Publication Details

This book chapter was originally published as Organ, MK, Arthur Cousins: A Biography, in Cousins, A, Illawarra: The Garden of New South Wales, Illawarra Historical Society, November 1994, 360p.


He was that "rara avis" in Australian historiography, the devoted local historian who has a realisation of the broader implications of regional development. So wrote Sydney University Archivist D.S. Macmillan in an obituary notice published in the October 1960 number of the Union Recorder, commemorating the death of Arthur Cousins on Wednesday, 17 August, at his Cremone residence, aged 94 years. Though having known him for only a brief period at the end of a long life, Macmillan had developed a degree of admiration and respect for this elderly gentleman, who, along with G.E. Hall and others, had worked towards the creation of the Sydney University Archives, where Macmillan was appointed first full-time archivist in 1954. However this was only one of many noteworthy achievements, in a long career during which Cousins was a schoolteacher, local historian, parent, and Honorary Archivist of Sydney University.