The University of Melbourne’s first salaried Vice-Chancellor was the noted geologist, Antarctic explorer and University administrator Raymond Priestley (1886–1974). His brief term as Vice-Chancellor, 1935–1938, saw many initiatives, reforms and conflicts culminating in his resignation. That we know so much about his term is due to his extensive diaries kept during this period in Melbourne, and travel around Australia and to the US and UK. They are additionally important for the extras, including newspaper cuttings, letters, photographs and annotations added years later. The best of the 15 diaries is now available in a judicious and scholarly selection by Professor Ron Ridley released earlier this year by Melbourne University Press.
Australian Diary 12, Raymond Priestley’s annotated typescript diary, 15 May–29 September 1938, opened at 30 June, his last day as Vice-Chancellor.
The Diary of a Vice-Chancellor: University of Melbourne 1935–1938; Raymond Priestley, displayed for the dust jacket photo, ‘Priestley in geologist’s rig, 1936’.
Antarctic Adventure: Scott’s northern party by Raymond E. Priestley (T. Fisher Unwin, 1914), an account based largely on the author’s diaries and including his own photographs.