Guide to the Papers of W. G. R. Gilfillan


MS 854

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Collection Summary

W. G. R. Gilfillan
Papers of W. G. R. Gilfillan
Date Range
Collection Number
MS 854
1.6 metres (12 boxes)
Language of Materials
National Library of Australia


Scope and Contents

The papers consist mainly of secondary source material. They include university lecture notes, handwritten notes, lecture notes for real estate courses, various reports and papers prepared by the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Authority, technical documents and journal articles on explosives and notes on public speaking.

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Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions.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 Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.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 W. G. R. Gilfillan, National Library of Australia, MS 854, [series and/or file number]'.


The papers were donated to the Library by Gilfillan's wife in 1991, after his death in 1990.

The W. G. R. Gilfillan Collection of maps is held in the Library's Map Collection. See also MS 861 for other papers on the development of the Snowy Mountains region which were also donated by Gilfillan.


The lecture notes, mostly from Melbourne University have been arranged in folders and neatly labelled by Gilfillan. They have been supplemented by journal articles and hand written notes. The original folders and the arrangement of material within the folders have been maintained by the Library. The items in folders 54, 58, 62, 68 and 69 had been donated to the Library in previous years (1963, 1974, 1989 and 1991). They have been amalgamated into this consignment and re-numbered.

Item Descriptions

Series [unnumbered]. Melbourne University, Engineering School, Lecture Notes

These papers consist mainly of prepared lecture notes and handwritten notes. They have been arranged in folders and neatly labelled according to the subject or unit being studied at the time by Gilfillan (1925-29). They have been supplemented by journal articles, government reports, pamphlets and product catalogues which relate to the subject. The original folders and the arrangement of material within the folders has been maintained by the Library.

Arches (File 1) - Box 1

Architecture (File 2) - Box 1

Beams (File 3) - Box 1

Bridges (File 4) - Box 1

Chemistry (File 5) - Box 1

Costing (File 6) - Box 1

Dams and weirs (File 7) - Box 1

Electricity (File 8) - Box 1

Exam papers (File 9) - Box 2

Foundations (File 10) - Box 2

Geology (File 11) - Box 2

Hydraulics (File 12) - Box 2

Hydroelectricity, Irrigation (File 13) - Box 2

Machinery, Materials and testing (File 14) - Box 2

Mathematics (File 15) - Box 2

Practical work, Pumps and turbines (File 16) - Box 2

Reports (File 17) - Box 3

Roads (File 18) - Box 3

Ropes, sanitation, sewerage (File 19) - Box 3

Specifications (File 20) - Box 3

Steelwork (File 21) - Box 3

Sundries, surveying (File 22) - Box 4

Town planning (File 23) - Box 4

Tramways and transport (File 24) - Box 4

Series [unnumbered]. Real Estate Courses; lecture notes

Gilfillan undertook a number of courses in real estate by correspondence between 1956 and 1960. At this time he lived in Cooma and worked for the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Authority. The courses were run by the Sydney University Extension Board in conjunction with the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales. Correspondence students were sent folders of lecture notes covering the whole course. Some of the folders contain correspondence between Gilfillan and the Real Estate Institute relating to enrolment details, exams and future courses.

Valuation of Real Estate, Part I, 1956 (File 25) - Box 4

Valuation of Real Estate, Part II, 1957 (File 26) - Box 4

Real Estate and Valuation Practice, Part I, 1958 (File 27) - Box 4

Real Estate and Valuation Practice, Part II, 1959 (File 28) - Box 5

Real Estate and Valuation Practice, Part III, 1960 (File 29) - Box 5

Series [unnumbered]. Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Authority

This material consists of reports and lecture notes which were produced by the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Authority or by outside companies in relation to tender contracts.

'Snowy-Murray development: final report of committee on supply routes for works on western side of mountains', June 1956 (File 30) - Box 5

'In-service training courses: 1. Inspectors (contract supervision): (File 31) - Box 5

Basic course, lecture notes', March 1956 (File A-1) - Box 5

'Developments in reinforced concrete and their relationship to modern concrete codes', notes for post graduate course, 1959 (File 32) - Box 5

'Applied nuclear physics', notes for a lecture course conducted by the Research School of Physical Sciences, Australian National University, for the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Authority, 1960 (File 33) - Box 5

'Proposals for diverting the Snowy River to the Murray for the generation of electricity', compiled by W.G. R. Gilfillan, Cooma, 1963 (File 34) - Box 6

'In-service training courses: 1. Inspectors (contract supervision) welding lecture notes', May 1965 (File 35) - Box 6

'Tender for seven 56MVA single phase transformers and ancillary equipment for T-1 power station, contract No 40,006', submitted by Australian General electric Proprietary Limited (n.d.) (File 36) - Box 6

Series [unnumbered]. Explosives

The majority of this material consists of notes, papers and reports prepared by the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Authority on explosives and commercially prepared notes by private companies such as ICI. Gilfillan was Safety Officer for the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Authority for 15 years prior to his retirement in 1971.

