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Kevin Sherlock Notes


(Note: To honor our great hero Kevin Tempo seminal publish kevin's note)


Research Activities Awards Published Works Miscellaneous Works

Copyright: Kevin P. Sherlock (2000).


These notes form the major part of a document prepared by KPS in 2000 to explain the origins, progress and product of his bibliographic and collecting work on Timor literature 1974-2000.


They are reproduced here by Timor Archives, with the author’s permission, to amplify a July 2011 summary of his work on the Timor Archives website. See timorarchives.wordpress.com/2011/07/17/visiting-kevin-sherlock/2




From 25th July to 8th August of 1974 I was in East Timor purely as a tourist, without any intention o f becoming involved in research o f any kind. When I returned to Darwin, where I had lived since shifting from my birthplace, Adelaide, in 1971, I had already decided to go once again to East Timor for my holidays in the following year, and I intended to use the intervening period to read as much as possible about it. I only found a few references to East Timor in the holdings of the Darwin Public Library.


In February 1975, following the devastation of Darwin by a cyclone in December 1974, I had the opportunity during a leave o f 2 weeks o f inspecting the holdings o f the Department of Anthropology at the South Australian Museum and of the State Library of South Australia for works dealing with the Island of Timor. I was able to make photocopies of the items that I had found and returned to Darwin with these and the hope of following up in the future any further references drawn from those works.


It was about May 1975 that I attended a reception for Jose Ramos-Horta at a private home in Darwin. I understood that he was on his way to Canberra to do some research.I mentioned to him that I had made a list of works about Timor Island and he requested that I forward a copy of them to him in Canberra. This I duly did, and it is the same list that I issued in photocopied typescript form as "An interim bibliography of Timor and surrounding islands" (Darwin, June 1975), 17 pages, sending out about 15 copies in all. Jose Ramos-Horta showed this to various people in Canberra, and this resulted in some of those people offering assistance to me should I ever be doing any research about Timor in their libraries.


Events in East Timor made it impossible for me to return there as a tourist for my 1975 annual holidays.I had gained the impression from the few East Timorese that I had met and from other people with some experience ofEast Timor that there were

very few publications about East Timor generally available in Australian libraries, and that very little was known or available to educated East Timorese in their own land about their own land. I decided that I should pursue this bibliographical research as a means of helping East Timor, no matter what the future of that land was to be, whether as an independent nation, as part of the Republic of Indonesia, as part of a Portuguese Commonwealth, or whatever else the people o f East Timor might decide.


My annual holidays in November 1975 were spent in libraries in Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney, and during this period I also made contact with various individuals and groups who were writing about or holding meetings about or giving aid to East Timor. The result of material collected during this trip was issued by me in photocopied typescript form as "Interim bibliography ofthe Island ofTimor" (Darwin, January 1976), 34 pages, sending out about 150 copies in all, in Australia and Overseas.


I had decided that I should collect material about West Timor as well as East Timor in case such material should be ofuse to the East Timorese, e.g., agriculture, medicine, animal industries, forestry, fisheries. During my visit to East Timor in 1974 I had purchased a copy of the map ''Provincia de Timor" to a scale of 1:500 000.As this very same edition was later copied by an East Timor support group in Australia with only the title changed to read ''Democratic Republic of East Timor", I decided to compile a gazetteer of all the place-names on my copy, giving the latitude and longitude of each. This was issued by me in photocopied typescript form as ''Gazetteer of East Timor" (Darwin, April 1977), 19 pages, sending out about 30 copies at that time, with about 30 more added in subsequent years, and it is still available from me.


My annual holidays in 1976 and 1977 were again spent in libraries in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney. In 1978 I left paid employment for 5 months in order to get as much research done as possible in those cities for me to prepare the bibliography for submission for publication. Doctor James 1. Fox kindly arranged accommodation for me at the Australian National University for 3 of those months.


Because many of the references, especially the Portuguese-language ones, had not been located by me within Australia, I indicated within the typescript for the bibliography what items had not been seen personally by me.I realised that I would have to go to Portugal to see many of the items listed, so I made arrangements to visit Portugal in 1980. The typescript for the bibliography was accepted by the Department o fAnthropology,ResearchSchoolo fPacificStudies,The AustralianNational University, Canberra, and last-minute amendments were made just before I left for Portugal.


