dirk hr spennemann

Floating CSS Menu Css3Menu.com

Pacific History
Publications by Dirk HR Spennemann

World War II history can be found ---> HERE

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2014) 'Vell, I don't call dot very shentlemanly gonduck.' The Portrayal of as ungentlemanly South Seas traders in Louis Becke's short stories. Pacific Asia Inquiry 5, pp. 107–129

The second part of the nineteenth century saw the growth of German economic and political influence in the Pacific. The period of the 1870s to 1880s marked the change from the age of beachcombers to that of organised trade and plantations, a time when much of the colonial map had not been finalized.

Arguably the best Australian author to capture this period is Louis Becke (1855-1913). Himself a trader in Samoa and Micronesia during the 1870s and 1880s, Becke turned ranconteur and writer in the 1890s. His exotic short stories, bringing an unusually realistic perspective to the hitherto romanticized depiction of the South Pacific brought him quick and wide-spread fame, first in Australia and soon after in the United Kingdom and the United States. After his move to London, Becke became, for the popular press at least, the authority on the Pacific. In nine novels and over 400 short stories, Becke’s work depicted the atmosphere of inter-cultural relations, as well as colonial rivalry at the local island and atoll level.

Spennemann, Dirk HR (2013) Hind-casting the Japanese Military Base on Midway Atoll (Central Pacific). Journal of Conflict Archaeology vol. 8 (2), pp. 136-59

The Battle of Midway was the turning point of World War II in the Pacific. Not only did the battle cost the Japanese Navy four of its fleet carriers, it also thwarted Japanese hopes of establishing a seaplane base there. Midway, in conjunction with another in the Aleutians, was to be the anchor of Japan?s eastern defence perimeter. Drawing on an analysis of the Japanese military base on Kiska (Aleutians) this paper reconstructs what equipment the Japanese had destined to be placed on Midway. A comparison with the well-documented Japanese bases on Micronesian atolls allows us to hindcast the appearance of a base that never was.


Spennemann, Dirk HR (2011) The German Colonial Period (1898?1914). In: The Northern Marianas Islands Judiciary: A Historical Overview . Saipan, CNMI: Northern Marianas Judiciary Historical Society. Pp. 725



Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2009) Water Futures and their Influence on Sovereignty in the Marshall Islands. In: Heather Goodall, Devleena Ghosh & Stephanie Hemelryk Donald (eds) Water, Sovereignty and Borders in Asia and Oceania, London: Routledge, pp. 5071.



Spennemann, Dirk HR (2009) Ships and Shipping in the German Mariana Islands 18991914. Report prepared for the CNMI Historic Preservation Office. Albury, NSW



Spennemann, Dirk H.R. & O?Neill, Jon G. (2008) A Library in Paradise: the deBrum Library on Likiep (Micronesia). Script and Print vol. 31 n? 3, pp. 135146.

During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the island world of Micronesia was devoid of libraries, with the exception of a private library established by the PortugueseMarshallese Joachim deBrum on the semiremote atoll of Likiep in the Marshall Islands. The article traces the origin and development of the library and comments on its composition.


Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2007) ?Gedruckt in Samoa?. A bibliographic Analysis of the Samoanisches Gouvernements Blatt and other Printing in German Samoa (1901?1914). Albury, NSW: {retro|spect}. 21cm, xii, 174 pp. ISBN 978 1 921220 05 0

Germany was a relative latecomer on the colonial scene. While the impact and legacy of the German colonial experience in Africa, China and the South Pacific has been examined by historians, few studies exist which try to assess the nature of newspaper publishing in the German colonies. What exists are very general overviews or a well repeated discussion of a specific event, namely as the conflict between the press and the colonial administration in German East Africa. The Pacific has been ignored in this regard.
The present study of the publication output of the Samoanische Zeitung breaks new ground in two aspects. It is the first of its kind dealing with the situation in the German Pacific, and it is the first of its kind that tries to look holistically at the entire publication output of a single publisher.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2009) Hindcasting Typhoons in Micronesia: experiences from ethnographic and historic records. Quaternary International (Special Issue: Records of disasters and hurricanes) vol 195, n? 12 106121

