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The ADPML recognises the contribution to Australian society of Deakin University’s namesake, Alfred Deakin, 1856-1919. Alfred Deakin took a leading role in the processes which led to Federation, in the drafting of the Constitution for the Commonwealth of Australia and in the securing of its approval in the individual colonies and in England. He was elected to the first Commonwealth Parliament, serving as Attorney-General. He was Prime Minister for three terms, 1903-1904, 1905-1908 and 1909-1910.
The ADPML is associated with the Alfred Deakin Research Institute, being established in 2009 as a high profile research, teaching, consultancy, and community resource facility.
The ADPML aims to provide access to material relating to Alfred Deakin, held within its collections or elsewhere, and support the Institute by providing targeted services and resources to support its research activities. The Library also provides access to many of Deakin University Library’s special collections, which are rich in 19th century publications reflecting the cultural and social milieu of the period 1850-1920. Visitors to the ADPML Reading Room are able to research their family history using the Library’s large genealogy collection.
Alfred Deakin’s interests included law and legal institutions, public policy and governance, imperial relations and defence policy, journalism, literature, spiritualism, and regional development. Deakin's greatest legacy was in the national political and legal institutions which, as one of the founding fathers of federation and an early Prime Minister of Australia, he was instrumental in developing. He was also an imperial statesman and journalist of international influence.
The ADPML is one of Deakin University Library’s five locations. It provides access to many special collections, as well as those associated with Alfred Deakin.
A senior professional (The Curator and Librarian, Alfred Deakin Prime Ministerial Library) is responsible for the development and day-to-day management of the ADPML, and the Special Collections.
The Digital Archive, developed in partnership with the National Library of Australia and the Deakin family, will contain material sourced from both public and private domains, including the National Library of Australia, the Victorian Parliamentary Library, and the Public Record Office of Victoria. As well as digitised papers and images of memorabilia, books and periodicals falling within the collection focus and out of copyright will be digitised over time to improve access to relevant materials.
The specialised reference collection and reading room will facilitate research into Alfred Deakin, his life and times including his role in the Victorian colonial parliament, in the Federal Movement, and in the Commonwealth of Australia. Selected material on other Prime Ministers and the Australian Government since Federation will also be acquired.
A supporting collection of memorabilia, and nineteenth century imprints of many works that would have been read by Deakin, or his contemporaries, will give insight into the life and times of Alfred Deakin.
The ADPML website will provide access to the digital archive, and the resources and services of the Library.
Selection will focus on the following collection areas:
Historical and contemporary publications concerning:
Government publications and reference materials for Victoria and other Australian states, New Zealand and the Australian Commonwealth (1850-1920) in the following categories:
The personal library of Alfred Deakin, being as far as possible the 1500 titles held in his personal library at the time of his death. Where personal copies are not held the Library will seek to acquire editions contemporary with Alfred Deakin.
Supporting collection of mainly 19th century publications aiming to reflect the cultural and social milieu of the period 1850-1919, held in Deakin University’s Special Collections, including as far as possible authors and titles known to have been read by Alfred Deakin. A list of authors and titles read by Alfred Deakin will be maintained by the Library. A selection of these works will be located with the Alfred Deakin Collection, representing the major influences and interests of Alfred Deakin.
Limited selection of primary materials, such as letters, pictures and objects, suitable for use as exhibition elements.
The ADPML will acquire material by purchase and donation. The monies for purchased material will be drawn from the ADPML budget.
Donations may be accepted for inclusion where they meet the following criteria:
Donated items will be considered for acceptance under the Commonwealth Government’s Cultural Gifts Program.
Physical items in the ADPML and other special collections are not available for lending. However, the collections are available for enquiries and consultation during specified hours publicised on the Deakin University Library website. Some items may be subject to photocopying restrictions due to fragility or the nature of their format.
The digital collection is not restricted in this manner, and for this reason will be enhanced as far as possible over time.
Material acquired for the ADPML and other special collections is housed in purpose-built facilities which meet environmental, storage and security standards.
The Library’s preservation program addresses issues of repair, replacement and reformatting in accordance with recognised standards.
The ADPML is part of a larger network of Australian Prime Ministerial Libraries, including the Australian Prime Ministers’ Centre at Old Parliament House, the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library, the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Library, the Whitlam Institute and the Malcolm Fraser Collection at the University of Melbourne.
The National Library of Australia and the National Archives of Australia are key cultural institutions and as such are major custodians of the official and personal papers of Australian Prime Ministers, including those of Alfred Deakin. The ADPML has worked closely with the National Library of Australia to make the Deakin papers available online and is a Portal Partner in the National Archives of Australia’s Australian Prime Ministers’ website which aims to make prime ministerial records more widely known.