Having been able to save a reasonable amount of money, in 1980 I again left paid employment for a period of 12 months, most ofthis period -February to December - being spent in Portugal, mainly in the collections of the Biblioteca da Sociedade de Geografia de Lisboa and the Biblioteca Nacional de Lisboa, with a couple of weeks also being spent at the headquarters of the Centro de Estudos de Produ~lio e Tecnologia Agricolas (formerly the Misslio de Estudos Agron6micos do Ultramar). I was able to buy many books, offprints and serials relevant to East Timor to send back to Darwin. Much help was given to me by various people in the matter of accommodation, thus permitting me to stay in Portugal much longer than I had hoped originally to do, and I was able to extend my stay by up to 2 months longer by receiving an emergency Maintenance Grant from the Funda~lio Calouste Gulbenkian, Servi~o para a Coopera~lio com os Novos Estados Africanos.


The Australian National University released A Bibliography of Timor, including East (formerly Portuguese) Timor, West (formerly Dutch) Timor, and the Island of Roti (Canberra, 1980), xviii + 292 pages, while I was in Portugal, and a friend arranged for a launching of it in Lisbon. It had originally been my intention to check as many as possible of the items listed in my bibliography but not previously seen by me as well as to look for new references, with a view to preparing a revised bibliography within the next 3 years. However, from material seen in Portugal, it became obvious that I should also inspect holdings in Macau, especially of the periodical press for the second half of the 19th Century and of the early 20th Century, so I returned to Australia in December 1980 with a plan to try to get to Macau within a few years.


In January-February 1982 I again visited Canberra, and was kindly made a "Departmental Visitor" by the Department of Anthropology, Research School of Pacific Studies, The Australian National University. Meanwhile, I had issued in photocopied typescript form "The Timor Collection - Acquisitions List - 4th February to 18th December 1980" (Darwin, 198 I), 34 pages, sending out about 30 copies in all, to show what had been collected by me in Portugal. Later in 1982 I issued in the same format '"The Timor Collection, Darwin. List of Holdings (as of 30 June 1982)" (Darwin, 1982), 94 pages, sending out about 20 copies, and in 1983 'The Timor Collection, Darwin Acquisitions List July - December 1982, and Holdings of Maps, Records, Posters and Press Items (as of31 December 1982)" (Darwin, 1983), I + 36 pages, again about 20 copies.


In November 1982 I completed and issued in photocopied typescript form ''East Timor: Liurais and Chefes de Suco; Indigenous Authorities in 1952" (Darwin, 1982), ii + 76 pages, an almost complete list of the indigenous authorities in office at the time of the visit o f the Portuguese Overseas Minister.


I had decided to leave paid employment again in order to go to Macau in mid-July 1983 for anything from 6 to 12 months, depending on finance, for research about East Timor in the libraries and archives. East Timor had been part of the Province of Macau and Timor for most of the second half of the 19th Century, and I was going to concentrate on the Portuguese-language periodical press of the Far East and official bulletins, as East Timor had not had its own periodical press or bulletins at that time. My last annual holidays in February-March 1983 were again spent in southern capitals becoming up-to-date with new material and with making long-overdue contacts with some of the Timorese communities within Australia.


The former Northern Territory University Planning Authority, Darwin, granted me a very generous research award which made possible the extension of my stay in Macau from what would have been 6 months to 15 months (from July 1983 to October 1984), and the British Institute in South-East Asia also gave a grant which assisted with travel expenses.


Most of my time in Macau was spent in the Arquivo Hist6rico de Macau (AHM), for that is where the most extensive runs of the periodical press were kept, and I did not really have time to delve into actual archival material.The AHM was most helpful in processing thousands of photocopies for me and for access to material, and the Biblioteca Nacional de Macau also rendered assistance. Many of the earlier copies of the periodicals were in too fragile a condition for photocopying, so it was necessary for me to make typed copies of them. The diocesan weekly 0 C/arim gave me access to back copies and to their photocopier.


I resumed paid employment in Darwin in November 1984, and, owing to changed circumstances in living arrangements, I have not been able to afford any further research trips overseas. Most of the material brought back from Macau has been arranged in chronological files. I then commenced to work on a series which I called "Timor na Imprensa Peri6dica Portuguesa do Extremo Oriente I Timor in the Portuguese Periodical Press of the Far East"; these were compilations of the fujI original Portuguese-language text with English-language translations or summaries. Only 3 parts have been prepared so far: Part One: 1850-1868; Part Two: 1870 (1869 was passed over for reason of there being no copies, even of the government bulletin, for that year); and Part Three: 1871. Other priorities led to my having got no further with that series since 1986, but I hope to return to them within a few more years.