Typhoons pose the singlemost serious threat to life on the low lying islands of Micronesia: high speed winds and flying debris wreak havoc with vegetation and artificial structures, storm surges can inundate the small islands and contaminate precious groundwater lenses. The climatological record for typhoons in Micronesia is short (since 1958). The collation of historic sources (published and archival), coupled with the interpretation of extant photographic evidence can be employed to hindcast the nature and effects of past typhoons. Using a typhoon which affected the Marshall Islands of 30 June 1905, this paper outlines experiences from ethnographic and historic records.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2007) The Imagery of Postcards sold in Micronesia during the German Colonial Period. Berliner Protokolle 87, June 2007, pp. 73102

Reprint of the paper that first appeared as a refereed paper in Micronesian Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences vol. 5, n? 12 pp. 345374.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2007) Introduction. In: Richard Overell, The Pacific. An exhibition of material from the Monash University Library Rare Books Collection 27 September 2007 29 February 2008. Melbourne: Monash University Library. Pp. iii


Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2007) Imperial German Legislation regarding the Marshall Islands (18861914). Australian Law Librarian vol. 15, n? 2, pp. 1517

After the proclamation of the protectorate of the Marshall Islands, the Imperial German administration put into place an array of provisions to give effect to the new colonial rule. This paper discussed the nature and extent of colonial legislation specifically promulgated for the Marshall Islands and provides a coarse grained analysis of the chronology of legislative activity.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2007) Edge of Empire. The German Period in the Mariana Islands 1899?1914. Albury, NSW: {retro|spect}. 21 cm, ii, 394 pp., ISBN 978 1 921220 04 3

Imperial Germany?s colonial experience in Micronesia was only brief, but left a lasting impact on the communities it ruled. During a fifteen year period, between the Spanish American War of 1898 and the early days of World War I in October 1914, a handful of German colonial administrators initiated educational, economic and social policies that were to have a significant impact on the Northern Mariana Islands. Compulsory schooling with instruction in Chamorro and Carolinian, private land ownership limited to Chamorro and Carolinians (excluding even Germans!), homesteading programs and environmental protection are only some of the German initiatives that were both innovative and unique though the colonial Pacific.

Edge of Empire is an indepth study of Germany?s colonial rule in the Northern Mariana Islands. Drawing upon an extensive body of German colonial records, the book thoroughly examines the various facets of the legacy of this brief but significant chapter in the history of the Northern Mariana Islands

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2008) Luta: I Tiempun Aleman. Rota as seen through German Eyes 18991914. Albury, NSW: {retro|spect}. 21 cm, iv, 135pp, ISBN 978 1 921220 05 0. Print run: 500 copies.


Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2007). Melimel. The Good Friday Typhoon of 1907 and its aftermath in the Mortlocks, Caroline Islands. Albury, NSW: {retro|spect}. 21 cm, iii, 27 pp, ISBN 978 1 921220 07 4

A historic narrative of the effects of the Good Friday Typhoon on the eastern Caroline Islands. The book outlines the destruction wrought on the settlements and the environment, and outlines the actions taken by the Imperial German colonial administration to alleviate the suffering of the population. In part this entailed large-scale relocation of people first to Pohnpei and from there to Saipan.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. and Sutherland, Gaye (2007) Archaeological Survey of the Former Japanese Agricultural Research Station at Pwunso, Kolonia, Pohnpei State, Federated States of Micronesia. Report prepared for the Historic Preservation Office of Pohnpei State, Federated States of Micronesia and the National Historic Preservation Office, Federated States of Micronesia. Final Report. ILWS Report N? 29. January 2007. Albury, NSW: Institute for Land, Water and Society, Charles Sturt University. 254pp


Spennemann, Dirk HR (2007) A Hand List of Imperial German Legislation regarding the Marshall Islands (18861914). Studies in German Colonial Heritage (ISSN 18347797) n? 3, pp. 1?13

After the proclamation of the protectorate of the Marshall Islands, the Imperial German administration put into place an array of provisions to give effect to the new colonial rule. This paper provides a hand list of all pieces of colonial legislation specifically promulgated for the Marshall Islands.


