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A History of Vanuatu: Selected Readings

This online compilation of selected chapters and articles is a useful introduction to the history of the country formerly known as the New Hebrides for Ni-Vanuatu students and to compliment the recently published 'Histri blong yumi long Vanuatu: an educational resource'.

Histri blong yumi long Vanuatu: an educational resource / Sara Lightner and Anna Naupa.  Port Vila, Vanuatu : Vanuatu Cultural Center, 2005
Table of Contents - Volume 1
Table of Contents - Volume 2
Table of Contents - Volume 3

Recommended excerpts from selected texts

The Pacific Islands: an encyclopedia / edited by Brij Lal and Kate Fortune. - Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 2000. 


Vanuatu profile (incl. history) pp.620-623.

To kill a bird with two stones: a short history of Vanuatu / by Jeremy MacClancy. - Port Vila, Vanuatu Cultural Centre, 1980. Also available in French "Faire de deux pierres un coup".  Both editions can be ordered from the Vanuatu Cultural Centre.

Table of Contents

Beginnings (incl. notes on prehistory and settlement) pp.15-20

Tufala Gavman: reminisces from the Anglo-French Condominium of the New Hebrides / Brian J. Bresnihan, Keith Woodward, editors. - Suva, Fiji: Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific, University of the South Pacific, 2002.

Table of Contents

'Historical Note' by Keith Woodward pp.16-45; 46-72

Melanesian Politics: Stael blong Vanuatu /edited by Howard Van Trease - Christchurch, N.Z : Macmillan Brown Center for Pacific Studies, University of Canterbury; Suva, Fiji : IPS, USP, 1995.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: 'Colonial origins of Vanuatu politics' by Howard Van Trease pp.3-30; 31-58

Appendix 1:  A confidential monthly report from the French Resident Commissioner in the New Hebrides to the Secretary of State for Overseas Departments in France [1969]

The politics of land in Vanuatu: from colony to independence / Howard Van Trease. - Suva, Fiji: Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific, 1987.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: 'Ni-Vanuatu land and foreign intruders' pp. 1-34

Chapter 2: 'The Condominium land tenure system' pp. 35-62

Bridging mental boundaries: identity and development in Vanuatu / William Miles. - Honolulu, Hawai'i : University of Hawai'i Press, 1998.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Boundaries, juridical and mental: a brief history pp.14-28.

Of cargoes, colonies and Kings / Andrew Stuart. - Oxford [UK] : Radcliffe Press, 2001.

Table of Contents

Chptr. 14.  New Hebrides: Condominium in the South Pacific

New Hebrides: the road to independence / by Kalkot Matas Kele-Kele... [et al.] / edited by Chris Plant.  Suva [Fiji] : Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific 1977

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: 'The emergence of political parties' by Kalkot Matas Kele-Kele pp. 17-22.

Les pouvoirs de la coutume a Vanuatu: traditionalisme et edification nationale / Marc Kurt Tabani.  Paris: L'Harmattan, 2002

Table of Contents

Introduction: pp. 5-16.

Industrial relations in the South Pacific ' Prasad and Hince (eds.).  Suva [Fiji] : SSED, University of the South Pacific 2000

Chapter 7.  Industrial relations in Vanuatu: contraints and potential

Archaelogie des Nouvelles-Hebrides: contribution a la connaissance des iles du Centre / Jose Garanger (Publications de la Societe des oceanistes ; no 30)  Paris: ORSTOM: 1972

Table of Contents

Chapter 1.  Introduction generale

Fragments of empire: a history of the Western Pacific High Commission, 1877 - 1914 / Deryck Scarr.  Canberra: Australian University Press, 1967

Table of Contents

Chapter 7 [part IV].  Settlement, Inter-island recruiting in the New Hebrides, 1877 - 1906

Chapter 8.  The New Hebrides Governed, 1906 - 1914

They came for sandalwood: a study of the Sandalwood trade in the South-West Pacific 1830-1865 / Dorothy Shineberg  London: Cambridge University Press, 1967

Table of Contents

Chapter 2.  The beginnings of the trade

God's gentlemen: a history of the Melanesian Mission, 1849-1942 / David Hilliard  St Lucia, Queensland: Queensland University Press, 1978.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1.  Visionary and impracticable principles

Australian imperialism in the Pacific: the expansionist era 1820-1920 / Roger C Thompson  Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1980.

Table of Contents

Chapter 7. Fighting off the French 1885-1887

Chapter 10. Never giving up hope for the New Hebrides 1904-1914

Isles of illusion: letters from the South Sea /  by R. J. Fletcher edited by Bohun Lynch.  London: Constable and Company, 1925

Pages 22 - 27 (June 30, 1912)

[United Nations] Report on the Special Committee on the situation regard to the implementation of the declaration on the granting of independence to colonial countries and people (1974): New Hebrides

The Santo rebellion: an imperial reckoning / Jon Beasant Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1984

Chapter 2.  The rising tide

Vanuatu.  Arrival of the Europeans: Journal extracts of the first Europeans to visit Vanuatu: Pedro Fernandez de Quiros, 1606, to Vassily Golovnin, 1809. / Edited by Bob Field.  Dubbo, NSW: Bob Field, 2003.

