In late March 2018 Michael joined an ARC research team as Senior Research Fellow. The project focuses on the policies and collections of three state libraries (SA, Vic and NSW) and the National Library as they relate to multicultural Australia. He will be based at the National Library for the next 12 months, focussing particularly on its collections, developing and applying a methodology to assess the extent to which they reflect culturally and linguistically diverse people and communities in Australia.
He has been working as a consultant archivist and researcher since 2008, having for nearly 40 years previously been with the National Library, the War Memorial, the National Archives and the University of Melbourne Archives and Cultural Collections Group. A foundation member of the Australian Society of Archivists since 1975, he has contributed to the library and archives professions in a variety of ways including editing Archives and Manuscripts, producing and editing publications, organising conferences and leading debates. He was made an AM in the Queen’s Birthday Honours last year.
His current involvements include Treasurer, Honest History and Chair, Territory Records Advisory Council, and in 2017 he finished a 5 year term as President of the Friends of the Noel Butlin Archives Centre. He has contributed to the professional literature in Australia and internationally, produced guides to collections, undertaken significance assessments – usually subcontracted by Significance International Ltd, produced commissioned book reviews, peer reviews, and theses examination reports in archival science areas. His major publication is Archives and Societal Provenance; Australian Essays (Chandos, 2012).
The Deakin ARC commitment aside, Michael has a continuing interest in the documentation of war, and produced two book chapters in recent years on the war correspondent and historian CEW Bean. He will give a keynote in July at a conference co-convened by Dr Bart Ziino for the International Society for First World War Studies. Another conference in prospect, which Michael is organizing in conjunction with the Australian Committee of the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Committee, will focus on the broad ideal of Documenting Australian Society. Works currently in press are a review of The Silence of the Archive (Facet, 2017), and chapters for a UK text on community archives and for a Canadian/US text assessing the contribution of the late Dr Terry Cook. Michael is also included as a subject in and contributor to the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Archival Writers, 1550-2015.