Campbell, Professor Thomas Draper (AA 52)

Professor Thomas Draper Campbell

Born: 24 March 1893, Millicent, South Australia
Died: 8 December 1967, Adelaide, South Australia

Thomas Draper Campbell, an internationally renowned dental scientist with a particular interest in Aboriginal dentition and diet, made a significant contribution to Australian Aboriginal studies. He first became interested in Aboriginal archaeology and anthropology in the early 1920s and participated in the South Australian Museum’s expeditions to Coopers Creek, Millers Creek, Mt Eba and the Stuart Range. He also played an important role in the establishment of the Board for Anthropological Research (BAR, AA 346) at the University of Adelaide and the Anthropological Society of South Australia. During the late 1920s and 1930s he organised many of the BAR expeditions to Central Australia. He led the BAR expeditions to Ooldea (1926), Macumba (1926-7) and Koonibba (1928) and was a member of the expeditions to MacDonald Downs (1930), Cockatoo Creek (1931), Mt Liebig (1932) and Diamantina River (1934). During these expeditions he assisted other researchers in gathering and recording anthropometric and ethnographic data, and also produced cinefilms and sound recordings of Aboriginal ceremonies, subsistence techniques, artefact preparation and daily life.

The South Australian Museum Archives contains, field diaries, notebooks, correspondence, publications, maps, figures, cinefilm and photographs.

The records relating to the Board for Anthropological Research in the Professor Thomas Draper Campbell collection was inscribed onto the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register in 2015.