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Libby Robin: Desert Channels


Summary Note

The archive Libby Robin: Desert Channels consists of materials related to the Desert Channels project, a collaborative project that explores the varied biodiversity of the Desert Channels country of south-western Queensland in Australia. The archive consists of the book proof and a draft copy of the paper about the project.

Biographical Note

Libby Robin holds joint appointments in the Fenner School and the Centre for Historical Research, National Museum of Australia. She is an environmental historian with a PhD in the History of Science (University of Melbourne). She convenes the Australian and New Zealand Environmental History Network and is a founder of the Expertise for the Future Collective. She is author of "How a Continent Created a Nation" (2007) and co-editor (with Rob Heinsohn and Leo Joseph) of "Boom and Bust: Bird Stories for a Dry Country" (2009).

Scope and Content

This Australian field project, designed by artist Mandy Martin and environmental historian Libby Robin of Australia National University, explores artistic, scientific, and historical interpretations of the distinctive Desert Channels country of south-western Queensland. Desert Channels explores the impulse to protect the varied biodiversity of the region, its Aboriginal and pastoral heritage and prehistoric heritage (including some of Australia's most important dinosaur sites). The emphasis of the project, and the book, is on partnerships that conserve landscapes and communities together, demonstrating that the impulse to conserve is shared by local landholders, conservation enthusiasts (from the community and from national and international organizations), traditional owners, professional biologists, artists, and historians. Scientists, writers, artists, conservationist, and environmental historians spent several field trips working with local Aborigines, examining the ecologies of the region, writing research and policy papers, and creating artworks. This resulted in exhibitions and a book.


This archive is arranged in three folders. The first folder contains the contributor's CV, book editing notes, and a draft copy of the paper presented by Robin on the project to Cultural Histories and Geographies of Rivers Workshop at University of Wollongong, June 2010. The second folders contain the first proof of the book.

Inclusive Dates


Bulk Dates


Quantity / Extent

.125 cubic feet



Related Archive Collections

  • CAE1043: John Reid: The Fishman Project
  • CAE1102: Richard Black: The Murray River and Tidal Garden Architecture
  • CAE1109: Mandy Martin: Desert Channels
  • CAE1302: Paruku Project

Related Publications

Robin, Libby, Chris Dickman, and Mandy Martin, eds. Desert Channels: The Impulse to Conserve. Australia: CSIRO Publishing, 2010.

Container Listing:

  • CAE Box 16

    • Folder 1 CV, Comments, Corrections, And Notes, 2010
    • Folder 2 Book Proof (1 of 2), 2010
    • Folder 3 Book Proof (2 of 2), 2010