Rusden Papers

Rusden Papers

George William Rusden was born in 1819 at Leith Hill, near Dorking, Surrey, England. He arrived in the Colony of New South Wales in May 1834 with his parents and siblings.

About George W Rusden

He managed a pastoral property owned by Charles Nicholson near Gundagai, New South Wales for seven years. In the late 1840s Rusden visited China where is brother had commercial interests. Rusden was appointed agent for the National Schools Board in 1849, first in Port Phillip then in Moreton Bay.

1851 saw Rusden back in Melbourne, when he was appointed to the post of clerk in the Colonial Secretary's Office. This was followed by appointments as a clerk of the Executive Council, then Clerk of the Parliaments (Clerk of the Legislative Council).

Rusden was a member of the Council of the University of Melbourne from the appointment of the first Council in 1853 until he retired to England in 1882. The same year that he retired from the Clerkship of the Parliaments.

Whilst in England Rusden was on the Executive of the Imperial Federation League. He returned to Melbourne in 1893 and lived at his residence in South Yarra. Rusden died on 23 December 1903.

Trinity's Rusden Collection

The Trinity College Archives has collected and received donated materials that are associated with Rusden or the Rusden collection. The collection includes a number of letters from Charles Dickens and other members of the Dickens family to George William Rusden, who was a member of the Council of the University of Melbourne 1853–82. Here is a summary of the many items, as listed by Bruce Smith, that Trinity has in its collection. 

