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Special Collections

The History of Primary Education in South Australia Collection was created to facilitate research in South Australian educational history. 

The Collection has over 8000 items used to teach in South Australian Primary Schools throughout the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. The core of the Collection consists of textbooks, readers, audiovisual, kit resources and curriculum documents along with a small sample of teachers' lesson plans, school roll books and students' copy books. Non-fiction material published in or about South Australia and developed for primary education and with educational research significance also forms part of the Collection. Some Collection material is fragile and rare, and access is at the discretion of the Special Collections Coordinator. 

The Collection was started in 1972 by academic and library staff at the Wattle Park Teachers' College, a predecessor institution of the University of South Australia.

Banner images - Student exercise books dating between 1855-1960, History or Primary Education in South Australia Collection, UniSA Library 2020
Access and explore the collection

The Collection is housed in an offsite warehouse. UniSA students and staff are able to borrow items from the Collection for a maximum of four weeks. Please place a hold through Ask the Library and the item will be sent to your nominated campus.

All other access is by appointment only. Contact Ask the Library to make an appointment.

You can explore the Collection by browsing Collection Discovery or searching the Special Collections Catalogue.

Digital copies of some items are available by browsing Collection Discovery or searching the Special Collections Catalogue.

Picture  - Items used in South Australian primary schools during the 20th century, UniSA Library 2021
Discover more

A history of early childhood education in South Australia is a timeline of the history of early childhood education in South Australia spanning pre colonisation to the present day, published by the University of South Australia

Related UniSA Library Collections

  • The Pedagogies in Practice Collection contains physical and digital resources that can be used by students to plan and prepare for field placements within schools
  • The de Lissa Association Collection contains the records from the de Lissa Association of Early Childhood Graduates and relates to the history of the Kindergarten Movement and the development of early childhood education in South Australia

Related UniSA Library Guides

 
Picture - Extract from W.H. Thomas' student exercise book, 1855, UniSA Library