UMA wishes to announce the receipt of a philanthropic gift which will be used to make the Ritchie papers available for academic and public research. The Ritchie collection contains a rich source of documentation on the lives of this well-known Western District pastoralist family dating from the mid-19th century.
The collection contains records documenting the expansion of the business and personal fortunes of various family members. Notably it contains the Daniel Ritchie water colour collection and his diarised account of the slave trade in Africa and the West Indies. Other diaries include founder James Ritchie’s diary which provides the reader with a daily account of his travels through the Western District in 1841 as he looks for a location to set up his grazing business. Ritchie makes particular reference to the Blackwood forests – it is probably no co-incidence the now heritage listed family manor located near Penshurst is named after the forests he travelled through over 170 years ago.
Dr Alex Millmow, Senior Lecturer in Economics, Federation University account of the Ritchie family history right up to the recent sale of Blackwood early in 2014 (Submission to the Scottish Symposium)
Melinda Barrie & Sophie Garrett, 2013, ‘A man, his dog and a diary: James Ritchie’s journey in the Western District, 1841, University of Melbourne Collections Magazine, Issue 12, June 2014, pp. 29-33.