About me

Tim Sherratt

I’m a historian and hacker who researches the possibilities and politics of digital cultural collections. I’ve been creating online resources relating to archives, museums and history since 1993, including Bright Sparcs, Mapping our Anzacs, QueryPic, and The Real Face of White Australia. I’m currently half of the Trove management team at the National Library of Australia, and Associate Professor of Digital Heritage at the University of Canberra. I’m a member of the THATCamp Council, an organiser of THATCamp Canberra, and a member of the committee of the Australasian Association for the Digital Humanities. Email: tim@discontents.com.au

Selected posts

Other sites

Projects, apps and experiments

Speeches and presentations

Tim Sherratt. (2011, June 8). Confessions of an impatient historian. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/wragge/confessionspdf
Tim Sherratt. (2005, June 8). Inigo Jones: the weather prophet. Public lecture, National Archives of Australia, Canberra. Retrieved from http://naa.gov.au/collection/issues/sherratt-2005.aspx
Tim Sherratt. (2012, May 8). Mining for meanings. Presented at the Harold White Fellowship public lecture, National Library of Australia. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/mining-for-meanings/
Tim Sherratt. (1998, May 6). A conspiracy reveal’d. After-dinner speech presented at the Working with Knowledge Conference, Canberra. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/a-conspiracy-reveald
Tim Sherratt. (2009, April 6). Of maps and metadata. Public lecture, New York Public Library.
Tim Sherratt. (2010, May 4). (a hopefully fairly painless introduction to) Linked Open Data. Presentation presented at the NSW Reference and Information Services Group seminar, State Library of NSW, Sydney. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/wragge/a-hopefully-fairly-painless-introduction-to-linked-open-data
Tim Sherratt. (2009). Mapping our archives. Presented at the American Association for History and Computing, George Mason University.
Tim Sherratt. (2013, October 31). Trove: Being the cloud. Presented at the Libraries Australia Forum, Melbourne. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/wragge/trove-being-the-cloud
Tim Sherratt. (2012, November 29). Archives of emotion. Presented at the Rethinking Archival Methods, Sydney. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/archives-of-emotion/
Tim Sherratt. (2014, September 29). Digitised newspapers and the varieties of value. Presented at the Europeana Newspapers workshop, “Newspapers in Europe and the Digital Agenda for Europe,” London. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/wragge/digitised-newspapers-and-the-varieties-of-value
Tim Sherratt. (2012, June 27). Beyond the front page. Presented at the The Canberra Society of Editors and the Australian and New Zealand Society of Indexers. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/wragge/beyond-the-front-page
Tim Sherratt. (2002, September 26). Wragge. After-dinner performance presented at the Climate and Culture conference, Canberra. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/wragge
Tim Sherratt. (2013, February 26). Exposing the archives of White Australia. Invited presentation presented at the UK Institute of Historical Research’s Digital History Seminar series. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/exposing-the-archives-of-white-australia/
Tim Sherratt. (1997, February 26). Unpacking the cabinet. Speech presented at the Cabinet of Curiosities Farewell, Canberra. Retrieved from http://www.asap.unimelb.edu.au/cabinet/events/farewell_speech.htm
Tim Sherratt. (2013, April 25). “A map and some pins”: open data and unlimited horizons. Presented at the Digisam conference on Open Heritage Data in the Nordic Region, Malmö. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/a-map-and-some-pins-open-data-and-unlimited-horizons/
Tim Sherratt. (2008, February 25). What are the “matters of essentially national concern”? Presentation presented at the staff training session, National Archives of Australia, Canberra.
Tim Sherratt. (2010). Liberating lives: Invisible Australians and biographical networks. Presented at the “Life of Information” symposium, Canberra. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/wragge/liberating-lives-invisible-australians-and-biographical-networks
Tim Sherratt. (2013, October 23). Beyond Discovery. Presented at the eResearch 2013, Brisbane. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/wragge/beyond-discovery
Tim Sherratt. (2013, September 23). Collected Content / Distributed Meanings. Presented at the South Australian State History Conference, Adelaide. Retrieved from http://www.nla.gov.au/our-publications/staff-papers/collected-content-distributed-meanings
Tim Sherratt. (2013, October 21). From portals to platforms: building new frameworks for user engagement. Presented at the LIANZA 2013 Conference, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://www.nla.gov.au/our-publications/staff-papers/from-portal-to-platform
Tim Sherratt. (2013, June 21). Conversations with collections. Presented at the Digital Treasures Symposium, University of Canberra, Canberra. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/conversations-with-collections/
Tim Sherratt. (2012, February). Mining the treasures of Trove: new approaches and new tools. Presented at the VALA2012, Melbourne. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/mining-the-treasures-of-trove/
Tim Sherratt. (2012). Inside the bureaucracy of White Australia. Presented at the Digital Humanities Australasia, Canberra. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/wragge/inside-the-bureaucracy-of-white-australia
