half-open door : sixteen modern Australian women look at professional life and achievement

Author: Grimshaw, Patricia, Strahan, Lynne (Eds.) 
Publisher: Hale &  Ironmonger
Date: 1982


Women of Viet Nam

Author: Arlene Eisen Bergman
Publisher: Peoples Press
Date: 1974


The Womans Book

Author: Victoria Billings
Publisher: Wollstonecraft 
Date: 1974

Crow Collection: Labour Economics

ISBN 9070776170

Trade unions today and tomorrow

Editor: Georges Spyropoulos
Publisher: Presses interuniversitaires europeennes, for the European Centre for Work and Society
Date: 1987

ISBN 1875560386

Rosa: a biography of Rosa Townsend

Author: Beryl Hackner
Publisher: University of Western Australia Press
Date: 1994

VU staff and students can click through to this book review published in the journal Labour History, 

Rosa Townsend's Story is outlined in the Papers of Labour History, Australian Society for the Study of Labour History. Click through the links below:

ISBN 1875285199

Weevils at work: what's happening to work in Australia: an oral record

Author: Wendy Lowenstein
Publisher: Catalyst Press
Date: 1997

ISBN 1864470771

Left-wing ladies: the union of Australian women in Victoria 1950-1998

Authors: Suzanne Fabian and Morag Loh
Publisher: Hyland House
Date: 2000

The Union of Australian Women is an ongoing organisation.

The Archives of the Union of Australian Women is material maintained by Victoria University Library and the Box List can be viewed for the range of material in the Archive. 

ISBN 1864031883

Partnership at work: the challenge of employee democracy: Labor essays 2003

Editors: Paul J. Gollan and Glenn Patmore
Publisher: Pluto Press
Date: 2003

ISBN 1864030518

Intimate union: sharing a revolutionary life / an autobiography

Author: Tom and Audrey McDonald
Publisher: Pluto
Date: 1998

ISBN 0959857206

Taming the concrete jungle: the builders laborers' story

Author: Pete Thomas
Publisher: New South Wales Branch of the Australian Building Construction Employees & Builders Laborers' Federation
Date: 1973

ISBN 0959329900

Meet the ship painters & dockers

Author: Lew Hillier
Publisher: Lew Hillier
Date: 1981

ISBN 0958923965

Australians on the left

Author: Len Fox
Publisher: Len Fox
Date: 1996

ISBN 083375291X

The trade union woman

Author: Alice Henry
Publisher: B. Franklin
Date: 1973

ISBN 0879233249

Victorian working women: portraits from life

Author: Michael Hiley
Publisher: D. R. Godine
Date: 1979

Here is an interesting witness2fashion blog post which uses this book in a discussion about fashion for working class women

ISBN 0868615714

Counting for nothing: what men value & what women are worth

Author: Marilyn Waring
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Date: 1998

ISBN 0868407607

Green bans, red union: environmental activism and the New South Wales Builders Labourers' Federation

Authors: Meredith Burgmann and Verity Burgmann
Publisher: UNSW Press
Date: 1998

A quote from a 2017 speech given by the author Meredith Burgmann "So what were the green bans? These were bans placed on building activity by the Builders Labourers’ Federation (BLF) and the Federated Engine Drivers and Fireman’s Association (FEDFA), between 1971 and 1974. There were eventually 40 Green Bans and they held up $5,000 million worth of building activity in 1974 dollar terms."

Read more about the Green Bans movement through these links:

ISBN 0732501318

The workers' paradise: Robert Schachner's letters from Australia, 1906-1907

Editors: John Lack, Frederik Ohles and Jürgen Tampke
Publisher: History Department University of Melbourne
Date: 1990

ISBN 0732267927

Life on the waterfront: an autobiography

Author: Tas Bull
Publisher: HarperCollins
Date: 1998

The Australian Society for the Study of Labour History remembers the life and influence of Tas Bull in this piece by Rowan Cahill in 2003 on the death of Tas Bull

Tas Bull gets several mentions in this VU theses by Douglas Jordan Conflict in the Unions: The Communist Party of Australia, Politics and the Trade Union Movement, 1945-1960, who went on to make several donations to VU Special Collections. 

ISBN 0646289128

The last battle

Author: Lindsay Tanner
Publisher: Kokkino Press
Date: 1996

ISBN 0646111221

Men of the footplate: one hundred and thirty years of railway trade unionism 1861-1991

Editors: Norman W. De Pomeroy and Richard Gilbert
Publisher:Australian Federated Union of Locomotive Enginemen (Victorian Division)
Date: 1992

ISBN 0380019248

Pink collar workers: inside the world of women's work

Author: Louise Kapp Howe
Publisher: Avon
Date: 1977

''Pink Collar Workers,'' which was nominated for a National Book Award, claimed that the majority of American women, despite the women's movement, remain as segregated occupationally as they were at the turn of the century. It argued that women are still trapped in traditional jobs as waitresses and secretaries, in which pay is consistently inferior to men's. (Quote from New York Times obituaries)

Louise Kapp Howe has four publications available through the Open Library Including this book.

