Cultural Advice

Aboriginal Peoples are advised the Library Collection contains images, voices and names of deceased people in physical and online resources.

The Library recognises the significance of the traditional cultural knowledges contained within its Collection. The Library acknowledge some materials contain language that may not reflect current attitudes, was published without consent or recognition, or, is offensive. These materials reflect the views of the authors and/or the period in which they were produced and do not represent the views of the Library.

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The Gavin Walkley Collection includes old and rare books on architecture, town planning and landscape design. Student work, publications and a diary related to architecture degrees offered by the University of Adelaide and The South Australian School of Mines are also included. Drawings, certificates, slides and photographs are included from Walkley's time as Head of the School of Architecture. Personal items owned by Walkley, such as articles, certificates, drawings, maps and a typewriter are also included.   

Louis Laybourne Smith's papers are also part of this collection, including architectural drawings, plans, correspondence and newspaper clippings.

Banner images - Portrait of Gavin Walkley, Photographs of books in the Special Collections books in the City West Library

Access and explore the collection

The Collection is housed in the Jeffrey Smart Building at the University of South Australia City West Campus. Access is by appointment only. Some items may be borrowed for teaching purposes by UniSA staff. 

Contact Ask the Library to make an appointment or for more information.

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


Gavin Walkley was born in Adelaide in 1911. In 1934 Walkley completed a Bachelor's in Engineering (Architecture) at the University of Adelaide. Walkley continued his studies at the University of Cambridge where he studied a Bachelor of Arts in the History of Art and Architecture and completed a Master of Letters and later a Master of Arts. Walkley then took courses in town planning and landscape architecture. 

Walkley worked for various architectural firms in London and Adelaide, as well as the South Australian Housing Trust. In 1946 Walkley was invited by Louis Laybourne Smith to start giving weekly lectures at the School of Architecture at the South Australian School of Mines. In 1951 Laybourne Smith retired and Walkley became the Head of the School of Architecture. Walkley remained in this position for thirty years, during which time he introduced studies in building, quantity surveying, town planning, landscape design and interior design. In 1949 the School was the first in Australia to offer postgraduate studies in Town Planning and in 1958, Building Technology.  

Walkley retired as Head of the School in 1976. Walkley was the recipient of a CBE (Commander Civil Division of the Order of the British Empire) in 1968 in recognition of his services to architecture. Walkley died in 2005 at the age of 94.