This is a responsive table, swipe to scroll

SeriesVolumeFormatDescription
GWR001 Volume 1 Pamphlets, Imperial Union  Pamphlets and other printed material collected by Rusden relating to Britain and its colonies. This material was arranged by Rusden and then bound into the present volume.
GWR002 Volume 2 Imperial Federation  Correspondence and printed material collected by Rusden relating to Imperial Federation. Where possible Rusden's description of the items has been used. As part of the table of contents Rusden makes a number of comments and/or observations about the activities recorded in the contents of this volume. 
GWR003 Volume 3 Miscellaneous Pamphlets and other printed material collected by Rusden relating to a range of subjects of interest. This material was arranged by Rusden and then bound into the present volume. There is no table of contents for the volume, however each item is sequentially numbered in pencil by Rusden(?). 
GWR004 Volume 4 Federation Pamphlets  Pamphlets and other printed material collected by Rusden. This material was arranged by Rusden and then bound into the present volume. The contents cover a range of topics, mainly associated with federation. 
GWR005 Volume 5 History of Australia – Reviews; Extracts; Autograph letters  Covers of this volume are from Rusden's History of Australia Volume 1. The first few pages are printed pages from the publication. The greater proportion are blank and have been used as a scrap book by Rusden. It contains an inaccurate, handwritten, memorandum of Contents prepared by Rusden.
GWR006 Volume 6 Scrapbook of newspaper cuttings This volume consists of newspaper cuttings on many subjects of interest to Rusden. Some are sourced to the newspaper with the date of publication, many are not sourced. Subjects covered include: Gladstone and the Vatican; English University Commission of 1874, Dr Liddeon; Colonel Gordon, Victoria Parliament, Slave trade in Egypt; Anglican Church, Vatican Decrees.
GWR007 Volume 7 Scrapbook  Collection of publications, newspaper cuttings and manuscript material about Federation and the 'Commonwealth of Australia Bill'.
GWR008 Volume 7A Victoria Parliamentary Reports  Bound copies of Victorian Parliamentary Reports. Volume includes Rusden's handwritten table of contents. Some items provide evidence of Rusden's instructions to the binder in the form of pencil notes.
GWR009 Volume 8 Miscellaneous Aborigines  Collection of publications, newspaper cuttings and manuscript material about a range of subjects associated with aboriginal people in Australia.
GWR010 Volume 9 Newspaper Cuttings Scrapbook of newspaper cuttings from the Lyttelton Times. A note by Rusden on the reverse of the title page states: The following extracts are almost without exception taken from the Lyttelton Times. Their 'special correspondent was Mr Crombie Brown. Their 'our own Corr't' was Mr Hamilton. The Corresp't of the 'Press Association' was Mr Humphries. Includes loose paper at folio 152 – Minutes of the Proceedings of the Legislative Council, Wednesday, 25th May, 1881. 
GWR011 Volume 10 Variorum 1844–93 Correspondence and printed material collected by Rusden relates to a range of subjects which were of interest to Rusden. It is possible some items were retained by Rusden to be representative of his communications with various people. This material was arranged by Rusden and then bound into the present volume. 
GWR012 Volume 11 Letters GW Rusden  Correspondence and printed material collected by Rusden relates to a range of subjects which were of interest to Rusden. It is possible some items were retained by Rusden to be representative of his communications with various people. This material was arranged by Rusden and then bound into the present volume. 
GWR013 Volume 12  Government and other publications  Government publications, mainly Victorian. The volume has a Table of Contents that was prepared by Rusden. Inside of front cover has an unsourced newspaper cutting 'Mr Bryce and the Magistracy'. 
GWR014 Volume 13  Votes and Proceedings of the Legislative Council Copy of Votes and Proceedings of the Legislative Council [Victoria], during the session 1853-54, Volume II, Printed Melbourne 1854. Contents page(s) missing. It is possible some pages are also missing from the volume. 
GWR015 Volume 14 Extracts Newspaper cuttings, correspondence, handwritten notes and publications on a range of subjects of interest to Rusden. There are annotations on flyleaf about some items found in the volume. Pages are numbered sequentially although numbers do not appear on all pages. 
GWR016 Volume 15 Letters and Fragments GW Rusden  Correspondence and published materials collected by Rusden. This material was arranged by Rusden and then bound into the present volume. A note in table of contents by Rusden notes: 'A few scraps misplaced by the binder at the beginning.'
GWR017 Volume 16 Government publications  Government publications. The volume has a hand written table of contents. Each paper is identified with roman numerals. In many instances the 'Item Title' has been qualified with Rusden's table of contents entry to help explain the document content. 
