Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

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Exhibitions

  • Faith, Hope and Charity Australian Women and Imperial Honours: 1901-1989
  • From Lady Denman to Katy Gallagher: A Century of Women's Contributions to Canberra

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de Berg, Hazel Estelle (1913 - 1984)

MBE

Born
1913
Deniliquin, New South Wales, Australia
Died
3 February 1984
Occupation
Historian

Summary

Hazel de Berg interviewed thousands of people in her work as an oral historian. A significant number of her interviews are held in the oral history collection of the National Library of Australia. She was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (Civil) on 1 January 1968 for services in collection of archival material.

Details

The third of six children to the Revered George Holland and his wife Ann, Hazel de Berg was raised in Deniliquin and trained as a radiographer. In 1957, author Frank Clune asked her to record a book for a blind friend. She completed a recording of Old Day, Old Ways by Dame Mary Gilmour. To provide some background biographical information, Hazel de Berg asked Dame Mary Gilmour if she would agree to a recorded interview. The information provided produced some previously unrecorded detail.

This recording became the first of the de Berg oral history collection, held at the National Library in Canberra and comprising approximately 1300 hour-long taped interviews. Originally the project was self-funded but in 1960, Sir Harold White, the Federal Parliamentary Librarian and National Librarian, offered her a Commonwealth Grant.

For more than 25 years Hazel de Berg documented Australia's social history by recording poets, novelists, historians, painters, musicians and scientists, - people who were contributing to the ongoing intellectual life of Australia. Predeceased by her husband William, Hazel de Berg died on 3 February 1984 from a heart attack. She was survived by her twin daughters Diana and Deborah, and son Michael.

Sources used to compile this entry: 'Pioneer in oral history recording', The Sydney Morning Herald, 17 February, p. 12; From Lady Denman to Katy Gallagher: A Century of Women's Contributions to Canberra, Australian Women's Archives Project, February 2013, http://www.womenaustralia.info/exhib/ldkg.

Archival resources

National Library of Australia

  • Australian poetry live classics from the Hazel de Berg collection / [sound recording] : selected by Geoff Page., 1996; National Library of Australia. Details
  • [Conversation with Irene Greenwood] [sound recording] / [interviewer: Hazel de Berg], 7 March 1976, ORAL DeB 916; Greenwood, Irene Adelaide (1898 - 1992); National Library of Australia. Details
  • [Conversation with Stroma Buttrose] [sound recording] / [interviewer: Hazel de Berg], 24 February 1978, 22883; de Berg, Hazel Estelle (1913 - 1984); National Library of Australia. Details

National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection

  • Papers of Hazel Estelle de Berg, 1959 - 1963, MS 888; National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection. Details
  • Papers of Hazel Estelle de Berg, 1960 - 1967, MS 2249; National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection. Details

National Library of Australia Newspaper Microcopy Reading Room

  • Biographical cuttings on Hazel Estelle de Berg, oral historian; National Library of Australia Newspaper Microcopy Reading Room. Details

National Library of Australia, Reading Room

  • [Talking history program on the National Library's Oral History section and the Hazel de Berg Collection] / [sound recording] / [Compiled by : Tim Bowden]., 1989; National Library of Australia, Reading Room. Details
  • [Tape recorder used by Hazel de Berg for interviews for Oral History] [realia], 1960; National Library of Australia, Reading Room. Details

Anne Heywood

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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