Guide to the Papers of Staniforth Smith


MS 1709

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Collection Summary

Miles Staniforth Carter Smith
Papers of Staniforth Smith
Date Range
Collection Number
MS 1709
1.26 metres (7 archive boxes)
Language of Materials
National Library of Australia


Conditions Governing Access

Please refer to the collection's catalogue record ( for the access conditions.

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Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions.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 Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.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 Staniforth Smith, National Library of Australia, MS 1709, [box number and series and/or file number]'.

Biographical Note

1869 - Born at Kingston, Victoria, February 25. Educated at St Arnand's Grammar School and Melbourne University.

1896 - Went to Kalgoorlie as manager of Reuter's Telegram Company.

1898 - Elected a councillor of the Municipality and appointed a Justice of the Peace.

1900 - Elected Mayor of Kalgoorlie

1901 - Headed the poll in Western Australia when the first elections for the Commonwealth Senate took place.

1906 - Retired from the Senate

1907 - Offered and accepted a position in the Papuan government service as Director of Agriculture and Mines, and Commissioner for Lands and Surveys. He acted as Administrator of Papua during any absence of the Lieutenant-Governor.

1916 - Enlisted as a private with the AIF, and later rose to the rank of lieutenant, during which time he was mentioned in despatches and received the MBE.

1919 - Published Australian Campaigns in the Great War.

1919 - Offered and accepted the adminstratorship of the Northern Territory, which position he held for almost 2 years.

1923 - Awarded the gold medal of the Royal Geographical Society of London for his Kikori expedition.

1928 - Married Miss Marjorie Mitchell of Bunbury.

1930 - Retired from Papua to live in Western Australia.

1934 - Died in Western Australia on 14th January leaving his wife and four children.

Item Descriptions

Series 1. Kalgoorlie - Papua

Reports to Deakin on his journey to Papua, the question of purchasing land from the natives, and having acquired it how to use it to the best advantage. Items 1-68.

Series 2. Papua and Kikori Expedition

Various reports, letters, maps and publications dealing with the Kikori Expedition, treatment of natives, expenses entailed, proposal of Royal Commission and eventual withdrawal of same. Protest against forced labour Bill introduced by Murray and S Smith's system of valuing Coconut Plantations. Items 68-722.

Series 3. Australian campaign in the great war

Expenses and related matters arising from the publication of Australian Campaigns in the Great War, by S Smith. Items 723-734.

Series 4. Northern Territory

Events leading up to his appointment as Administrator of Northern Territory, handbook on the Territory and his eventual resignation. Correspondence with the Royal Geographical Society, London, and award of gold medal for Kikori Expedition. Items 735-857.

Series 5. Missionary influence in Papua

Covers some aspects of Mission Spheres of influence in Papua, and mentions those connected with Roman Catholic, Anglican, Methodist and London Missionary Societies. Items 858-881.

Series 6. Miscellaneous

Article on life of 'Benjamin Boyd' and outline of Staniforth Smith's life. Matters arising from his retirement. Items 882-911.

Series 7. Photographs

Miscellaneous assortment of photographs, some of air pioneers and of Papua. Photographs also may be found amongst the publications. Items 912-924.

Series 8. Correspondence

Letters to and from various correspondents dealing mainly with native affairs in Papua, and private affairs arising from his administratorship there. Deakin, Murray, Atlee Hunt and Lewis letters predominate. Contains an early report on Kikori Expedition and many congratulatory telegrams received after its completion. Items 925-1279.

Series 9. Press cuttings

Press cuttings cover the main aspects of his life, and deal comprehensively with his writings, particularly his book Australian Campaigns in the Great War. Items 1280-1434.

Series 10. Diaries

Diaries have been kept for the years 1906-1930, except for the years 1916-1920. Items 1435-1457.

Series 11. Publications

Comprises Items 1458-1478.