James Collier

James Collier 

  • President 1944-1946
  • LAA Fellow 1964

James Douglas Archer Collier (1893-1970), journalist and librarian, was born on 17 April 1893 at Hamilton-on-Forth, Ulverstone, Tasmania.

Although he lacked professional qualifications, in 1922 James Douglas Archer Collier was appointed librarian of the Tasmanian Public Library. On 28 February 1923 he married Vivien Erskine Copeland Dean in St David's Anglican Cathedral, Hobart. A regular contributor of literary articles and reviews to newspapers and periodicals, he edited the second volume of RW Giblin's The Early History of Tasmania (1939), to which he also contributed several chapters.

Archer Collier was a member (president 1944-1946) of the Australian Institute of Librarians (later the Library Association of Australia) from its foundation in 1937. In 1943 Kenneth Binns, librarian of the Commonwealth National Library, praised his 'able and untiring efforts in the face of continued discouragement and difficulty' in providing library services for the people of Tasmania. Next year Collier was appointed Tasmania's first State librarian; he was to hold the post until his retirement in 1954. He was actively involved in his work and under his aegis much progress was made. His most important contribution was in developing a State-wide children's library service, later used as a model by overseas librarians.


Further information can be found on the Australian Dictionary of Biography entry.