A paper I prepared entitled "Timor during World Wars I and 1I: Some Notes on Sources" was published in Kahar Seberang, Journal of the Centre for South East Asian Studies, James Cook University o f North Queensland, Townsville, 1988, NO.19­ 20, pages 41-56.


In the 15 years that have elapsed since my return from Macau in 1984, I have had 6 changes of residence, and these shifts, with the unavoidable packing up and unpacking of the collection, have led to some quite unproductive periods, though usually of short duration. It is, however, unlikely that I shall need to make any more shifts in the foreseeable future, so I am now able to arrange to have the collection available at my present address for consultation. Also, now that I have retired on the Aged Pension, I am able to make the collection available on business days instead of just at weekends.


As I am involved in creating a general collection of publications and information about many aspects of East Timor, rather than attempting to keep up-to-date with any and every press notice that may appear about it,- something that is way beyond my resources in time and money and connections, and is already being very well handled by a number o f people and organizations - I have generally restricted my collection o f items in the daily and weekly press about East Timor to whatever appears in the Darwin newspapers, the Portuguese-language newspapers from Sydney, and the English-language newspapers Indonesian Observer and Jakarta Post and the Bahasa Indonesian newspaper Kompas, all from Jakarta, as well as various weekly news­ magazines available for perusal at the Northern Territory Library.I attempt to keep up with a monthly perusal of learned journals available at the same library for items relating to East Timor. Now that I have retired, I shall also try to keep abreast of new works at the Library of the Northern Territory University.


I had hoped to have been much more productive in recent years than has been the case I have been able to be of some assistance to researchers both here and overseas, although I must admit that while I was still under the pressure of my paid employment I felt that I was not as prompt and as forthcoming as I should have been in responding to requests from overseas, although they have always acknowledged my assistance.


The collection that I have built up in Darwin about East Timor has always been intended as a collection that would remain in Darwin, the nearest city to East Timor outside of the Republic of Indonesia,and that it could be of use to people visiting from East Timor and to any other persons interested in the subject. When I made my original Will in the early 1980s, I stated that the collection was to go to the State Reference Library of the Northern Territory (now the Northern Territory Library), there being no university in Darwin at that time.However, I made a new Will in May 2000 in which I bequeathed my East Timor Collection to the Library of the Northern Territory University (NTU), in case anything should happen to me before I feel that the collection is sufficiently organized to be passed on to the NTU. Both libraries have been made aware of this change.


I understand that some people think that I have organized this collection to be sent eventually to East Timor, but I would like people who are under that impression to realise that it is intended that this collection will remain in Darwin. With the great destruction in East Timor in September and October of 1999, I did ask my self whether or not I should reconsider this matter, but those Timorese with whom I have discussed this and who know of my original reason for it to remain in Darwin have all agreed that it should remain here. However, I wish to do whatever else I can to help the East Timorese put together as good a collection as possible in East Timor about their own land and people.


My East Timor Collection is probably one of the major general collections about East Timor in private hands within Australia. However, in 1993 another major collection of material about East Timor became available to the public in Darwin. In that year, the Northern Territory University Library purchased a large private collection about East Timor from Portugal through a British firm. I had the honour and pleasure' of being invited to unpack and to check that collection when it arrived at the University, this being carried out during my annual holidays. I can assure people that the collection acquired by the Northern Territory University Library contains most of the major Portuguese· language published books about East Timor, as well as most of the articles which have appeared in Portuguese learned journals.


Both my collection and the NTU collection hold many works in common, but each collection has many works which are not in the other, so they complement each other. The NTU collection has some rarer books than my collection has, as well as many more of the articles from learned journals and a few unpublished works,My collection has some books which are not in the NTU collection, as well as a great amount of material about Timor from the 19th Century and early 20th Century periodical press, especially from Macau during the period that Timor was part of the Province of Macau and Timor and later when a separately administered Portuguese Timor was still reliant on Macau for some of its services.


Another impression that some people have about my work is that I am writing a major book about East Timor,Such is not the case. I see myself in a more technical role -that of bringing together as good a collection of material as possible about East Timor for other people to consult.I have not the analytical mind to put together some great study about East Timor. It is more important that I can point people in the direction of the material that they might require for their research, and I hope that my retirement will now allow time to reorganize the material in such a way that they will no longer have to rely on my remembering where something is. Better still would be the opportunity to have the whole collection catalogued on computer, something that is beyond my time and capabilities, and would require assistance from some institution. I am not underestimating my own capabilities, as some people have suggested, but merely being realistic about the best ways in which I can help to preserve and spread knowledge of East Timor for the Timorese and for other people with an interest in it.


