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Biographical entry Bramell, Elsie (1910 - 1985)

14 August 1910
Port Moresby, New Guinea
14 May 1985
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Elsie Bramell, the first female anthropologist appointed to the Australian Museum, was on the staff from 1933 until 1941 when she was required to resign upon her marriage to fellow Museum anthropologist Frederick McCarthy. She is best known for her work on Aboriginal stone artefacts, collecting and recording sites around New South Wales, usually with her husband and for many years after leaving the Museum. With him and H. V. Noone she published The stone implements of Australia (1946) which recognised the complexity of those tools and proposed a framework for use in describing them. Bramell was among the earliest to advocate protection for Aboriginal sites and artefacts.



Education - BA and DipEd, University of Sydney
1933 - 1941
Career position - Scientific Assistant, Department of Anthropology, Australian Museum Scientific Assistant, Department of Anthropology, Australian Museum
Education - MA, University of Sydney
1935 - 1939
Career position - Member, Anthropological Soc of New South Wales
1940 - 1946
Career position - Member, Editorial Committee, Mankind
Career event - Resigned from the Australian Museum

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Published resources

Journal Articles

  • McCarthy, F. D., Bramell, E. and Noone, H. V. V., 'The stone implements of Australia', Memoirs of the Australian Museum, vol. 9, 1946, pp. 1-94. Details
  • Oakes, Leonie, Meehan, Betty and Bolton, Lissant, 'Elsie McCarthy (nee Bramell)', Australian Archaeology, vol. 21, 1985, pp. 139-41. Details

See also

  • Bowdler, Sandra and Clune, Genevieve, 'That shadowy band: the role of women in the development of Australian archaeology', Australian Archaeology, vol. 50, 2000, pp. 276-35. Details

Helen Cohn