'Instructions for the care and use of explosives', Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Authority, September 1950 (2 copies) (File 37) - Box 6

Nobel Notes (Vol 1 No 1-Vol 20 No 1), 1953-72. These information circulars contain technical updates on explosives and blasting (2 sets) (File 38-39) - Box 6-7

'Handling and use of explosives', notes for a course, 13-14 May 1955, Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Authority, 1955 (File 40) - Box 7

Handling and Use of Explosives Course, 13-14 May 1955: course notes, internal memorandum and minutes relating to the course and a list of successful candidates on completion of examinations held in October 1955 (File 41) - Box 7

Lecture notes for training courses for inspectors at Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Authority, 1955 (File 42) - Box 7

'Improvements in explosive techniques', typescript notes (n.d.) (File 43) - Box 7

Various issues of Explosives Bulletin and Better Blasting and miscellaneous journal articles on blasting and explosives, 1953-56 (File 44) - Box 7

Miscellaneous notes, journal articles and legislation relating to explosives, 1950-69 (File 45) - Box 8

Lecture notes for Small Scale Explosive Course, Part II, Diffusion Blasting held at Cooma Technical College, 1971 and miscellaneous issues of Nobel Notes, 1972-73 (File 46) - Box 8

Series [unnumbered]. Other material

These miscellaneous papers relate to Gilfillan's employment with the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Authority, his interest in public speaking, and material collected while living in Cooma and later on his retirement in Canberra, where he was a voluntary guide for Questacon. The items in files 54, 58, 62, 68 and 69 had been donated to the Library in previous years (1963, 1974, 1989 and 1991). They have been amalgamated into this consignment and renumbered.

Personal diary, July 1893-January 1894 (author unknown) (File 47) - Box 8

Duplicate copy of an agreement for the purchase of a brewery business by George Robert Gilfillan in 1894 (File 48) - Box 8

New South Wales Public Works Department Professional Officers' Association data sheets (various, 1913-1926) (File 49) - Box 8

Three letters (1929, 1971, 1972) relating to requests for product information and copies of technical notes (File 50) - Box 8

Peakhurst Training Society, notes on public speaking, 1950-56 (File 51) - Box 9

Notes, newscuttings and pamphlets on civil defence, 1951-64 (File 52) - Box 9

Pamphlet Water and Power from the Snowy Mountains Scheme (File 53) - Box 9

Attached to this pamphlet are six letters of acceptance to attend the official opening of the Guthega Hydro-Electric Project on 23 April 1955. They include letters from the Prime Minister and Dame Patty Menzies, Mr and Mrs John McEwen and Sir William and Lady McKell. Four letters expressing an inability to attend are also attached

Snowy Mountains and Monaro Horticultural Society Account Book, 1957-1964 (File 54) - Box 9

Photocopy of Biographical memoirs ofClaude Cavendish Inglish, Fellow of the Royal Society (Great Britain) by A. Rylands Thomas and Sir Angus Paton and a copy of The United Nations Flag Code andRegulations (1958) (File 55) - Box 9

Test report on lightweight aggregate carried out by the School of Civil Engineering, New South Wales Institute of Technology, 1958 and a journal article by G. B. Welch, 'Expanded shale lightweight aggregate' reprinted from Constructional Review, November 1958 (File 56) - Box 9

'Speechcraft: notes on the techniques of public speaking', prepared by L. K. Burgess, President, ACT Dais, Australian Rostrum, Canberra, 1959 (File 57) - Box 9

Program for a revue 'Top heavy' produced by the students of Canberra University College in 1959. There are also typescript notes of the various productions (File 58) - Box 10

Notes relating to Australia Day celebrations and correspondence with the Australia Day Council (NSW), January 1960, seeking information for activities to celebrate Australia Day (File 59) - Box 10

Notes on speed reading and Strine language, 1962-74 (File 60) - Box 10

Address given by Professor C. H. Munro at the annual meeting of 'Men of the Land' Society, 12 March 1963 (File 61) - Box 10

St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Cooma, Minutes of the Committee of Management Meetings, 1966-67, order of service sheets, miscellaneous church notices and typescript sheets of sketches for revue 'Top heavy' (see also folder 58) (File 62) - Box 10

Draft notes for biographical memoir of Sir William Hudson (1896-1978), Commissioner of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Authority, 1949-67, prepared in 1979 and an obituary notice, 1978 (File 63) - Box 10

'Questacon lectures 1981', the fifth series of Questacon lectures held at the Australian National University, 1981 (File 64) - Box 11

Notes and papers produced to complement a 1981 Questacon lecture series and as an aid for Questacon explainers (File 65) - Box 11

Information on the Canning Stock Route in Western Australia prepared by Mark de Graaf, Head of Department of Anthropology and Sociology, Darwin and Alice Springs Community Colleges (n.d.) (File 66) - Box 11

Two notebooks containing notes by Gilfillan on road systems and their construction in various American states (n.d.) (File 67) - Box 11

Typescript: 'The plastic behaviour and design of welded steel structures' (File 68) - Box 11

School and university notes belonging to Rosemary Gilfillan. She was a student at Monaro High School, Cooma and later studied at the University of New South Wales (File 69) - Box 12