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E. Morris Miller E. Morris Miller i(A11470 works by) (a.k.a. Edmund Morris Miller; Ed Miller)
Born: Established: 14 Aug 1881 Pietermaritzburg, Natal (Province), Southern Africa, Africa, ; Died: Ceased: 21 Oct 1964 Hobart, Southeast Tasmania, Tasmania,
Gender: Male
Arrived in Australia: 1883
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A remarkable and influential scholar with interests in philosophy, economics, politics, history and psychology, Morris Miller is one of the founding fathers of Australian bibliography and of the study and research of Australian literature. Educated in Australia, gaining an M.A. in Philosophy in 1907 from the University of Melbourne followed by a Litt.D. from the same institution in 1919, Miller helped found the Library Association of Victoria in 1912. The following year he took up an appointment as lecturer in Philosophy and Economics at the University of Tasmania. He became a founding member of the Library Association of Australia and a trustee of the Tasmanian Public Library.

Miller's interests began to shift from economics to psychology. He drafted the Tasmanian Mental Deficiency Act in 1920, was appointed first director of the State Psychological Clinic and later became president of the Australasian Association for Psychology and Philosophy. In spite of such concerns beyond the academic sphere, Miller continued to maintain his links with the University of Tasmania as professor of Psychology and Philosophy and was appointed Vice-Chancellor (part-time) in 1933. He was particularly influential in the development of the institution's library facilities and played a major role in the relocation of the University from the Domain site in Hobart to Sandy Bay.

His great two-volume conspectus, Australian Literature from Its Beginnings to 1935 was first published in 1940, the culmination of a project initially commenced by Sir John Quick who had realised that such a mammoth task lay beyond the scope of a single individual. A lawyer, journalist and member of the first Australian parliament, Quick, like Miller was a friend of Alfred Deakin. Miller wrote in his Preface to his bibliography that Quick's 'idea was due to his patriotism; he determined to spend his last years in making known the achievements of Australians in the world of letters' (vii). Following Quick's death in 1932, Miller's bibliographic zeal proved him the equal of his late predecessor, and the style of the work is characteristic of the man.

Crucial in the identification of important colonial literary endeavours, Miller also produced a number of works devoted to the early history of publishing in Australia, such as Pressmen and Governors: Australian Editors and Writers in Early Tasmania (1952) in addition to his investigations establishing Henry Savery's Quintus Servinton as Australia's earliest novel.

Along with H.M. Green's A History of Australian Literature Pure and Applied (1961), Miller's bibliography provides the scholarly foundation for critical, textual, literary-historical and editorial work in the field of Australian literary studies.

The AustLit database and The Bibliography of Australian Literature continued the pioneering work of Miller and his bibliographic colleagues.

The central library at the University of Tasmania's Sandy Bay campus is named in his honour.

Most Referenced Works

Personal Awards

1963 The Order of the British Empire Companion of the British Empire
1949 winner ASAL Awards ALS Gold Medal

for 'his wonderful contribution to Australian literature during the past 10 years'.

Known archival holdings

Albinski 156
Last amended 7 Mar 2018 10:42:01
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