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22 August 2017

Lindsay Cleland, a Friend we miss

Longtime St Mark’s library volunteer and archivist, Lindsay Cleland, passed away peacefully on 15 August. St Mark’s honours his memory and we send our heartfelt love and prayers to Sylvia and his family. He will be missed.

Lindsay Cleland was an archivist with a lifelong interest in, and knowledge of, Pacific material. On retirement from the National Archives, he commenced volunteer work at St Mark’s on 112 July 1989, giving three mornings per week to sorting and compiling the Tippett manuscript collection into an organised and professional archive. In 1984, Alan Tippett, missionary, educator and anthropologist, gave his collection of books, theses, journals and papers on the Pacific region to St Mark’s. He spent his last years at Mark’s continuing to work on his papers. Thus, Lindsay had the rare opportunity of working with the owner of the archive he was recording.

Lindsay quickly realised the unique nature and value of the collection and commenced work on a Finding Aid to document the large number of papers, giving priority to the Fison collection. The Tippett collection contained the papers and letters of Australia’s first Methodist missionary anthropologist Lorimer Fison 1832-1907 including his correspondence with Alfred William Howitt 1830-1908, another anthropologist, explorer and naturalist. Lindsay was responsible for identifying, collating and, together with the Pacific Manuscripts Bureau, organising the first digitization of the Fison Letter Books. This part of the collection has become increasingly important to Australian Indigenous history research, and is currently being digitised and collated under an Australian Research Council grant.

Lindsay continued to document the papers in the Tippett Finding Aid until 2013. His archival expertise ensured that the Finding Aid is of professional standard, highly organised, and easy to access. Volunteers continue his work, and researchers regularly request access through searching the Tippett Finding Aid.

Lindsay and Sylvia were active members of ‘Friends of St Mark’s’, supporting many activities, lectures, and events. Sylvia became a library volunteer, spending many years managing the journal collection.

St Mark’s National Theological Centre honours and appreciates Lindsay Cleland’s years of expert and painstaking work on the Tippett Missiological Collection. His legacy to us is the Tippett Finding Aid, which can be searched on the St Mark’s website. We give grateful thanks for this gentle and unassuming man who has given our College a priceless legacy in both the organisation and shelving of the Tippett Collection, and the recording of its contents.

May God’s grace and peace give comfort to Sylvia and the family.

Lindsay Cleland, Friend of St Mark’s and Volunteer 1989-2013, d. 15th August 2017

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