It is of great importance that attempts should be made to preserve whatever may still be located of newspapers, magazines, official bulletins, occasional papers, budgets, departmental reports, published or unpublished papers, leaflets, information sheets, etc, that have been issued in or about East Timor in order that microfilm copies may be made available of them in East Timor and in other countries. In this way we can build a finn background to know Who, What, When, Where, How and sometimes even Why from works contemporary with earlier periods. One must not take it for granted that another library somewhere is sure to have a copy. Even Macau lacked the whole volume of its official bulletin for 1869! Even simple name-lists and the creation of indices to the many printed works that lack them can be of great assistance as research aids.


It is imperative that records of any type dealing with the recent "consultation" , subsequent events, the United Nations Transitional Authority in East Timor, and the future pre- and post-independence nation of Timor Lorosae be preserved, that a register be maintained in East Timor of both published and archival material, and that interested foreign institutions be made aware of any newly released works available to them from East Timor for purchase.


One can hope that there may still be some members of the older generations who can contribute their own opinions on whether things were or were not so.To this end it is important that people do not underestimate the historical value of odd numbers that they might possess of various journals, or even of family photographs, postcards, etc. Nor should they underestimate the value for the record of East Timor of their own personal knowledge of any aspects whatsoever, even just of their own lives.


I hope that what I have been given the opportunity of contributing towards a greater knowledge of East Timor will at times be of use to the East Timorese in preserving and learning from the past and in planning for and working towards the building of their nation.


I could not have achieved as much as I have in the building of this collection without the kind assistance o f many people, in accommodation, donations of books, advice and interest in the work, and this collection with continue to grow.

For Timor Lorosae,


Kevin Sherlock, Darwin, June 2000.




Grant from CORMOSEA (Committee on Research Materials on Southeast Asia), Reference Aids Grants Program, 1977.


Maintenance Grant from the Fund~iio Calouste Gulbenkian, Servic;:o para a Cooperac;:iio com os Novos Estados Africanos, 1980.


Research Award from the former Northern Territory University Planning Authority, Darwin, 1983-1984.


Grant from the British Institute in South-East Asia, 1983.




A Bibliography o f Timor, including East (formerly Portuguese) Timor, West (formerly Dutch) Timor, and the Island o f Roti.By Kevin Sherlock.Canberra, The Australian National University, 1980. xviii + 292 pp. "Research School of Pacific Studies Aids to Research Series", No. A/4.


''Timor Study Tour to Portugal", by Kevin Sherlock. SEARMG [Southeast Asian Research Materials Group} Newsletter, Canberra, No. 19: 1-6, September 1981.


''Timor during World Wars I and II: Some Notes on Sources", by Kevin Sherlock. Kabar Seberang, Journal of the Centre for South East Asian Studies, James Cook University of North Queensland, Townsville, No. 19-20:41-56,1988.


''Bamboos in Timor", by Len Muller, Geoffrey Hull and Kevin Sherlock.In Geoffrey Hull & Lance Eccles (eds), Studies in Languages and Cultures ofEast Timor, Volume I. Macarthur, NSW, Language Acquisition Research Centre, University of Western Sydney Macarthur, 1998. pp.52-68.


"Recent Publications available about East Timor", by Kevin Sherlock (compiler). Matebian News, Dill, voL7, no.7, pp.7-11. April 2000.




Papers prepared, most of which have had some distribution in photocopied typescript form:


An Interim Bibliography of Timor and Surrounding Islands.Compiled by Kevin P. Sherlock. Darwin, June 1975. 17pp.


Interim Bibliography o f the Island o f Timor. Compiled by Kevin P. Sherlock. Darwin, January 1976. 34pp.


Gazetteero f EastTimor.CompiledbyKevinSherlock.Darwin,April1977.19pp.


The Timor Collection - Acquisitions List - 4th February to 18th December 1980. [Compiled by Kevin Sherlock]. Darwin, 1981. 34pp.


Boletim Eclesiastico da Diocese de Macau.Checklist of Issues and Holdings. [Compiled by Kevin Sherlock].Darwin, 1982. 20pp.


Seara [Boletim Eclesiastico da Diocese de Dill].Checklist of Issues and Holdings. [Compiled by Kevin Sherlock].Darwin, 1982.10pp.


TheTimorCollection,Darwin.Listo f Holdings(aso f 3 0June1982).[Compiledby Kevin Sherlock].Darwin, 1982. 94pp.


