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South Australian History: Education

This guide covers a range of topics relating to the history of South Australia, including the South Australian Company, researching Aboriginal history in South Australia, mines and mining, and the South Australian experience of religion and education

School histories and records

The Library may hold individual school histories, or magazines. The library catalogue should be checked under the name of the school (eg) Wilderness, Mount Barker Primary School, etc.

Records of Government schools (eg) roll books and reports may be held at State Records (formerly Public Record Office of South Australia) or with the individual school. The Library does not hold official government records such as those of the Education Department.

Electronic resources

The State Library provides access to electronic resources that can be useful for locating full-text online journal articles when researching topics. Some of these resources can only be used within the library and others can also be accessed from home by becoming a Home Access user. 

Books and pamphlets

A broader vision: voices of vocational education in twentieth-century South Australia. Ed. Erica Jolley. Adelaide: Michael Deves Publishing, 2001

Boland, Keri et al.. The best days of our lives: aspects of the history of education in South Australia. Adelaide: Wilderness School, c.1988.

Bonnin, Heather. Hours to remember: reflections on life in South Australia 1889-1929 from 'The Children's Hour.' Netley, Govt Printer, 1987.

Committee of Enquiry into Education in South Australia (1969-1970). Education in South Australia; Report of the Committee of Enquiry into education in South Australia, 1969-1970. Adelaide: Govt Press, 1971. Chairman - Emeritus Professor Peter Henry Karmel (Karmel Report).

Education in South Australia, with special reference to secondary education. Adelaide: State Library Research Unit, 1969.

Elix, Elizabeth Mary. A remarkable group: a collective memoir. Elizabeth Elix, 2009.

The Flinders history of South Australia. Social history. Ed. Eric Richards. Netley: Wakefield Press, 1986. Chapter 14. Ian Davey. 'Growing up in South Australia.'

Greater than their knowing: a glimpse of South Australian women 1836-1986. Netley: Wakefield Press, 1986. Chapter 7 'The Educators.'

Jones, Helen. Nothing seemed impossible: women's education and social change in South Australia, 1875-1915. St. Lucia; University of Queensland Press, 1985.

The Kindergarten Union of South Australia through 75 years 1905-1980. Adelaide: The Union, 1980.

Learning and other things: sources for a social history of education in South Australia. Bernard Hyams et al.. Netley: Govt Press, 1988.

Mackinnon, Alison. The new women: Adelaide's early women graduates. Netley: Wakefield Press, 1986.

Mackinnon, Alison. One foot on the ladder: origins and outcomes of girls' secondary schooling in South Australia. St. Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1984.

Making space: women and education at St. Aloysius College 1880-2000. Gale, Faye (Ed.). Adelaide: The College in association with Wakefield Press, 2000

Miller, Pavla. Long division: state schooling in South Australian society. Netley: Wakefield Press, 1986.

Mullner, Sue. Education in South Australia 1875-1975: a bibliography. Adelaide: S.A. Education Dept, 1975.

One hundred years of education: being a record of the development of the education system of South Australia, 1836-1936.... Adelaide: Printers Trade School, 1947.

Smeaton, Thomas Hyland. Education in South Australia from 1836 to 1927. Adelaide: Rigby, 1927.

South Australian Yearbook. Adelaide: Comm. Bureau of Census and Statistics. no.14, 1979. pp.180-219 - Education.

Thiele, Colin. Grains of mustard seed A narrative outline of State Education in South Australia: 1875-1975. Research by Ron Gibbs. Adelaide: Education Dept, 1975.

Whitehead, Kay. The new women teachers come along: transforming teaching in the nineteenth century. Sydney: Australian and New Zealand History of Education Society, 2003.

Other resources


SA Memory: Learning and Education

State Records of South Australia

South Australian Education Department Journal

Education Gazette, South Australia, Adelaide: Govt Press, 1885- (various publications).
From 1893-1959 the Jan. edition contained an official list of schools and their staff. Issued 1960-61 as a supplement and then from 1962-1970 as a separate title, Official List of Schools.

The University of Melbourne has digitised the following volumes which can be accessed online via their website.
Volume 72, no.834 to Volume 88, no.1024 (1956-1972) and Volume 1, no. 1 to Volume 15, no. 26 (1973-1987).
Volumes 4,5 and 6 (1976-1978) were not available and are not included in this collection.

Parliamentary publications

You will find indexes in the guide to Government and Parliamentary publications.

Newspaper searching

The National Library of Australia Trove website provides word searchable access to digitised Australian newspapers from 1803 to 1954.

The Manning Index of South Australian History can also be very useful for finding newspaper articles, but it is an index only.

For newspaper titles not available on Trove check the State Library catalogue.