Early notebooks in Australia: William Dawes notebooks

I am reading about William Dawes who was with the First Fleet (of colonists to New South Wales, Australia in 1788) – a Royal Marine who was also an astronomer, surveyor, and linguist, recorded the local Aboriginal language in 3 notebnooks, now digitised. A Masters thesis by jeremy Steele describes the notebooks [2005], with the epigram:
“ngaya banga-ba-wu BOOK ngyini-wå-gulang (b:15:5)”
which is translated by Dawes in book B, page 15, line 5 as
“I will make a book for you”.
(This does not count as the earliest bookbinding in Australia: the notebooks have the look of being previously bound and bought as blank stationery for note taking. The digitised version at shows the original notebooks bound into two maroon cloth covers. The notebooks have covers of plain blue paper and a nice marbled paper. The images of the pages show the sewing at page 23 of Notebook A and B; it appears that these 46 page notebooks were sewn as a single section.) Notebook C has been digitised omitting unwritten pages, which are unfortunately at just the places I would expect to find the centre of sections showing their sewing.)
My interest is triggered by the Bangarra Dance Theatre performance of Patyegarang seen in Canberra 19 July 2014, which is based on the story of the indigenous woman Patyegarang who was William Dawes main informant. A very powerful show, great dance and story telling.


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