The Colin Thiele Research Collection commemorates and highlights one of Australia's most prolific writers for children and dedicated educator, Dr. Colin Milton Thiele AC (1920-2006).
Colin Thiele wrote more than 100 books, many of which have been published internationally in a variety of languages. He also made significant contributions to education in South Australia as both a secondary teacher and serving as the principal of the Wattle Park Teacher's College and Murray Park College of Advanced Education, both predecessors to the University of South Australia.
The Colin Thiele Library at the Magill campus of the University of South Australia was named in honour of Thiele and houses the Colin Thiele Research Collection.
The Collection can be explored through searching the Special Collections Catalogue or browsing Collection Discovery. Digital copies of some items are available from the Catalogue, however physical material is not available for loan. Access to the Collection is by appointment, contact Ask the Library.
Image above: Colin Thiele amongst his books. 20 June 1990, Messenger Press Photo
Donated to the University of South Australia in 2000, the Colin Thiele Research Collection documents his work as an author, covering all his writing - fiction, poetry and educational resources - along with a unique collection of images, artworks and personal items. The collection includes:
Colin Thiele AC was born November 16th, 1920 in Eudunda, South Australia. Thiele graduated from the University of Adelaide in 1941 and completed a course at Adelaide Teachers College in 1942. After serving with the RAAF between 1942 and 1945, Thiele completed a Diploma of Education. He went on to teach English at Port Lincoln between 1946 and 1955.
Thiele became a lecturer at the Wattle Park Teachers' College in 1957 and became the Principal in 1965. In 1974 he became the Director of the renamed Wattle Park Teachers Centre, a precursor to the University of South Australia, until he retired in 1980. Throughout his teaching career Thiele wrote for children and became one of Australia's most popular children's authors. Thiele also wrote poetry and educational material for teachers, in the areas of English, Drama and Australian History.
Colin Thiele was the recipient of numerous awards for his work. In 1977 he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in recognition of his services to education and literature.
Thiele continued to write after his retirement and close to his death in 2006 at the age of 85.
Image above: Bronze bust of Colin Thiele in the entrance of the Colin Thiele Library at the UniSA Magill Campus