GWR018 Volume 17 GM Rusden various newspaper cuttings Newspaper cuttings pasted into volume. Some have been annotated by Rusden. Many folios are numbered in red crayon or pencil. Numbers commence at 103 and run to 437, they then start again at 67 and run to 93. Many cuttings are undated and unsourced. The subjects covered by the cuttings vary from 'South Seas Labour Traffic to Horse Racing in California to local Victorian political issues. It is interesting to note on folio 263 there is a Letter to the Editor cutting signed by an 'A Burgess'. Rusden has annotated this to indicate that he was A Burgess. In addition to the newspaper cuttings there are a small number of printed and handwritten documents pasted into this volume. 
GWR019 Volume 18 Maoria Publication, correspondence and other material relating the Maori people of New Zealand. The volume has a handwritten table of contents prepared by Rusden, items are identified with Roman Numerals. 
GWR020 Volume 19 Newspaper cuttings Newspaper cuttings pasted into volume. Some have been annotated by Rusden. Folios are numbered in blue crayon/pencil. Numbers commence at 3 and continue to 310. The last pages few folios in the volume are unnumbered but have cuttings pasted on them. Many cuttings are undated and unsourced. Subjects vary with a number relating to Maori affairs in New Zealand. 
GWR021 Volume 20 Old Manuscripts NSW  Volume contains notes prepared by Rusden(?) and published material possibly used in the writing of his History of New Zealand. The volume has a handwritten table of contents prepared by Rusden with items identified with Roman Numerals. 
GWR022 Volume 21 Red Scrap book  Volume contains notes, correspondence and other items relating to a range of subjects of interest to Rusden. A handwritten table of content prepared by Rusden uses both roman (for items) and arabic numerals (for page numbers). An envelope is glued to inside of front cover and has the annotation 'it is thought that this negative is of the only existing copy of the Broadsheet in existence. "King's Proclamation 1804"' 
GWR023 Volume 22 Miscellaneous  Volume containing pamphlets, tourist guides and other material of interest to Rusden.
GWR024 Volume 23 Letters of GW Rusden  Volume has a table of contents prepared by Rusden. Arabic numbers are used in Table of Contents and roman numerals are used on the items. Unsourced newspaper cuttings relating to Imperial Federation are pasted to first three pages. There is also an annotation by Rusden about the cuttings. 
GWR025 Volume 24 Pamphlets – Political  Volume contains pamphlets collected by Rusden. A handwritten table of contents prepared by Rusden that gives the name of the pamphlet and year of publication(?). There are no identifiers. 
GWR026 Volume 25 Letter GW Rusden  Volume contains correspondence and pamphlets and has a handwritten table of contents prepared by Rusden . Each documents is identified in roman numerals. In preparing his table of contents Rusden has made comments about the event and/or individuals involved. These have been included where appropriate. Internal evidence suggests that Rusden compiled the table of contents c1891. 
GWR027 Volume 26 Aborigine Friends  Volume contains printed items and has a handwritten table of contents prepared by Rusden. Each documents is identified in roman numerals. This material was arranged by Rusden and then bound into the present volume. 
GWR028 Volume 27 New Zealand  Volume contains printed items and has a handwritten table of contents prepared by Rusden which omits one item. No identifying numbers are shown in the table of contents or on individual items. This material was arranged by Rusden and then bound into the present volume. 
GWR029 Volume 28 GW Rusden  Volume containing printed material. Early pages including the table of contents missing. Contents have been hand numbered with roman numerals in a similar manner to other volumes in the collection. This material was arranged by Rusden and then bound into the present volume. 
GWR030 Volume 29 Odd pamphlets Volume contains printed materials and has an incomplete handwritten table of contents prepared by Rusden. There is a loose cutting inside front cover 'The abolition of plural voting' (The Argus, Oct 16, 1880). This material was arranged by Rusden and then bound into the present volume. 
GWR031 Volume 30 Scrap book  The contents consists of newspaper cuttings on many subjects of interest to Rusden. Some are sourced to the newspaper with the date of publication, many are not sourced. A range of subjects covered. Cuttings at front of the volume relate to various subjects including General Gordon, the Irish land question, and Gladstone. The cuttings at the back of the volume relate principally to cricket. There is a handwritten table of contents prepared by Rusden pasted on the outside of the front cover. The volume contains extensive annotations by Rusden. These are mainly comments on newspaper articles and/or cross references to other articles in the volume. 
GWR032 Volume 31 Shakespeare Memorial, Erection of a Statue and Foundation of Scholarships – Business Committee  Minutes of meetings of the Business Committee, includes details of donations and newspaper cuttings. Inside the back cover of the volume there are two loose items:
(i) A letter dated January 1926 from Leeper to Behan concerning items returned to the Trinity College Library, including the present volume.
(ii) Note for the Revised Edition, 1889 (Rusden's History of New Zealand) annotated 'Trinity College from the author. 1893'

