The resource has been handy over the past ten years or so, while I was writing Australian history for publication. The sheer size of this makes it an impossible prospect for print publishers, so I haven’t even bothered hawking it around: I mean it’s 3 times the size of ‘War and Peace’! It is a labour of love, prepared over a number of years, all from original source material, AND there are hotlinks.
The newspaper excerpts come from OCRed digitised newspapers held on the National Library system (most of them showing my paw prints in the correction), while the books are mainly OCRed from photographed pages snaffled by my Samsung tablet in Mitchell Library or screen-grabbed from Google books, and in each case, fed through my own high-end OCR program.
I have read through everything, so what you get is close to perfect (unless I nodded). This Kindle version entirely lacks and Digital Rights Management: I trust users to treat my work fairly Mainly, don’t slap your name and a price tag on my work, given away for free.
Here, you will find everything I could find on any topic that became, however briefly, a temporary obsession, from pubs, sly grog, smuggling, snakes, bunyips, coaches, bicycles, fraud, bushfires, floods, newspapers, posts and telegraphs, biology, wars, bushrangers, farming, horse and cattle stealing, train wrecks and shipwrecks, Aborigines, emancipists, tickets of leave and the Female Factory, conservation, sanitation, diseases, divorce colonial style, women in trousers, road building, getting lost in the bush, exploration, power sources, coolies, gold rushes, cricket, swimming before bathing costumes, parks and gardens, rabbits, prickly pear and cane toads — and much more.
It pulls no punches, as this excerpt shows: “Mr. Watson has 40 pairs of blacks’ ears nailed round the walls collected during raiding parties after the loss of many cattle speared by the blacks.” To get the context, you’ll have to read the collection, using a good search strategy.
Peter Macinnis is an award-winning Australian writer for both adults and children, and his awards come from the Children's Book Council of Australia, the West Australian Premier’s Literary Awards, the Wilderness Society, and the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, among others.
Trained as a biologist, he cares about the stories behind things, and so he has become well-regarded as an historian. He also talks on ABC Radio National from time to time, sometimes teaches adults how to do extreme research and data handling, and thoroughly enjoys being the visiting scientist at his local K-6 school.