Tim Sherratt. (2012). The responsibilities of data: Reconstructing lives from the records of the White Australia Policy. Presented at the Framing Lives: The 8th Biennial Conference of the International Auto/Biography Association, Canberra. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/wragge/the-responsibilities-of-data-reconstructing-lives-from-the-records-of-the-white-australia-policy-13768896
Tim Sherratt, & Kate Bagnall. (2012). Invisible Australians: Living under the White Australia Policy. Presented at the American Historical Association, Chicago. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/wragge/invisible-australians
Tim Sherratt. (2011, November). It’s all about the stuff. Presented at the National Digital Forum, Wellington. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/its-all-about-the-stuff-collections-interfaces-power-and-people/
Tim Sherratt. (2011). Every story has a beginning. Keynote presented at the Australian and New Zealand Society of Indexers Annual Conference, Melbourne. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/every-story-has-a-beginning
Tim Sherratt. (2008). Recording the weather. Presented at the Australian Society of Archivists Annual Conference, Perth. Retrieved from http://naa.gov.au/Images/tim-sherratt_tcm2-13009.pdf
Tim Sherratt. (2006). A climate of uncertainty. Presented at the Australian Historical Association Biennial Conference, Canberra.
Tim Sherratt. (2012, November 20). Small stories in a big data world. Presented at the National Digital Forum, Wellington. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/small-stories-in-a-big-data-world/
Tim Sherratt. (2014, September 20). Life on the outside: Collections, contexts and the wild, wild, web. Keynote presented at the Japanese Association for the Digital Humanities Annual Conference, Tsukuba, Japan. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/life-on-the-outside/
Tim Sherratt. (1998). Unsung heroes. Speech presented at the launch of Murray Upton, <em>A rich and diverse fauna</em>, CSIRO Entomology, Canberra. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/unsung-heroes
Tim Sherratt. (1996). On the beach: Australia’s nuclear history. Presented at the French Worlds, Pacific Worlds, University of Melbourne. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/on-the-beach-australias-nuclear-history
Tim Sherratt. (1996). Pathways to memory. In Proceedings of AusWeb96 - The Second Australian World Wide Web Conference. Southern Cross University. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/pathways-to-memory
Tim Sherratt. (1995). Advertising your archives on the WWW. Presented at the Australian Society of Archivists Annual Conference, Canberra. Retrieved from http://www.asap.unimelb.edu.au/asa/wkshp/asawww1.htm
Tim Sherratt. (1995). A world to win: The WWW experience of a small organisation with big dreams. Presented at the Asia-Pacific WWW Conference, Sydney. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/a-world-to-win
Tim Sherratt. (1992). Phyllis in atomic wonderland. Presented at the AAHPSSS Annual Conference, University of NSW. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/phyllis-in-atomic-wonderland
Tim Sherratt. (2012, October 19). Too important not to try. Presented at the Dipping a Toe into the Digital Humanities and Creative Arts, Deakin University. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/too-important-not-to-try/
Tim Sherratt. (2014, March 18). The future of Trove. State Library of WA. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/wragge/the-future-of-trove
Tim Sherratt. (1996). The Bright Sparcs Project - Combining Directory and Publishing Functions in a Subject-Specific Resource. Presented at the Resource Discovery Workshop 96, Melbourne. Retrieved from http://www.asap.unimelb.edu.au/confs/rdw96/bs_rdw1.htm
Tim Sherratt. (2011, November 13). Digital history: new tools and techniques. Education presented at the Dragontails 2011: 2nd Australasian conference on overseas Chinese history & heritage of Chinese Australian History, Melbourne. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/wragge/digital-history-new-tools-and-techniques
Tim Sherratt. (2007, December 12). All this paraphenalia – a Constitution for a nation. Presentation presented at the branch training session, National Archives of Australia, Canberra.
Tim Sherratt. (2012, October 12). Digital disruptions: Finding new ways to break things. Presented at the Faculty of Arts eResearch Forum, University of Melbourne. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/digital-disruptions-finding-new-ways-to-break-things
Tim Sherratt. (2010, November 10). The 4Es -- Doing more with metadata. Presentation presented at the CAARA Residential School, Canberra. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/wragge/the-four-es-doing-more-with-metadata
Tim Sherratt. (2013, September 10). Reinventing digital culture. Presented at the Innovative Ideas Forum, National Library of Australia. Retrieved from http://www.nla.gov.au/podcasts/innovative-ideas-forum.html#reinventing-digital-culture
Tim Sherratt. (2013, November 1). Trove in a Linked Data Universe. Presented at the ACOC Seminar 2013, “Link by Link: Data Integration and Evolving Web,” Melbourne. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/wragge/trove-in-the-linked-data-universe
Tim Sherratt. (2013, March 1). Exploring with confidence. Invited presentation presented at the 2013 Australian Digital Alliance Copyright Forum, Canberra. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/exploring-with-confidence/

