Guide to the Papers of Renee Erdos


MS 5724

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Collection Summary

Erdos, Renee F., 1911-1997
Papers of Renee Erdos
Date Range
Collection Number
MS 5724
1.26 metres (9 boxes)
Language of Materials
National Library of Australia


Scope and Contents

The papers comprise addresses, reports on study tours, articles and publications written by Erdos; proceedings and other conference papers of the International Council for Correspondence Education; and research papers on correspondence and distance education in Australia and overseas, particularly in developing countries.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is available for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions. For such material, written permission to publish must be obtained from the copyright holder(s). Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.

Preferred Citation

Items from this collection should be cited as '[Title or description of manuscript item], Papers of Renee Erdos, National Library of Australia, MS 5724, [series and/or file number]'.


The papers were donated to the Library by Renee Erdos in 1978 and 1993.

An Oral History recording with Hazel De Berg (14 July 1976) is held at ORAL DeB 951-952.

Biographical Note

Renee Erdos was born in Ceylon in 1911, the only child of a Hungarian father and Portuguese/Australian mother. She was educated at Loreto Convent (Kirribilli, Sydney) and the University of Sydney where she graduated with a BA, Dip Ed in 1934. Erdos taught in various high schools in New South Wales and first became interested in distance education in 1944 when she agreed to prepare a 40 lesson correspondence course in modern history for the Sydney Technical College. She later became the head teacher in history in the NSW Department of Technical Education.

In 1959-1969 she was promoted to head of the School of External Studies. In 1961 Erdos was awarded a Smith/Mundt Fulbright grant to study external studies in the United States and Canada. In 1962 she received a British Council award and toured the United Kingdom, Scandinavia, Denmark, Holland, Germany, France, Russia, India, Thailand and Malaysia. In 1965-1969, Erdos was President of the International Council for Correspondence Education, chairing a conference of 156 delegates from 34 nations at UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

After her retirement from the Department of Technical Education, Erdos worked as an educator and education administrator for UNESCO in Botswana (1970-1972), for Swedish International Development Assistance in Tanzania (1972-1975), and for the Danish International Development Agency in Swaziland (1976-1979). She was the author of a number of books on adult education subjects and a biography, Teaching beyond the campus (1992). Erdos died in Sydney in 1997.

Biographical Reference(s)

The Sydney Morning Herald. (Obituary, 1997).

Teaching beyond the campus. (1992).

Item Descriptions

Series 1. Writings by Renee Erdos, 1961-1992

Addresses, reports, articles and publications by Renee Erdos. Topics include teaching by correspondence in Australia, the teaching of commercial subjects, adult education in Tanzania, adult external studies in Papua and New Guinea, correspondence education in Botswana and other African nations, the establishment of correspondence education institutions and predictions for the future of distance education. There is also a report on the sixth International Conference of the International Council on Correspondence Education (1963), a report on visits to African countries (1968), papers relating to the Conference on Correspondence Education in Africa (Nairobi, 1973), and copies of Erdos' books Teaching by correspondence (1967) and Teaching beyond the campus (1992).

Writings, 1961-1963 (File 1)

Writings, 1964-1967 (File 2)

Writings, 1968-1970 (File 3)

Writings, 1971-1972 (File 4)

Writings, 1973-1974 (File 5)

Writings, 1975 (File 6)

Writings, 1976-1978 (File 7)

Series 2. International Council on Distance Education, 1938-1992

The International Council on Correspondence Education (ICCE) was established in 1938 to promote knowledge and undertake research for the improvement of correspondence education throughout the world. In 1982, the organisation became the International Council on Distance Education (ICDE). Renee Erdos was President of the ICCE in 1965-1969 and the author an ICCE resource book Teaching by correspondence.

The series comprises a set of the proceedings of ICCE and ICDE conferences from 1938-1992. There are also associated conference programs, leaflets, conference papers (including microfiche), a 50th anniversary review of the ICDE (1988), posters, reports of the Executive Committee and song lyrics. Other papers relating to the ICCE/ICDE include membership directories, reports and newsletters of the ICDE Women's International Network.

First International Conference, Victoria, Canada, 1938 (File 1-2)

Second International Conference, Lincoln, USA, 1948 (File 3)

Third International Conference, Christchurch, New Zealand, 1950 (File 4)

Fourth International Conference, Pennsylvania, USA, 1953 (File 5)

Fifth International Conference, Banff, Canada, 1957 (File 6)

Sixth International Conference, Gearhart, USA, 1961 (File 7)

Seventh International Conference, Saltsjobaden, Sweden, 1965 (File 8)

Eighth International Conference, Paris, France, 1969 (File 9)

Ninth International Conference, Warrenton, Virginia, USA, 1972 (File 10-12)

Tenth International Conference, Brighton, England, 1975 (File 13-14)

Eleventh International Conference, New Delhi, India, 1978 (File 15-17)

Twelfth World Conference, Vancouver, Canada, 1982 (File 18)

Thirteenth World Conference, Melbourne, Australia, 1985 (File 19-20)

Fourteenth World Conference, Oslo, Norway, 1988 (File 21)

Fifteenth World Conference, Caracas, Venezuela, 1990 (File 22)

Sixteenth World Conference, Bangkok, Thailand, 1992 (File 23)

ICCE membership directories, 1978-1992 (File 24)

'The impact of ICDE World Conferences on the development of distance education in Africa, Asia and Latin America' by Joe K. Ansere, 1988 (File 25)

Newsletters of the ICDE Women's International Network, reports and other papers, 1983-1990 (File 26)

Series 3. Research papers, 1960-1992

Research papers accumulated by Erdos in the course of her professional career and in researching her publications. The papers include articles, conference papers, leaflets, publications and other papers relating to distance/correspondence education in Australia and internationally.

Australia, 1967-1992 (File 1-5)

United States and Canada, 1960-1988 (File 6)

Europe, Germany, Sweden, 1968-1986 (File 7)

Japan, Vietnam, India, 1975 (File 8)

Swaziland, Botswana, 1976-1992 (File 9)

Tanzania, 1973-1986 (File 10-12)

Africa, 1973 (File 13)

United Nations conference and workshop on correspondence education in Africa (Nairobi, Kenya)

Ghana, Mauritius, Nigeria, Rhodesia, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, 1963-1987 (File 14)

Fiji, Argentina, Commonwealth, 1979-1986 (File 15)

Miscellaneous research papers, 1960-1990 (File 16-18)

Series 4. Other papers, 1884-1987

The papers comprise notes, early articles and printed material relating to teaching technical education by correspondence in New South Wales; Erdos' report on her study tour of the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Scandinavia, Denmark, Holland, Germany, France, Russia, India, Thailand and Malaysia; and reports and a newsletter of the Australian and South Pacific External Studies Association.

Technical education, 1884-1937 (File 1)

Report on overseas study tour from 25 Aug. 1961 to 26 Aug. 1962, 1961-1962 (File 2)

Australian and South Pacific External Studies Association- reports and newsletter, 1974-1987 (File 3)

Container List

Series File/Item Box
1 1-6 1
1 7-8 2
2 1-5 2
2 6-12 3
2 13-20 4
2 21-26 5
3 1-6 6
3 7-12 7
3 13-18 8
4 1-3 9