Author(s): Maryanne Dever
The Intimate Archive examines the issues involved in using archival material to research the personal lives of public people, in this case of Australian writers Marjorie Barnard (1897-1987), Aileen Palmer (1915a"1988) and Lesbia Harford (1891-1927). The book provides an insight into the romantic experiences of the three women, based on their private letters, diaries and notebooks held in public institutions. The authors consider the ethical dilemmas that they faced while researching private material, in particular of making conclusions based on material that was possibly never intended by its subjects to be consumed publicly. In this sense, the book is both an introverted contemplation of private affairs and an extroverted meditation on the right to acquire and assume intimate knowledge.