Become a member of the Open Library and borrow the book to read.  Open Library is an initiative of the Internet Archive, a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, and websites.

Crow Collection: Social Issues and Services

ISBN 0713159456

The eternal slum: housing and social policy in Victorian London

Author: Anthony S. Wohl
Publisher: Edward Arnold
Date: 1977

ISBN 0959660658

Geordie orphan of the empire

Author: Lionel P Welsh
Publisher: P&B Press
Date 1990

ISBN 0958611106

The Melbourne benevolent asylum: Hotham's premier building

Author: Mary Kehoe
Publisher: Hotham History Project
Date: 1998

Community organisations exist to explore their local areas and ensure that history is not forgotten. "The Hotham History Project is a community group with an interest in the history of North and West Melbourne, formerly known as Hotham." Have a look at the website! 

ISBN 0949138312

Health wars

Author: Race Mathews
Publisher: Pluto Press
Date: 1989

ISBN 0935028005

World hunger: ten myths

Authors: Frances Moore Lappé & Joseph Collins
Publisher: Institute for Food and Development Policy
Date: 1982 

ISBN 0896080897

Ecology as politics

Author: André Gorz; translated by Patsy Vigderman and Jonathan Cloud
Publisher: South End Press
Date: 1980

ISBN 0851396305

Tenants taking over

Author: Colin Ward
Publisher: Architectural Press
Date: 1974

ISBN 0850313503

The self-managing environment

Author: Alan Roberts
Publisher: Allison & Busby
Date: 1979

ISBN 0725101318

Skid row dossier

Author: John de Hoog
Publisher: Sun Books
Date: 1972

ISBN 064217377x

Where now?: homeless families in the 1990s

Author: Jean McCaughey
Publisher: Australian Institute of Family Studies
Date: 1992

ISBN 0642973857

Housing and government

Author: Hugh Stretton
Publisher: Australian Broadcasting Commission
Date: 1974

"Professor Stretton was one of Australia’s leading public intellectual and social-democratic thinkers and he inspired numerous people in government and academia who shared his vision of a fairer Australia." This is a quote from the The Stretton Institute website page, The University of Adelaide.

On his death in 2015 he was remembered by many organisations:

ISBN 0521085063

Five per cent philanthropy: an account of housing in urban areas between 1840 and 1914

Author: John Nelson Tarn
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Date: 1973

ISBN 0333328434

Housing policy and practice

Authors: Peter Malpass and Alan Murie
Publisher: Macmillan
Date: 1982

ISBN 0140220097

Limits to medicine: medical nemesis: the expropriation of health

Author: Ivan Illich
Publisher: Penguin
Date: 1977

ISBN 014021692

The classic slum: Salford life in the first quarter of the century

Author: Robert Roberts
Publisher: Penguin
Date: 1973

ISBN 086861937x

Caring for Australia's children: political and industrial issues in child care

Authors: Deborah Brennan and Carol O'Donnell
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Date: 1986

Crow Collection: Conservation


Conservation and pollution

Author: Olive Jackson
Publisher: Angus and Robertson
Date: 1971


Mankind at the turning point: the second report to the club of Rome

 Author: Mihajlo Mesarovic and Eduard Pestel
Publisher: Hutchinson
Date: 1975


Man, the earth and tomorrow; an introduction to the conservation and use of Australia's natural resources

Author: D. C. White and C. S. Elliot
Publisher:  Cassell Australia
Date: 1969


Energy for survival: the alternative to extinction

Author: Wilson Clark
Publisher: Anchor Press/Doubleday
Date: 1975 


Going critical

Author: Walter C. Patterson
Publisher: Paladin
Date: 1985


Urbanization and environment: the physical geography of the city

Author: Thomas R. Detwyler and Melvin G. Marcus
Publisher:  Duxbury Press
Date: 1972


Non-nuclear futures: the case for an ethical energy strategy

Author: Amory B. Lovins, John H. Price
Publisher: Friends of the Earth International
Date: 1975


Our world : a caretakers guide

Author: Rob Gell (et al.)
Publisher: Conservation Council of Victoria
Date: 1981

The energy answer, 1982-2000

Author: Richard C. Dorf
Publisher: Brick House
Date: 1982


Who asked us: coal, power, aluminium- the Hunter regions only future?

Author: Concerned citizens of Port Stephens
Publisher: Newcastle Ecology Centre
Date: 1980


There has to be a better way to make energy than by burning things

Author: Council of Resources and Energy
Publisher: Council of Resources and Energy
Date: 1977


Seeds for change : creatively confronting the energy crisis

Author: Deborah White (et al.)
Publisher: Patchwork Press
Date: 1978


Nature conservation in Victoria: a survey

Author: Judith Frankenberg
Publisher: Victorian National Parks Association
Date: 1971


The decline of the age of oil

Author: Brian J. Fleay
Publisher: Pluto Press
Date: 1995