Cover image for Geoffrey Thomas Stilwell
Geoffrey Thomas Stilwell
Agency Number:
Start Date:
07 Jan 1931
End Date:
11 Mar 2000
Geoffrey Thomas Stilwell, AM, BA, ALIA was the Curator of the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts at the State Library of Tasmania, Hobart. He was born in 1931 and died in Hobart 11 March 2000. 
He grew up at Ranelagh, where his family farmed apples and hops. He was educated at The Hutchins School and from a very early age developed a great interest in and deep genealogical knowledge of Tasmanian colonial families. His interests were expressed in later life in the restoration of his home, an elegant stone Georgian cottage at 351 Liverpool Street, Hobart which he purchased in 1963. 
His encyclopaedic knowledge of Tasmanian art, decorative arts as well as history and genealogy was an invaluable resource to historians.
He first joined the staff of the State Library of Tasmania on 21 February 1949 but resigned to undertake an Arts degree in 1954 at the University of Tasmania. He then worked as a cataloguer in the Mitchell Library in Sydney and at Bathurst Teachers College, before a working holiday in Europe. He joined the staff of the Archives Office at the State Library of Tasmania in 1959, and on the sudden death of the State Archivist Peter Eldershaw in 1967 he was acting State Archivist for some months. In 1966 he was appointed Special Collections Librarian in charge of the W. L. Crowther and Tasmanian Collection and the recently acquired Allport bequest which he supervised moving from 'Cedar Court' in Sandy Bay to a purpose-built museum within the State Library of Tasmania building. The acquisition of items for the State Library's collection from the Launceston- based Tasmanian collection of Dr Clifford Craig in 1975 was also a major undertaking. He was appointed Curator of the Allport collection in 1984, a position he held until his retirement in 1995.
His leisure time was largely spent on historical matters. He was a founding member of the Southern Regional Committee of the National Trust in 1963, where he made a notable contribution to the Building Classification and the 'Runnymede' Committees and was a co-author of the trust's book 'Priceless Heritage', a trustee at Narryna Folk Museum from 1979, a founding member of the Tasmanian Historical Research Association in 1951 and a committee member since 1959, secretary from 1961 - 1968 and later vice-chairman, a member of the working party of the Australian Dictionary of Biography and a member of the Nomenclature Board from 1972 and Liaison Officer for Tasmania for the Australian Dictionary of Australian Artists from 1980 until publication in 1992.
In 1988 he was awarded an AM and the following year the State Library organised an oral history recording program conducted with Geoffrey by Joan Buckie. In 1992 'Tasmanian Insights, a festschrift', a collection of essays by local, interstate and overseas authors who had benefitted from Geoffrey's research and editorial assistance, was published by the State Library of Tasmania.

This agency registration includes many series that were given to Geoffrey by friends and acquaintances because of his well-known interest in Tasmanian history. Many such donations he passed to the Archives Office in his official capacity and he was able to provide details of the donors. If that is the case the records have been registered under the relevant creating agency. Where Geoffrey acquired material in a private capacity these have been included here and in this respect Geoffrey Stilwell maybe seen as a "Collector"
Information Sources:
THRA Papers and Proceedings Vol47 No3;;State Library of Tasmania Newsletter - April 2000 - page 10 article by Gillian Winter, Tasmaniana Library.
Francomb Family (NG390)01 Jan 1870

State Library of Tasmania (TA34)01 Jan 194331 Oct 2006
Series Created By Agency:
NS2825 Card Index Compiled by G.T. Stilwell of Tasmanian Birth, Death and Marriage Notices in Hobart Town Courier and Some Other Colonial Newpapers.01 Jan 181631 Dec 1908

NS1152 Summary of the Title to Land Kelly Street Weelington (Later Waterloo) Streets Battery Point08 Apr 1839

NS6188 Deeds to 351 Liverpool Street17 Apr 184507 Nov 1968

NS932 Plan of Cottage Green, Property of Dr Richardson - to Be Auctioned by Thomas Lowes29 Dec 1852

NS6193 Family Diaries01 Jan 185331 Oct 1956

NS453 Copies of Letters from Lady Jane Franklin to Mr Thomas Stilwell01 Jan 186331 Dec 1865

NS1383 Notes for an Article, Letters and Photographs of the Francomb/ Stilwell Families01 Jan 187031 Dec 1974

NS858 Diary of Mr Bacon of Oatlands01 Jan 187331 Dec 1879

NS2824 Card Index to International Exhibition Season Ticket Holders, Hobart 1894 - 189501 Jan 189431 Dec 1895

NS6197 Family Photographs01 Jan 189731 Dec 1989

NS6195 Personal Papers01 Aug 190631 Dec 2000

NS696 Family Photograph Albums01 Jan 191531 Dec 1925

NS6194 Notebooks01 Jan 192031 Dec 1959

NS697 Notebook of Notices Read in Church by a Roman Catholic Minister in the Forth Area14 Apr 194601 Dec 1946

NS6191 Genealogical Research Notes01 Jan 195031 Dec 1969

NS6231 General Colour Transparencies01 Nov 195831 Dec 1962

NS6190 Transparencies of Tasmanian Colonial Buildings01 Jan 195931 Dec 1970

NS6196 Photographs of Tasmanian Buildings01 Jan 196031 Dec 1981

NS1750 35Mm Colour Slides of 1963 Royal Visit01 Jan 196331 Dec 1963

NS5691 Correspondence - Geoffrey Stilwell and Clifford Craig05 Nov 196606 Aug 1982

NS6189 Geoffrey Stilwell's Diaries13 Mar 196805 Jun 1979

NS6232 Hollow Book

NS1677 Cassette Tape of Lecture on Mary Morton Allport Presented at the University by Geoffrey Stilwell01 Jan 1987

NS1436 Audio Tapes of Oral History Interviews with Geoffrey Stilwell, Conducted by Joan Buckie01 Feb 198908 May 1989