ACT Heritage Library Manuscript Collection

HMSS 0008 Ann Gugler Collection

Scope and Content Notes 

Call No. HMSS 0008
Collection Ann Gugler Collection
Date Range 1912-1991
Quantity 2.5m
Access Conditions open
Copying Conditions with attribution
Related Collections -

Ann Gugler was born in Collarenabri, NSW, and came to Canberra with her parents in 1940. The family lived in Westlake 1941-1959, then moved into a 1930s house in Hackett Gardens, Turner. Although most of the camps had been dismantled by 1940, the settlements such as Westlake remained. Having grown up in Canberra between the early construction era and the major development of the city that began in the 1960s, the camps and settlements period from 1914 to the 1930s has always been of interest to her.

Ann qualified as a teacher in Sydney, then taught in Canberra high schools from 1958 until her retirement in 1992. From 1962 she included in her courses a study of Canberra architecture from the pre-national capital era to the current period. She also conducted annual excursion tours around Canberra, linking its architecture with international architectural trends and the major architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Walter Burley Griffin, Le Corbusier, Gropius and Mies Van de Rohe. From 1989 to 1992 she also included in the course information about the construction era in Canberra.

Since retirement, Ann has researched and published several books on the construction period, including The Builders of Canberra, 1909-1920. (1994),  Westlake – One of the Vanished Suburbs of Canberra (1997), The Builders of Canberra; Where they Lived 1913-1959 (1999), Canberra’s Construction Camps, Early Houses and Selected Documents (2001) and A Story of Capital Hill (2009). During 2001-2002 she transcribed Canberra’s early electoral rolls, rearranged them by suburb, and published them.

She also compiled True Tales from the Vanished Suburbs of Westlake, Westridge and Acton (1997), contributed photographs to an exhibition staged by Signadou College in 1999, entitled My Land, My House, My Home; Canberra and Region, and produced a walking tour brochure of Stirling Park, formerly Westlake, (ca 2001), a CD on its archaeology from the Westlake period (2006), and a Westlake newsletter (from 2007).

The collection as received was in no particular order, and without constraint on any future order that might be imposed. It consists of photographs, photocopies of maps and plans, archaeological specimens and documentation, some oral history transcripts, unorganised handwritten notes, photocopies of documents, typewritten transcripts of documents together with typewritten notes incorporating transcripts (under headings), publicity material relating to the books, material related to Dickson College annual art show, and Ann Gugler’s personal documents.

As a general guide, Ann maintained a computer file of placenames and filed her information chronologically under these; as information came to hand, she would interfile with earlier information. Hard copy notes may be filed by research institution (mainly Australian Archives with some National Library photographs), published sources such as newspapers, oral histories, etc. Australian Archives documents and notes are annotated with source file numbers and may be grouped in number order, and departmental files by file name. 

Contents lists for the wallets are indicative rather than comprehensive. Many of the papers are duplicated, often several times and in different wallets and combinations with other material. Original materials are rare.

The below list describes the documentary part of the collection only.  The associated image collection is still being arranged and described. 

Box List






Photocopies of documents, mainly from Australian Archives, re Social Service Association, Royal tour of inspection 10 May 1927, correspondence with Canberra Community News, Welfare Association

Wallet 1

1920 – 1931


Photocopies of documents concerning pay and facilities for labourers in city and forestry camps, lists of camp tenants, governance of the Arsenal town, social and sporting activities, manuscript notes,

Wallet 2

1914 – 1936


Photocopies of documents relating to camp catering, lists of mess members, Social Service Association re community recreation facilities, tent rentals and occupant lists, the Arsenal and writing the Official History of Australia in World War 1 at Tuggeranong

Wallet 3

1926 – 1929


Transcripts of meetings of residents with Minister for Home Affairs re closure of camps 1929
Typescripts of newspaper reports, various subjects grouped by camp, hostel etc

Wallet 4

1917 – 1929


Typescript notes of Ann Gugler’s memories of Westlake, with house plans and extracts from electoral rolls, ca 1991
Transcripts from newspapers, 40 numbered pages, 1919-1931
Photocopies of correspondence and official memoranda

Wallet 5

1919 – 1931, 1991


Transcripts of Australian Archive files and newspapers, 50 numbered pages, 1922-1928
Transcripts of Australian Archive files and newspapers, general information on the camps, 21 numbered pages,1917-1931

Wallet 6

1917 – 1931


Photocopies and transcripts of documents relating to Canberra Brickworks, 1914-1923

Wallet 7

1914 – 1923


Photocopies of maps and plans, including the proposed Arsenal at Tuggeranong, 1910-1924

Wallet 8

1910 – 1924, 1992


Photocopies of reports re afforestation, mainly from Mr Brackenreg and Charles Weston

Wallet 9

1917 – 1922


Photocopies of documents and correspondence re recreational facilities, schools, name plates for cottages, public telephones, unions and apprenticeships, police 1922-1934
Water treatment facilities including plans, Weston Creek, 1924

