Kevin Sherlock, 8 March 1934 – 2 October 2014

All of us in the East Timor archives, history and research communities have lost one of our most treasured resource people. Kevin Sherlock devoted the second half of his life to finding, collecting and then selflessly and enthusiastically sharing knowledge, historic and current literature and archival materials about Timor.

We dedicate this page to his life, work and memory by providing information or links to items by or about Kevin. We start the ball rolling with a pointer to our 2011 article about Kevin. We will add material over coming days and invite readers to offer further information or reflections.

Kevin Sherlock at home in his own library/archive. June 2011

Kevin Sherlock at home in his own library/archive. June 2011

CHART Profile, June 2011

See this brief profile on Kevin Sherlock arising from a visit to his home in 2011. The piece includes a link to Kevin’s own account of how he began and conducted his Timor-life’s work.

Sherlock Collection

Kevin willed his extensive research collection of books and papers to the Charles Darwin University Library. Access to the collection must wait until it is arranged, described and catalogued by the Library.

Kevin’s incomplete 2002 shelf list of his provides a useful insight into the extent of his collection.

Some of Kevin’s extensive collection of books can now be seen in the CDU library catalogue. See here (sorted by earliest date first).

Digitised samples

We present here a few samples of Kevin’s work from his early Timor years. These samples come from the archives of Melbourne’s Timor Information Service (1975-84).

Bibliography,  January 1976
Probably one of Kevin’s earliest circulated lists of his emerging bibliography

Gazetteer,  April 1977
Self-constructed location guide to place names on widely known Portuguese Timor map

Letter to John Waddingham & Maurice Heading, 1977-10-07
List of published sources on Timorese anthropology

Timor study tour to Portugal, January 1981
Narrative account of research in Portugal, February-December 1980

Collection Acquisitions List, January 1981
Materials collected in Portugal during 1980 study tour

Letter to John Waddingham, 1982-11-07
Subjects: Senate Inquiry, land ownership & use, Indonesian publications

Collection Acquisitions List, January 1983
Covers period July-December 1982. Includes lists of Collection newsclippings, photographs, posters & covering letter to John Waddingham.


Agio Pereira, Timor-Leste Minister of State: English / Portuguese

Jose Ramos-Horta [2014-10-08]

Tempo Semanal [2014-10-07]

ETAN Timor List [2014-10-7/10]

Sunday Territorian, Darwin [2014-10-19]

5 Responses to Kevin Sherlock, 8 March 1934 – 2 October 2014

  1. Patsy Thatcher says:

    Dear John, Very sad to learn of Kevin Sherlock’s passing. He was so influential and helpful when I was doing my work on the Timorese. I used to try to see him if I was in Darwin, but that of course was seldom. I think he would be quietly proud to find out how much he was admired. I will watch this space with much interest. He was such a quiet mountain of information and I applaud the way you are going about reminding us all. Regards, Patsy

  2. Max Stahl says:

    Dear all

    We at CAMSTL Audiovisual Archive i spend our time write and collecting words and pictures on Timor Leste. But at a time like this we have none. A moments silence to consider the landmark achievement of one man’s lifelong dedication is all. Kevin Sherlock will always be an inspiration and a model for all those who aspire to do something to recognize and value the sufferings and the struggles of the people of Timor Leste for the long terms use and benefit of the generations to come here, in the region and in the wider world. Thank you Kevin. And God Speed.

    Max Stahl and all at Centro Audiovisual Max Stahl Timor Leste.

  3. If I may, I would also like to pay my respects to Kevin Sherlock. I owe him profound thanks for the assistance he gave me in my doctoral research on language and language policy in East Timor. For me, as for many other researchers, Kevin’s place was one of the first stops in my doctoral journey. I spent two immensely pleasurable days in his little unit, immersed in history. Kevin generously photocopied documents for me and fed me tea and sandwiches while I pored over original copies of the ‘Jornal do Povo Maubere’ and ‘Seara’, among other unique historical treasures which Kevin had laid out for me before I arrived. I will never forget his generosity and I never did find adequate ways to express my heartfelt appreciation. Rest in peace maun Kevin. Your unique legacy and personal kindness will not be forgotten.

    Kerry Taylor-Leech
    Griffith University

  4. Susan Connelly says:

    Kevin Sherlock’s work for East Timor is invaluable. I never actually met him, but admired him from a distance. Thanks goodness he was motivated to do what he did, and thanks to all at CHART for your similar commitment to knowledge and truth.

  5. jude conway says:

    I only just heard today that Kevin had died. I am so sad, he was a wonderful man and a brilliant archivist who could find anything in his library relating to any obscure interest you might have had connected to Timor. I still remember taking Virgilio Guterres and Alex Gusmao to see him in 1998, before we got there, they were saying ‘do we really need to visit a library?’ A few hours later I was having trouble trying to drag them away. Vale Kevin

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