Sound and video

Digisam 2013: Tim Sherratt, A map and some pins’: open data and unlimited horizons. (2013). Malmö. Retrieved from http://cloudbox.wallenmedia.se/riksarkivet/130425/?start=04:39:45
What is Digital Humanities?: Digital Disruptions: Finding New Ways to Break Things. (2013). Retrieved from http://vimeo.com/80591291
Virtue, R. (2013, August 21). ABC Radio: History comes alive in a digital era. item. Retrieved April 25, 2014, from http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2013/08/21/3830704.htm
ADA2013 Session 4: Dr. Tim Sherratt. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TA8sVZOwCiE&feature=youtube_gdata_player
History SPOT: Exposing the Archives of White Australia. (2013). Retrieved from http://vimeo.com/60639104
Dr Tim Sherratt - Humanities Under Re-Vision Part 3 of 3. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ai11c5sCan4&feature=youtube_gdata_player
Dr Tim Sherratt - Humanities Under Re-Vision Part 2 of 3. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44C1gR3RhdY&feature=youtube_gdata_player
Dr Tim Sherratt - Humanities Under Re-Vision Part 1 of 3. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LabrSSlRCuc&feature=youtube_gdata_player
NLA: Reinventing digital culture. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.nla.gov.au/podcasts/innovative-ideas-forum.html#reinventing-digital-culture
Mosman Library: Telling stories and building interfaces. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZK-W2vCYPE&feature=youtube_gdata_player
Mosman Library: Small stories in a big data world. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48Bhzyl44Ek&feature=youtube_gdata_player
Mosman Library: A digital history toolkit. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8jrtGnDLwM&feature=youtube_gdata_player
NLA: Tim Sherratt, Mining for meanings. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.nla.gov.au/podcasts/collections.html#tim-sherratt
NDF 2012: Tim Sherratt: Small stories in a big data world. (2012). Retrieved from http://webcast.gigtv.com.au/Mediasite/Play/ff5fcf8f9d9146caae57ca71b54294bf1d?catalog=0218e4a1-9070-4b7f-b051-54f1933da8e9
VALA 2012: Tim Sherratt, Mining the treasures of Trove: new approaches and new tools. (2012). Retrieved from http://webcast.gigtv.com.au/Mediasite/Play/d309aed4ca484bcbb4af03b213b1bb101d
NDF 2011: Tim Sherratt, “It”s all about the stuff’. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.r2.co.nz/20111129/tim-s.htm
The Cabinet of Curiosities. (1997). Retrieved from http://vimeo.com/16792418
Digital Disruptions: Finding New Ways to Break Things. (2012). University of Melbourne. Retrieved from https://soundcloud.com/wragge/digital-disruptions-finding

Bookish things

Tim Sherratt. (2007). Inigo Jones: The Weather Prophet. Melbourne: Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/inigo-jones-the-weather-prophet/
Tim Sherratt, Libby Robin, & Tom Griffiths (Eds.). (2005). A Change in the Weather: Climate and Culture in Australia. Canberra: National Museum of Australia Press. Retrieved from http://www.nma.gov.au/about_us/publications/a_change_in_the_weather/
Sherratt, T. (2003). Atomic Wonderland: Science and Progress in Twentieth Century Australia (PhD). Australian National University. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/atomic-wonderland
Tim Sherratt, Lisa Jooste, & Rosanne Clayton (Eds.). (1995). Recovering Science - Strategies and Models for the Past, Present and Future - Proceedings of a conference held at the University of Melbourne, October 1992. Canberra: Australian Science Archives Project. Retrieved from http://www.asap.unimelb.edu.au/confs/recovering/