Wallets 10, 11

1922 – 1934, 1990


Photocopies of:
Correspondence, reports etc mainly concerning facilities at workmen’s camps, 1924-1930
Duke and Duchess of York’s inspection of southern districts of Canberra, 10 May 1927
Minutes and second annual report of Social Service Association, 1926-1930
Establishment of ambulance service, 1930

Wallet 12

1924 – 1930


Transcripts of documents relating to Social Service Association, camp welfare committees, schools, bus services, including several lists of people for various purposes, 1918-1929
Transcripts of newspaper and journal articles mainly on social events, 1923-1928

Wallet 13

1918 – 1929


Transcripts and photocopies of documents, including several lengthy reports, relating to philosophy of building a new city, education services, St Gabriel’s school, religious facilities, the proposed Arsenal, The Gap (Westlake) Progress Association, an inquiry into Canberra housing, sewerage

Wallet 14

1921 – 1929


Photocopies of documents relating to rental of tents and cottages, Canberra Community News, welfare, cricket, Social Service Association elections, swimming pool and other recreational facilities, notes for voters at the election of the third Commissioner, 2 February 1929

Wallet 15

1919 – 1929


Transcripts and photocopies of sewerage plans, documents and correspondence relating to Bachelors’ Quarters and other accommodation at Acton, Canberra Community News, picture shows at the camps, schools, 1918-1925

Wallet 16

1918 – 1925, 1991


Transcripts and photocopies of documents relating to schools, swimming baths, mainly at Acton, sporting and social events reported in Canberra Community News, provision of workmen’s mess

Wallet 17

1921 – 1928


Transcripts relating mainly to the various camps, returned soldiers, 40 numbered pages of district activities reported in Canberra Community News, reports of accidents, Bachelors’ Quarters and Residency

Wallet 18

1921 – 1927


Manuscript and typescript notes, photocopies of plans of Canberra Hospital, Powerhouse cottages, Molonglo Camp, Blandfordia Camp and Eastlake Camp, photocopies of maps of areas where camps were located

Wallet 19

1915 – 1930


Photocopies and transcripts of documents re workmen’s accommodation and complaints, secondary schools, manuscript notes, map of Westlake marking residents listed on 1928 liquor poll

Wallet 20

1923 – 1928


Photocopies of minutes of meeting of Australian Natives Association 1927, manuscript and typescript notes mainly of correspondence with the Federal Capital Commission on various topics including Social Service Association, typescript lists of applications for cottages

Wallet 21

1925 – 1929


Transcripts of correspondence including Social Services Association, Surveyor-General re construction of cottages,
Transcripts of newspaper reports

Wallet 22

1921 – 1930


Photocopies of documents and maps concerning Jerrabomberra Creek diversion; plans of Russell Hill camp school, cottage rentals, city layout and railway crossing at the Causeway, the Arsenal
Photocopies of documents relating to Duntroon and Eastlake tenements
Manuscript notes

Wallet 23

1916 – 1956


Transcripts of electoral rolls, mainly for rural locations and Jervis Bay
Transcripts of Archives documents relating to camp tenancies, sanitation, essential services, lengthy reports of meetings re welfare of workmen’s communities including official correspondence and newspaper reports
Transcripts of newspaper reports on bus services, employment statistics, obituaries, schools, allowances for public servants, social and sporting facilities and events

Wallet 24

1922 – 1928


Annotated transcripts of 1913 census and 1928 electoral list

Wallets 25, 26

1913 – 1928


Transcripts from accident reports, employment lists, newspaper advertisements indicating Canberra residents
Transcripts from newspapers and other sources relating to Social Service Association, progress associations, social and sporting events, reports on the camps, rents listed against electoral rolls
Transcripts of 1928 and 1929 electoral rolls in suburb order

Wallet 27

1924 - 1928


Photocopies of documents relating to schools, agistment (with map), reafforestation areas (maps), conditions at Power House cottages, rental lists, recreation facilities including plan of camping site at Riverbourne, manuscript notes, quarries, Mt Stromlo construction, roads and sewerage works with map of North Intercepting Sewer proposed route

Wallet 28

1919 – 1929


Photocopies of letters re Acton Cricket Club 1912 and YWCA 1934, catering in camps, cottages near Civic, maps of rural camp areas, manuscript notes

Wallet 29

1912 – 1934


Transcripts of documents relating to workmen’s housing, Social Service Association, Russell Hill and Riverbourne settlements

Wallet 30

1926 – 1929


Transcripts of documents relating to tent rental, camp sites and sanitation, deputations from progress associations, lists of tenants

Wallet 31

1917 – 1928


Photocopies and transcripts of documents relating to sewers (with plan), electricity supply, cottage construction and rental, removal of sheds from Parliament House site after construction finished, sheds for private houses, catering in camp messes, tennis courts
Photocopy of Joint Committee of Public Accounts. Report on Housing and Building Costs Generally in the Federal Capital Territory. 19 September 1928
Manuscript notes, sketch maps of camp locations

