University of Melbourne Archives

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Catalogue Entries
Records Creators
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Date Range of Records: 1866-1984
- Wardell, Teresa Mary [1896-1985]
The Records of Teresa Wardell date from 1866 to 1984, and were collected by Teresa Wardell while working for the United Nations, the Victorian government (as a social worker), community service organisations, the University of Melbourne, and while a member of various professional associations. There are also records about
her professional writing as an academic, her research into penal reform, adoption, and child welfare, and her personal genealogical research files. The types of records include: children's case files, correspondence, photos, publications, newsletters, reports, hand-written notes, articles, meeting minutes and memorabilia.

The collection was transferred to the University of Melbourne Archives in May 1986. It was allocated the collection identifier 86/123, which was later changed to 1986.0123.
University archivists physically reorganised the records into nine series (groups), and wrote a description of each file for the catalogue and finding aid (Records Description List).
Records containing Personal, Sensitive and Health Information: While working for the Victorian State Government Children’s Welfare Department Teresa Wardell collected records which contain the names and details of individuals. For example, case cards and case files on children at the Boys and Girls Depots, Royal Park, written by her or other social workers. These files are Item Numbers 1986.0123.00038, 1986.0123.00046, 1986.0123.00047, 1986.0123.00048, 1986.0123.00135 Child Endowment notes (c1958); and, 1986.0123.00143 Notebook (c1957). Because they contain personal and/or sensitive information access to these items is ‘restricted’, which means clients need to meet special conditions for access (see Access Conditions).
In 2017, the University of Melbourne Archives undertook a project to improve discovery and access to records about people who grew up in orphanages and other out of home 'care' facilities in their collections. This included the Records of Teresa Wardell. An archivist looked through the files; amended or added description to the catalogue and finding aid (Records Description List); moved some restricted material into separate boxes (children's case files dated from c1936 -c1955 were moved to Unit/Box numbers 4 and 5); and, updated a name index of those case files (also restricted).
Content and Language Warning: We like to let people know that they may come across material that is confronting or disturbing in the records. Sometimes words or images can cause sadness or distress, or trigger traumatic memories for people, particularly survivors of past abuse, violence or childhood trauma. For some people, these responses can be overwhelming. If you need to talk to someone, support is available - please see

Versions of the finding aid: Two finding aids to the collection have been published. The first list was created in November 2004 and updated 12 July 2005. 2005 version, citation: The University of Melbourne Archives, List for 'Wardell, Teresa (86/123)', listed by Gabrielle Chiu and Jane Ellen, November 2004, Version 12 July 2005. (Please note: earlier documentation of the collection used a numbering system comprising a series and a series sequence number and people citing the collection may have used this number when referencing items in the collection. Also, the list was published with an error in the Series/sequence numbering. Series 9 was mistakenly identified as Series 14, and the list jumped from Series 8 to Series 14).

An updated version was published in 2017. Citation: The University of Melbourne Archives, Records Description List for ‘1986.0123: Records of Teresa Wardell', listed by Gabrielle Chiu, Jane Ellen, and updated by Christine Elias, published November 2017.

Attribution: There are no restrictions on using information from the finding aids, however, the University asks that you attribute (properly cite) material from the finding aids whenever and wherever you use it.
16 Units/Boxes (2.72 linear metres)
Collection Category: Other, individuals
Access Conditions: Access: Part restricted* Access Note: People can apply for access to ‘restricted’ records (those containing personal and/or sensitive information) by contacting the University Archivist and signing a Deed of Undertaking, see To request access to individual items quote the Item Number/s eg 1986.0123.00047. To request a box or boxes of records, please quote the Unit/Box number/s eg 1986.0123 Unit 3. The University of Melbourne Archives coordinates with Find & Connect Support Services to provide extra services for those who grew up in orphanages and other out of home 'care' facilities, and their families. As such we encourage people eligible to apply for access to the restricted records via the support service. For support services contact details, please see *Please Note: Requests for ‘open’ records (those available to the general public) can be made via the University of Melbourne Reading Room. Restricted records are not available to the general public for 75 years from the date of the last action recorded.
Finding Aids: Yes listed ONLINE
Online ListingRecords Description List for '1986.0123 Records of Teresa Wardell'
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