NB The University of Melbourne holds records relating to the Shakespeare Scholarship 
GWR033 Volume 32 Notes, Tragedies, Letters  The contents are preceded by a partial note '..with MS notes by the author, and autograph of Professor Tyndall; of my friend Snape (London); of the Canadian ____Griffin, and Mr J.H. Heaton. GWR 1891'
Volume containing material relating to the case of libel brought against Rusden by John Bryce. This material was arranged by Rusden and then bound into the present volume. 
GWR034 Volume 33 Notes, Aureretanga, Tragedies  Published material and newspaper cuttings connected with the case of libel brought against Rusden by John Bryce. 
GWR035 Volume 34 Pamphlets  Volume contains printed items and has a handwritten table of contents prepared by Rusden. There are no identifying numbers on the individual items. This material was arranged by Rusden and then bound into the present volume. 
GWR036 Volume 35 GW Rusden (Publications to 1872)  Volume contains printed items and correspondence with a handwritten table of contents prepared by Rusden. Items are identified with roman numerals. A note by Rusden under the table of contents page reads 'For the Church of England Grammar School, Melbourne. GW Rusden Sep'r 1901'. The contents of this volume are very similar to Volume 28 (Series 29). This material was arranged by Rusden and then bound into the present volume. This volume appears to have been placed with Trinity College on long term loan from Melbourne Grammar School during the mid 1950s. 
GWR037 Volume 36 GW Rusden Letters Volume contains correspondence and has a handwritten table of contents prepared by Rusden. Items are identified with roman numerals, the first three items are unnumbered and "I" and "L" have not been used. The items consist mainly of what Rusden has termed 'autograph letters'. This title has been retained. The letters relate to a vast range of topics and it appears that Rusden retained the letters as a memory of the authors rather than for their content. In many instances Rusden annotated the letters with comments about the author and sometimes the subject of the correspondence. This material was arranged by Rusden and then bound into the present volume. 
GWR038 Volume 37 GW Rusden, Varia  Volume contains printed items and has a handwritten table of contents prepared by Rusden. Items are identified with arabic numerals. This material was arranged by Rusden and then bound into the present volume. 
GWR039 Volume 38 GW Rusden, Letters Volume contains correspondence items and has a handwritten table of contents prepared by Rusden. Items are identified with roman numerals many have annotations by Rusden. This material was arranged by Rusden and then bound into the present volume. Several items in this volume are fragile and should be handled with care. 
GWR040 Volume 39 GW Rusden, Varia  Volume containing printed items and correspondence with a handwritten table of contents prepared by Rusden. Items are identified with arabic numerals. This material was arranged by Rusden and then bound into the present volume. 
GWR041 Volume 40 GW Rusden, Letters  Volume containing printed items and correspondence with a handwritten table of contents prepared by Rusden. Items are identified with roman numerals. This material was arranged by Rusden and then bound into the present volume. Many items include annotations by Rusden. The table of contents also includes Rusden's annotations. 
GWR042 Volume 41 Italian Museums  Volume contain publications associated with Rusden's travels in Europe during the late 1880s and early 1890s. This material was arranged by Rusden and then bound into the present volume. 
GWR043 Volume 42 Pamphlets Miscellaneous  Volume containing printed materials collected by Rusden. There is a handwritten table of contents prepared by Rusden. This material was arranged by Rusden and then bound into the present volume. The are no identifiers in the table of contents. There is damage to the top left corner of table of contents and some information has been lost. 
GWR044 Volume 43 Newspaper cuttings and notes  Volume consists of newspaper paper cuttings, principally on Shakespeare and Bacon, including Bacon's Bi-Literal Cipher. The cuttings date from the early 1900s. Some cuttings have been annotated by Rusden. In addition there are notes made by Rusden titled 'Songs of Australians 1834–46' and 'Huth Library Catalogue'. A note in the volume by Rusden dated 9 July 1900 states 'The foregoing extracts from the Catalogue of The Huth Library have been made by me before handing over the Catalogue for preservation in the Rusden Library at Trinity College, Melbourne'.
GWR045 Volume 44 Correspondence  Volume contains correspondence items which have been identified with roman numerals. Unlike most other volumes there is no table of contents. This material was arranged by Rusden and then bound into the present volume. 
