The Bragge Collection and ‘History of the Sepik’ – now at James Cook University

The Bragge Collection is a new, exciting and significant donation to the James Cook University Cairns Campus Library and the Cairns Institute. Laurie Bragge’s generous donation has been gifted to JCU to facilitate further research into this diverse and fascinating tropical region and the societies that call it home. Laurie spent more than 45 years living and working in Papua New Guinea after taking a job with the Australian administration as a Patrol Officer (Kiap) in 1961. During this time he developed a deep appreciation and respect for PNG, its culture and peoples. He spent most of his time in the Sepik area but also in other parts of the country such as the Highlands, Milne Bay and the Gulf Province.

The Bragge Collection features two intimately connected components – more than 600 material culture artefacts collected and well documented by Laurie Bragge during the time he lived and worked in Papua New Guinea, and his personal library containing various resources, (diaries, reports, oral history interviews and written book manuscripts) which he used extensively when writing his multi-volume history of the Sepik and which provide rich material for future research into historical ethnographies in Papua New Guinea.

The material artefacts from this collection are housed in The Cairns Institute.
Laurie Bragge’s personal library is managed by JCU Library Special Collections (Library & Information Services), and housed in the Special Collections area of the Cairns Library.

The PNGAA appreciates holding a copy of Laurie Bragge’s 6 volume ‘History of the Sepik’ in the PNGAA Collection.

Further information:
The launch video at JCU is available at
You can also go directly to the video on the JCU Library Youtube channel:

Leave a Reply