Book chapters and articles

Tim Sherratt. (2011). Bringing Life to Records: “Mapping Our Anzacs” at the National Archives of Australia. In Kate Theimer (Ed.), A Different Kind of Web: New Connections between Archives and Our Users with Web 2.0. Society of American Archivists.
Sherratt, T. (2011). It’s all about the stuff: Collections, interfaces, power and people. Journal of Digital Humanities, 1(1). Retrieved from http://journalofdigitalhumanities.org/1-1/its-all-about-the-stuff-by-tim-sherratt/
Tim Sherratt. (2009). Emerging technologies for the provision of access to archives: Issues, challenges and ideas. Retrieved from http://www.scribd.com/doc/24402148/Emerging-technologies-for-the-provision-of-access-to-archives-issues-challenges-and-ideas
Tim Sherratt. (2008). The motion that might have saved the Whitlam government. National Archives of Australia. Retrieved from http://naa.gov.au/whats-on/online/feature-exhibits/dismissal/index.aspx
Tim Sherratt. (2006). Frontiers of the future: science and progress in 20th-century Australia. In D. B. Rose & R. Davis (Eds.), Dislocating the frontier: essaying the mystique of the outback (pp. 121–142). Canberra: ANU E-Press. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/frontiers-of-the-future
Tim Sherratt. (2006). Civilisation versus the giant, winged lizards – Changing climates, changing minds. Altitude, (7). Retrieved from http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/13197/20060927-0000/www.api-network.com/cgi-bin/altitude21c/flyfacd.html?page=Issue7&n=1
Tim Sherratt. (2005). Human elements. In T. Sherratt, L. Robin, & T. Griffiths (Eds.), A Change in the Weather: Climate and Culture in Australia (pp. 1–17). Canberra: National Museum of Australia Press. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/human-elements
Tim Sherratt. (2005). Remembering Lawrence Hargrave. In G. Davison & K. Webber (Eds.), Yesterday’s Tomorrows: The Powerhouse Museum and its precursors (pp. 174–185). Sydney: Powerhouse Museum in association with UNSW Press. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/remembering-lawrence-hargrave
Tim Sherratt. (2001). The weather prophets. In Federation and Meteorology. Melbourne: Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre. Retrieved from http://www.austehc.unimelb.edu.au/fam/0006.html
Tim Sherratt. (2001). A climate for a nation. In Federation and Meteorology. Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre. Retrieved from http://www.austehc.unimelb.edu.au/fam/0001.html
Tim Sherratt. (1998). Atomic testing. In Graeme Davison, John Hirst, & Stuart Macintyre (Eds.), Oxford Companion to Australian History (pp. 42–3). Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
Tim Sherratt. (1998). David, Tannatt William Edgeworth (1858-1934). In Graeme Davison, John Hirst, & Stuart Macintyre (Eds.), Oxford Companion to Australian History (p. 178). Melbourne: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/edgeworth-david
Tim Sherratt. (1998). Florey, Howard Walter (1898-1968). In Graeme Davison, John Hirst, & Stuart Macintyre (Eds.), Oxford Companion to Australian History (p. 258). Melbourne: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/howard-florey
Tim Sherratt. (1998). CSIRO. In Graeme Davison, John Hirst, & Stuart Macintyre (Eds.), Oxford Companion to Australian History (pp. 164–5). Melbourne: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/csiro
Tim Sherratt. (1998). Science, history of. In Graeme Davison, John Hirst, & Stuart Macintyre (Eds.), Oxford Companion to Australian History (pp. 572–3). Melbourne: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/history-of-science-in-australia
Tim Sherratt, & Gavan McCarthy. (1996). Mapping scientific memory. Archives and Manuscripts, 24(1). Retrieved from http://www.asap.unimelb.edu.au/pubs/articles/gjm/mapscimem.htm
Tim Sherratt, & Anne-Marie Conde. (1996). A wartime observatory observed: the Mount Stromlo community, 1940-1945. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/a-wartime-observatory-observed
Tim Sherratt. (1993). “A physicist would be best out of it”: George Briggs at the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission. Voices, (Autumn). Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/a-physicist-would-be-best-out-of-it
Tim Sherratt. (1985). “A political inconvenience”: Australian scientists as the British atomic weapons tests, 1952-3. Historical Records of Australian Science, 6(2), 137–152. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/a-political-inconvenience
Tim Sherratt. (1985). Australian scientists at the British atomic tests. In Robyn Williams (Ed.), Science Show 2 (pp. 216–9). Nelson. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/australian-scientists-at-the-british-atomic-tests
Tim Sherratt, & Tom Griffiths. (206AD). What if the northern rivers had been turned inland. In Stuart Macintyre & Sean Scalmer (Eds.), What if? Australian history as it might have been (pp. 234–254). Melbourne: Melbourne University Press.


