Primary contactLevel 2, Thomas Cherry Building, The University of Melbourne Parkville
Melbourne, Victoria 3010
The eScholarship Research Centre (ESRC) is a social and cultural informatics research centre within the University of Melbourne Library, with a focus on archival science, metadata, and contextual information. The research aims to advance the discovery and interpretation of archival records, published literature, and research data for the benefit of the academic community and the greater public good. The Centre produces online public knowledge resources.
The genesis of the Centre dates back to initiatives in 1985 lead by Associate Professor Gavan McCarthy.
1985–1999: Australian Science Archives Project (ASAP):
The Australian Science Archive Project was launched at the University of Melbourne in 1985 with the objective of developing new programs to foster the preservation, promotion and development of the heritage of Australian science, technology and medicine.
To meet this objective, ASAP developed an early online encyclopedia named Bright Sparcs, an archives-based digital resource and fostered a network of associations with academic, government and private organisations and individuals.
In about 1993, a Canberra office was opened, located in the Basser Library in the Australian Academy of Science. It acted as a Canberra home for the Project and a focal point for the curation of data for 'Bright Sparcs'.
1999–2006: Australian Science and Technology Centre (Austehc):
In 1999, the work of ASAP became the foundation for the Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre (Austehc), established within the in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Faculty of Arts, University of Melbourne.
The ASAP Canberra continued as Austehc, Canberra from 1999 to 2006.
Austehc produced a range of authoritative information sources to support the history of science, technology and medicine in Australia. It continued to offer database and web publication tools to the public under open licences, and at no cost if used for non-commercial, heritage and public good purposes.
In 2003 the 'Bright Sparcs' database and an Austehc project, the Australian Science at Work database were combined to form the online Encyclopedia of Australian Science.
2007– current: eScholarship Research Centre (ESRC):
The ESRC was established in 2007 as part of the University of Melbourne Library. All the project records of the Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre were transferred to the custody of the eScholarship Research Centre in 2007.
For further details, see https://esrc.unimelb.edu.au/about/our-history
See https://esrc.unimelb.edu.au/#archival-guides for the catalogues of archival collections the ESRC has worked on, or that have been catalogued by others using our free archives management tool, HDMS (Heritage Documentation Management System)
A list of all the finding aids and publications of the predecessor, Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, can be found at: http://www.austehc.unimelb.edu.au/