Table of Contents


Selected articles (online)

Boyle T. Somerville, Notes on Some Islands of the New Hebrides,<cite>The Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland</cite>, Vol. 23, (1894), pp. 2-21

Vanuatu / by Stephen Wickham

'New Hebrides': article from the Encyclopedia Britannica 1911 edition

New Hebrides: a Condominium administered jointly by Great Britain and France [from the Pacific Islands Yearbook 1963]

Fasquel, Jean  Nouvelles-Hebrides, Vanuatu 1978-1981: la periode du kava mache

Chief Willie Bongmatur Maldo and the role of chiefs in Vanuatu /by Lissant Bolton

Presbyterian Church Missions Library. New Hebrides / Vanuatu Related Mission Books

Introduction to sources of law in Vanuatu / by Professor Don Paterson

Unrecorded judgments of the Joint Court of the New Hebrides [ a historical overview] / by Miriam Vurobaravu

Inspecteur-General Jean-Jacques Robert: French Resident Commissioner

John S Champion: British Resident Commissioner 1975-78

Andrew Stuart: British Resident Commissioner 1978-80

Rebel radio in Espiritu Santo : Radio Vemerama / by Robert J Schnell

New Hebrides becomes Vanuatu [information bulletin from the University of the South Pacific published on 7 August 1980]

Walter Lini [Obituary]

Voice of Vanuatu's women: Grace Molissa: [Obituary]

A coup that failed? Recent political events in Vanuatu / by David Ambrose

Vanuatu  1995-1998 / by Michael Morgan

Vanuatu [1995] / by Don Paterson [Source: Asia-Pacific Constitutional Yearbook 1995 : pp. 329-334]

Vanuatu [1996] / by Don Paterson [Source: Asia-Pacific Constitutional Yearbook 1996: pp.  359-371]

Vanuatu [1997] / by Don Paterson [Source: Asia-Pacific Constitutional Yearbook 1997 : pp. 310-319]

Year in review 1998 [Vanuatu] / by Barrie MacDonald

Vanuatu: Year in Review (1999) / Anita Jowitt

Vanuatu: Year in Review (2000) / Anita Jowitt

Vanuatu: Year in Review (2001) / Anita Jowitt

Vanuatu: Year in Review (2002) / Anita Jowitt

Vanuatu: Year in Review (2003) / Anita Jowitt

Vanuatu: Year in Review (2004) / Anita Jowitt

Vanuatu: Year in Review (2005) / Anita Jowitt
    alt.cit: http://archives.pireport.org/archive/2006/August/tcp-van.htm

Articles From the Journal of Pacific History




Thompson, Roger C.

Commerce, Christianity and colonialism: the Australasian New Hebrides Company, 1883-1897.

1971 v 6

Jackson, A. L.

Towards political awareness in the New Hebrides.

1972 v 7

Plant, Christopher

New Hebrides 1977: year of crisis.

1978 v 13 n 3 / 4

Jupp, James and Marian Sawyer

New Hebrides 1978-79: self-government by whom and for whom?

1979 v 14 n 3 / 4

MacClancy, J. V.

From New Hebrides to Vanuatu, 1979-80.

APR 01 1981 v 16 n 2

MacClancy, J. V.

Vanuatu since independence: 1980-83.

APR 01 1984 v 19 n 2

Spriggs, Matthew

'School in every district': the cultural geography of conversion on Aneityum, Southern Vanuatu.

JAN 01 1985 v 20 n 1

Premdas, Ralph R.

Vanuatu: the 1987 national elections and their aftermath.

APR 01 1989 v 24 n 1

Jolly, Margaret

To save the girls for brighter and better lives: Presbyterian missions and women in the south of Vanuatu, 1848-1870.

APR 01 1991 v 26 n 1

Gundert-Hock, Sybille

Mission influence and labour migration: the case of Vanuatu in the last decades of the 19th century.

APR 01 1991 v 26 n 1

Laracy, Hugh

Pentecost murders: an episode in condominium nonrule, New Hebrides 1940.

OCT 01 1991 v 26 n 2

Thomas, Allan

Songs as history: a preliminary assessment of two songs of the recruiting era recently recorded in West Futuna, Vanuatu.

OCT 01 1992 v 27 n 2

Steeves, Jeffrey S.

Vanuatu: the 1991 national elections and their aftermath.

OCT 01 1992 v 27 n 2

Miles, William F.S.

Francophonie in post-colonial Vanuatu.

APR 01 1994 v 29 n 1

Rodman, Margaret C.

My only weapon being a pencil: inscribing the prison in the New Hebrides.

JUN 01 1998 v 33 n 1

Bolton, Lissant

Chief Willie Bongmatur Maldo and the role of chiefs in Vanuatu.

SEP 01 1998 v 33 n 2

Meyerhoff, Miriam

A vanishing act.

2002 v 37 n 1


Selected online sources

Vanuatu: an introduction

Vanuatu Weekly Hebdomadaire index 1984-2001

CIA World Factbook Information on Vanuatu

Country Reports - Vanuatu

Colonial history of Vanuatu

History of Vanuatu

Vanuatu's colonial past: an archive of newspaper clippings from 1883 to independence

Browse books relating to  Vanuatu history held at the University of the South Pacific's Emalus Campus Library, Port Vila, Vanuatu.

Browse articles on  law, land, custom, politics and government in Vanuatu as indexed in the Emalus Campus Library's Online Pacific Law Journal Index.

Archive of bound volumes of Vanuatu newspapers held in the Emalus Campus Library

2003 Peter Murgatroyd, USP.

Last updated 17 October 2012

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