The Timor Collection, Darwin.Acquisitions List July - December 1982, and Holdings of Maps, Records, Posters, Photos and Press Items (as of 31 December 1982). [Compiled by] Kevin Sherlock.Darwin, 1983. 1+ 36pp.


East Timor: Liurais and Chefes de Suco; Indigenous Authorities in 1952 / Timor Leste: Liurais e Chefes de Suco; As Autoridades Indigenas no Ano de 1952. By Kevin Sherlock.Darwin, 1983. ii + 76pp.


Timor na Imprensa PeriOdica Portuguesa do Extremo Oriente. Primeira Parte: 1850­ 1868/ Timor in the Portuguese Periodical Press of the Far East. Part One: 1850­ 1868. Compiled by Kevin Sherlock. Darwin, 1986. xx + 84pp.


Timor na Imprensa Peri6dica Portuguesa do Extremo Oriente.Segunda Parte: 1870/ Timor in the Portuguese Periodical Press of the Far East. Part Two: 1870.Compiled by Kevin Sherlock. Darwin, 1986. v + Illpp.


Timor na Imprensa PeriOdica Portuguesa do Extremo Oriente.Terceira Parte: 1871 / Timor in the Portuguese Periodical Press o f the Far East. Part Three: 1871. Compiled by Kevin Sherlock. Darwin, 1986. v + 99pp.


Reminiscences of a Voyager. (From Port Darwin to Kisser and Timor in 1877]. By G.R. McMinn. [from Northern Territory Times and Gazette, 1877]. [With an appendix: Notes on G.R. McMinn's Article "Reminiscences of a Voyager", by Kevin Sherlock]. ,?arwin, 1987. 12pp.


Timor during World War IT: Some Additional Notes on Sources. By Kevin Sherlock. Darwin, 1988. Ip.


The "Thomaz Andrea", Contract Mail Stearner, Port Darwin, 190I. Some Information on Its Earlier History. Compiled by Kevin Sherlock. Darwin, 1993. 20pp.


Portuguese Cruiser Visits Port Darwin 19-25 October 1910. Translation ofan excerpt from Crozador S. Gabriel.Viagem de Circumnavagafiio by AI. Pinto Basto (Lisboa, Livraria Ferreira, 1912), with some relevant local press notices.[Compiled by] Kevin Sherlock. Darwin, 1994. 16pp.


East Timor: A Note on the Map of Timor Island Used in East Timor and the International Community: Basic Documents, edited by Heike Krieger (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1997), [plus an appendix, "East Timor: Place-name Changes, An Excerpt from Timor Portugues, by Helio A. Esteves Fe1gas (Lisboa, Agencia GeraJ do Ultramar, 1956), pp.348-350"]. [By] Kevin Sherlock.Darwin,

1998. 5pp.


East Timor: Area as Given in Various Sources. [By] Kevin Sherlock. Darwin, 1998. 3pp.


There are also some indices compiled for several books which stood in great need of them, as well as the following aids:


Governors ofTimor 1834-1900. [Compiled by] Kevin Sherlock. Darwin, 1986. 3pp. [This attempts to give as firm dates as possible of appointments to office, taking of office, exonerations from office, and handing over of office, as well as interim office­ holders].


Timor Leste: Burocratas, Missiorulrios, Comerciantes no Anuano do Imperio Colonial Portugues 1949. Vrna Lista A1fabetica dos Nomes Extraidos desse Anuano. [Compiled by] Kevin Sherlock.Darwin, 1995. 1+ 19pp.


Indice A1fabetico dos Nomes na Sec~ao Cronol6gica da Timor Colec~ao, Darwin, 1901-1930 / Alphabetical Index of the Names in the Chronological Section of the Timor Collection, Darwin, 1901-1930. [Compiled by Kevin Sherlock]. [Darwin, n.d.



An Index of Names of Persons extracted from Armando Pinto Correa's book Gentio de Timor (Lisbon, Edi~ilo do Autor, 1934). Compiled by Kevin Sherlock. Darwin, 1997. 9pp.


An Index of Place-Names extracted from Armando Pinto Correa's book Gentio de Timor (Lisbon, Edi~ao do Autor, 1934). Compiled by Kevin Sherlock. Darwin, 1997. 9pp.


An Index of Words and Phrases extracted from Armando Pinto Correa's book Gentio de Timor (Lisbon, Edi~ilo do Autor, 1934). Compiled by Kevin Sherlock. Darwin., 1997. 29pp.

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