Skip to main content

PNG Patrol Reports Overview

About the Project

The microfiche and this guide are the results of a cooperative project between the National Archives of Papua New Guinea, and the former Melanesian Studies Resource Center (MSRC) at the University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego) dating back to 1986. The microfiche was filmed in Port Moresby by and for the National Archives of Papua New Guinea with support from the UC San Diego Library.

The project had several objectives; the first and most important was to preserve the patrol reports held in the National Archives by making microfiche copies of them. The National Archives generously provided the technical work and microfilming labor and equipment. UC San Diego provided funds for the microfilm supplies and processing. The preservation microfilm masters are held in the National Archives.

The project's second aim was to create an index of the reports, providing access by the areas patrolled and the patrol officers. The indexes were generated from databases running on Pro-Cite software and compiled by staff at the MSRC.

The third goal of the project was to make the patrol reports accessible to scholars outside of Papua New Guinea. To this end, the microfiche have been made available for purchase from the National Archives. For information on purchasing copies of the microfiche, please contact the National Archives of Papua New Guinea at the following address:

Chief Archivist
National Archives
P.O. Box 1089
Boroko, Papua New Guinea

Please note that UC San Diego Library does not have stocks of these microfiche available for sale, nor are we able to provide extensive photocopies.

Back to top of page

Using the PNG Patrol Reports 

The information on number of reports, extent, patrol officers, and areas patrolled has been taken directly from the contents pages supplied by the National Archives, rather than from the reports themselves, and may be incomplete. For example, not all of the geographic names noted in a patrol report have been indexed.

Note: Provincial boundaries in Papua New Guinea have changed over the years. To identify reports on a given area, search the records for neighboring provinces and subprovinces using the "Find in page" function to look for particular placenames (Ctrl F). To find references to a certain locale (village, etc.), it is necessary to search the complete volume for the appropriate subdistrict.

Back to top of page

Explanation of the Citation Format

The reports are grouped by volume and arranged by patrol post or other subunit, such as a census division, and year(s). For example, Abau, 1948-49.

The years are normally based on the government fiscal year, from July to June of the following year. The arrangement corresponds to the order in which the volumes were microfilmed. Occasionally, reports were microfilmed with a different patrol post.

The microfiche location consists of the following information:

  • Province and subunit
  • number of the microfiche sheet
  • number/frame of the first page of the reports
  • number/frame of the last page of the reports.

For example: Central : Abau : 001 : 002 - 002 : 0034 means that the reports may be found on the microfiche for Abau, starting on microfiche sheet 1, frame 2 and ending on microfiche sheet 2, frame 34.

Back to top of page

For other information about the Papua New Guinea Patrol Reports or other Melanesian materials at UC San Diego, please contact:

Cristela Garcia-Spitz
Curator, Tuzin Archive for Melanesian Anthropology
UC San Diego Library
9500 Gilman Drive, 0175D
La Jolla, CA 92093-0175
Phone (858)822-7906
Fax (858)534-0189