GWR046 Volume 45 Newspaper cuttings  Small volume containing newspaper cuttings on a range of topics dating from c1891 to c1898. The volume has blue crayon page numbering. The odd numbers 1–101 start from front of the volume, with cuttings on pages up to 79. Even numbers 2–98 start a the back of the volume, with cuttings on pages up to 98. The centre pages of the volume are not numbered and more cuttings can be found on these. Many of the cuttings have been annotated by Rusden. 
GWR047 Volume 46 GW Rusden Letters 1879–80 Volume contains items of correspondence. This material was arranged by Rusden and then bound into the present volume. Some items may have been retained by Rusden as 'Autograph Letters' to remember friends. Other relate to Rusden's interest eg History of New Zealand. Unlike many volumes in the collection there is no table of contents although items are identified with roman numerals. Many items have annotations by Rusden. Some items may have been used as evidence in Rusden's libel case. 
GWR048 Volume 47 Curiosities of Colonisation by GW Rusden   
GWR049 Volume 48 Tragedies in New Zealand by GW Rusden  
GWR050 Volume 49 Tragedies in New Zealand by GW Rusden   
GWR051 Volume 50 Tragedies in New Zealand by GW Rusden  
GWR052 Volume 51 Copies of the Melbourne Review and Victorian Review  Volume containing copies of the Melbourne Review and the Victorian Review. There is handwritten table of contents prepared by Rusden. An annotation on fly leaf reads 'p188 the dying Tom Hood writes grateful letter to Sir Robt Peel.' [refers to item 52.003]. An advertisement for the next number of the Melbourne Review, No 15, July, 1879 appears on the last page. Included amongst the contributors is HK Rusden, brother of GW Rusden. 
GWR053 Volume 52 Guide books NZ Volume containing published items relating to New Zealand. There is a handwritten table of contents prepared by Rusden. This material was arranged by Rusden and then bound into the present volume. It should be notes that the item titles in Rusden's table of contents do not always match those of the items themselves. 
GWR054 Volume 53 Land Acts and Pamphlets Volume containing pamphlets and other published material, mainly relating to land management. There is handwritten table of contents prepared by Rusden. This material was arranged by Rusden and then bound into the present volume. It should be notes that the item titles in Rusden's table of contents do not always match those of the items themselves. 
GWR055 Volume 54 Wentworth & co Volume containing published material with a handwritten table of contents prepared by Rusden. This material was arranged by Rusden and then bound into the present volume. It should be notes that the item titles in Rusden's table of contents do not always match those of the items themselves. 
GWR056 Volume 55 Pamphlets Pamphlets and other printed material on a range of subjects collected by Rusden prior to his departure from Melbourne in 1882. This material was arranged by Rusden and then bound into the present volume. A hand written table of contents is included at the beginning of the volume. This table of contents has be written in ballpoint pen, as are the identifiers on the contents, this indicates that was been prepared some time after the volume was accessioned by Trinity College. 
GWR057   Moorhouse Correspondence Loose correspondence removed from original bound volumes at an unknown date. The correspondence is from James Moorhouse, Bishop of Melbourne, later Bishop of Manchester, and his wife, Mary to Rusden. Includes some typescript copies of Moorhouse correspondence found in bound volumes. 
GWR058   Dickens Family Correspondence  Loose correspondence removed from original bound volumes at an unknown date. Includes correspondence between Rusden and writer Charles Dickens and other members of his family. Correspondents include: Charles Dickens, Alfred Tennyson Dickens (son), Mamie Dickens (daughter), Henry Fielding Dickens (son), Catherine Dickens (nee Hogarth, Dickens wife) and Georgina Hogarth (Dickens sister-in-law). 
GWR059   Trollope Correspondence Loose correspondence removed from original bound volumes at an unknown date. Includes correspondence from English author Anthony Trollope to Rusden. Also one item from Rusden to Trollope. 
GWR060   Miscellaneous Records Loose material either donated to Trinity College by Rusden or material that has been removed from the bound volumes at an unknown date.
GWR061   Walter Mantell Letters 1881–95  Volume of correspondence and printed papers from the New Zealand Legislative Council. A letter on inside front cover that indicates this volume was part of the Rusden Collection in 1969. 
GWR062   Volume 'General Gordon'  Volume containing copies of papers presented to the UK Parliament. There is a handwritten table of contents prepared by Rusden. Many items have annotations by Rusden, usually in ink. There are also pencil annotations in an unknown hand. 
GWR063   Records associated with Rusden papers donated to or collected by Trinity College Archives  

For more information, please contact the Trinity College Archivist