Helen Hill’s influential 1976 booklet, The Timor Story, is now available online.
The Timor Story was written during the last months of 1975 and finalised and printed in the desperately tragic weeks after the December 1975 Indonesian invasion. It rapidly became the principal backgrounder and educational tool for the first generation of Timor activists in Australia and overseas.
The initial print run of one or two thousand was soon exhausted, leading to a cheaper format reprint of 5,000 copies.
Distribution and sales of the booklet were handled by the nominal publisher, Timor Information Service (TIS), which also funded the large April 1976 reprint.
While priced at a little above cost, the modest profits from sales allowed TIS to circulate copies internationally and build stock of other distributable Timor literature. This stock of resources was later handed over to Melbourne’s Australia-East Timor Association which, through John Sinnott, developed a highly effective Timor literature sales and distribution regime which continues to this day.
From memory, I don’t think Helen was ever paid much, if any, royalty for this work. In a much more important way, however, the early activist networks owed much to Helen for her effort in writing this valuable booklet.
Note on digital copy
Scanning The Timor Story is part of pilot work by CHART to digitise a broader selection of important materials for online access.
The item scanned is from the first print run of The Timor Story. To keep file size down, the scan was done as black & white – so eliminating the original coloured cover shown above and reducing the quality of half-tone images.
This scan also includes a rough, uncorrected conversion of the page images to readable text, making at least some of the text searchable and accessible to ‘cut & paste’.
Your feedback on scan type and quality will be much appreciated.