Wallet 32

1917 – 1927


Manuscript notes; sketch map of central and eastern camp sites, Westlake camp
Transcripts and photocopies of documents relating to transporting children to school, property maps, camp facilities and services, cricket clubs and facilities

Wallet 33

1918 – 1928


Photocopies of correspondence re employment, tenancy, map of school routes, post office near Power House, Power House cottages
Sketch maps of properties along Molonglo River in city area, site of new Telopea Park school

Wallet 34

1920 – 1927


Photocopies and transcripts of documents relating to bus service for Oaks Estate 1946, Yarralumla Nursery, recreation hall Duntroon, improving camp conditions, housing shortages for public servants arriving after 1927
Photocopies of plans for cottages for Power House engineers, additions to house at block 9 section 24 Barton (1947), maps of south Canberra, photograph of Connersville Stationary Centrifugal Separating Vacuum Cleaning Unit for Parliament House

Wallet 35

1913 – 1947


Photocopies of documents relating to transporting children to school
Transcripts and manuscript notes mainly on tenancies
Photocopies of photographs of Canberra buildings, maps of Acton area 1913 and 1918,
Sketch floor plan of Lovelock residence, 58 Novar St, Yarralumla

Wallet 36

1913 – 1923


Photocopies and transcripts relating to health, disbanding camps
Manuscript notes

Wallet 37

1918 – 1930


Photocopies of maps including school site at Duntroon, Power House cottages,  
Photocopies and transcripts of photographs, documents relating to camp amenities, health, Mothercraft Society, disbanding the camps, 1928 electoral roll, 1927 Russell Hill census,
Sketch maps of camp locations, locations of cottages in Civic 1927,
List of senior officers and experts closely associated with design of Federal Capital Territory, 1912-1929
Manuscript notes including timeline for camps

Wallet 38

1916 – 1930


Manuscript notes, including list of tenants of Old Mess House Duntroon 1918, sketch maps of working mean’s lots at Acton, Duntroon camp 1920s
Photocopies of maps and plans, including hospital, banking premises and living quarters at block 21 section 1 Civic (Melbourne Building), Power House cottage sites lists of block and section numbers and house design numbers allocated to Parliamentary staff, nightsoil removal list
Transcripts of documents relating to cottages in Ainslie and Civic, newspaper reports on development of Ainslie and Westlake,

Wallet 39

1913 - 1929


Transcript of Social Service Association first annual report, 1926, and constitution (35 numbered pages)
Transcripts on growth of Canberra, including commercial developments, naming of suburbs and streets, infrastructure and essential services, churches, 1926-1928 (43 numbered pages)
Photocopies of documents relating to Bachelors’ Quarters, Acton

Wallet 40

1922 – 1928


Transcripts of lists of people resident in the Territory, free bus passes issued to members of Canberra Brass Band and Canberra Philharmonic Society,
Transcripts of documents relating to early camps and Bachelors’ Quarters, Power House, Brickworks accommodation
Manuscript notes

Wallet 41

1913 – 1929


Photocopies relating to the Causeway, including a list of entertainments in the Causeway Hall 1926; sanitation reports on the camps 1927 (16 numbered pages); lists of employment and tenancies, Printing Office staff quarters, approved traders in camps, 1913 census

Wallet 42

1913 – 1927


Transcripts relating to allocation of houses, weekly rentals, residents in various camps, bus passes 1927, residents of tenements, Arsenal town, expenditure estimates on camps 1927-1928, outstanding rents, improvements to camps

Wallet 43

1915 – 1926


Photocopies of maps, mainly suburbs and camps
Photocopies of employment lists, Duntroon school pupils (identified)
Sketch of types of housing in timeline 1909-1930
Transcript description of Molonglo camp, with photocopies of other material relating to Molonglo and Arsenal

Wallet 44

1917 – 1926


Photocopied plan of roads radiating from Capital Hill with degrees of angle, proposed route of suggested water main, roads to Civic and university area at Acton, and to Railway Place
Photocopies of plans of Bachelors Quarters, Acton, ca 1922, map of Arsenal location, proposed Police Stations ca 1924
Photocopies relating to camp tenancies, rental contract, Acton school and hall, Acton recreational facilities

Wallet 45

1917 – 1927


Transcripts of minutes of meeting May 1929 and other documents relating to Social Service Association; documents relating to temporary accommodation for workmen 1928; lists of people working for Postal Department 1929 and where they lived; Arsenal camp
Photocopies of survey of school site Duntroon, 1914

Wallet 46

1914 - 1929


Photocopies of maps relating to site for National Museum of Australian Zoology 1926, railway line, recreation ground Acton, plan of schoolmaster’s residence Molonglo settlement
Photocopies relating to Blandfordia, Queanbeyan-Canberra railway
Manuscript notes

Wallet 47

1915 – 1929


Transcripts relating to Arsenal: town plan, tenants, services etc. Other transcripts mainly a repetition of earlier material
Manuscript notes

Wallet 48

1917 – 1929