Tim Sherratt. (2010). Review of The Virtual Representation of the Past. Archives and Manuscripts, 38(1), 147–9.
Tim Sherratt. (2005). Review of Treasures of the Museum, Victoria, Australia, and Land Nation People: Stories from the National Museum of Australia. Historical Records of Australian Science, 16(1), 122–125. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/treasures
Tim Sherratt. (2004). Review of Tom Frame and Don Faulkner, Stromlo: an Australian observatory. Historical Records of Australian Science, 15(1). Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/stromlo-an-australian-observatory
Review of Roger Cross, Fallout: Hedley Marston and the British bomb tests in Australia. (2002). Historical Records of Australian Science, 14(2), 209–10. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/hedley-marston
Tim Sherratt. (2001). Review of Clarence Hardy, Atomic rise and fall and Enriching experiences. Historical Records of Australian Science, 13(1), 105–7. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/atomic-secrets
Tim Sherratt. (2001). Review of Wayne Reynolds, Australia’s Bid for the Atomic Bomb. Historical Records of Australian Science, 13(4), 536–8. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/australias-bid-for-the-bomb
Tim Sherratt. (1993). Review of Scienceworks, the Museum of Victoria’s Centre for Science and Technology. Historical Records of Australian Science, 9(4), 387–8. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/scienceworks
Tim Sherratt. (1988). Making science for whom? Antithesis. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/making-science-for-whom

Magazine articles

Tim Sherratt. (2008). Looking at the sun. Memento, (35), 14–17. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/looking-at-the-sun
Tim Sherratt. (2007). From cameleers to citizens: Muslims in Australia, 1901–75’. Memento, (33), 12–13.
Tim Sherratt. (1996). The many battles of Jock Marshall. Australasian Science, 17(2), 64. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/the-many-battles-of-jock-marshall
Tim Sherratt. (1996). Political fallout: Australian scientists and the atomic bomb. Australasian Science, 17(3), 64. Retrieved from http://discontents.com.au/political-fallout
Tim Sherratt. (1994). From Beetles to a Nobel Prize. Australasian Science, (Autumn), 64. Retrieved from http://www.asap.unimelb.edu.au/bsparcs/exhib/journal/as_burnet.htm
Tim Sherratt. (1994). Finding Life in Ancient Corals. Australasian Science, (Summer), 64. Retrieved from http://www.asap.unimelb.edu.au/bsparcs/exhib/journal/as_hill.htm
Tim Sherratt. (1994). A War Against Disease. Australasian Science, (Spring), 64. Retrieved from http://www.asap.unimelb.edu.au/bsparcs/exhib/journal/as_keogh.htm
Tim Sherratt. (1993). No standing back - Dame Jean Macnamara. Australasian Science, (Summer), 64. Retrieved from http://www.asap.unimelb.edu.au/bsparcs/exhib/journal/as_macna.htm
Tim Sherratt. (1993). A passion for physics - Joan Freeman. Australasian Science, (Winter), 64. Retrieved from http://www.asap.unimelb.edu.au/bsparcs/exhib/journal/as_freeman.htm
Tim Sherratt. (1993). A model scientist. Australasian Science, (Autumn), 56. Retrieved from http://www.asap.unimelb.edu.au/bsparcs/exhib/journal/as_hills.htm
Tim Sherratt. (1992). Communicating with Wild Life. Australasian Science Mag, (4), 8. Retrieved from http://www.asap.unimelb.edu.au/bsparcs/exhib/journal/as_morri.htm

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Tim Sherratt Written by:

I'm a historian and hacker who researches the possibilities and politics of digital cultural collections.


  1. December 18, 2014

    Noting your interest in historical meteorology, you might be interested to know what we’ve done with the Charles Todd Weather folios – 26,000 images of 11,000 days of weather – 1878-1909 NAA series number D1384. Also, Wragges 1000+ ship logs have been digitised at http://www.weatherdetective.net.au.
    Our volunteer team have sent 330,000 datapoints to the NOAA to fuel climate reanalyses models for the SW Pacific area. The diligence of our pioneer scientists is feeding modern climate change analysis, see reanalyses.org/

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