Spennemann, Dirk H. R. (2006) Fiction published in the Samoanische Zeitung (1901–1914). Canberra;Mulini Press. 21cm, iv, 68 pp. ISBN 0 9757232 0 0.

An investigation of the literary offerings of the only commercial German-langue newspaper published in Germany???s South Seas colonies.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2006) Skulls as Curios, Crania as Science: Some Notes on the Collection of Skeletal Material during the German Colonial Period. Micronesian Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences vol. 5 no. 1/2, pp. 70-78

Burial plays a major cultural role in most Micronesian societies. Burial in the soil tied the deceased ancestors to the land they once owned and created and consolidated manifestations of land claims by the descendants. Apart from cultural practices, the burials were untouchable. During the nineteenth and early twentieth century European museums and anthropological societies were eager to acquire skeletal material from Micronesia to understand the peopling of the Pacific and the relationship of the various ???races.??? To this end, German traders, officials and naval personnel obtained skeletal material both clandestinely and openly. In the latter case, acquiescence was assured through the power differential between the German officials and the local population. This paper compiles what is known of the German collection efforts in Micronesia
[PDF document, Full text]

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2006) Combining Curiosity with Political skill. The antiquarian interests of Georg Fritz. Micronesian Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences vol. 5, no. 1-2 pp. 495???504

Georg Fritz was the first administrator of the German colonial district of the Mariana Islands. Given wide powers to make laws and regulations on behalf of the German Empire, Fritz set out to shape the polices of the German colonial administration according to his own views. Quite unlike other German administrations, the administration in the Marianas valued and actively fostered the continuation of Chamorro language, culture and practices, often at the expense of the (perceived) rights of German nationals. The physical manifestation of Fritz??? policies were nine large imitations of latte stones???the first use of latte as a symbol of Chamorro culture and identity. This paper reviews Georg Fritz??? antiquarian interests and his cultural politics
[PDF document, Full text]

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2006) The Imagery of Postcards sold in Micronesia during the German Colonial Period. Micronesian Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences vol. 5, no. 1-2 pp. 345-374

The first picture postcards of Micronesia were produced for the German colonies. Starting in 1898, cards existed for the Marshall Islands, soon followed by cards for Pohnpei, Yap, Palau and the Marianas. In total three main series can be identified: generic lithographed cards with reproductions of drawing or paintings, early photographic cards with undivided backs and white space on the image side for messages, and full-face image cards. The motifs on the early cards are scenic and ethnographic, while those on the second and third series predominately reproduce symbols of German colonial power and achievement. Cards that are exploitative of women (along the lines of ???dusky maidens???), which were so popular in Samoa, are very rare in the German Micronesian setting
[PDF document, Full text, 85mb]  [PDF document, Full text, low resolution 12mb]

Spennemann, Dirk HR (2006) A Micronesian Multiple First Day Cover. The Postcard that chronicles the German Take-Over of Micronesia. The Collectors Club Philatelist vol. 85 no 3, pp. 163-173.

Following Spain's defeat in the Spanish-American war of 1898 the Imperial German Government acquired the former Spanish possessions in Micronesia. The hand-over occurred between 12 October and 18 November 1899, with separated ceremonies in the Spanish, and now German, district capitals of Pohnpei, Yap and Saipan. The German officers were aware of the historic significance of their mission for German philatelists. They created a series of postal history items commemorating the event. The Reply Card described here carries the first day cancels of the German post offices on Pohnpei, Yap and Saipan.


Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2005). Editor$)A!/s Introduction to Louis Becke, His Native Wife. Canberra: Mulini Press. Pp. v-xxvi.
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2005) Eugen Brandeis in: Fred Ludwig Sepaintner (ed.), Badis?che Biographien Neue Folge 5. Im Auftrag der Kommission für geschichtliche Landeskunde in Baden-Württemberg. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer. Pp 29-31.

Biographic sketch of Eugen Brandeis, German colonial administrator of the Marshall Islands, written for the Dictionary of Biography for the German State of Baden.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2005) The Atoll Post of the Eanijen Rakijen in 1909: A Contribution to the Postal History of the Marshall Islands. Berliner Protokolle Heft 75, Juni 2005, pp. 106-116

One of the most intriguing examples of Marshall Islands postal history stems from the German colonial period: handwritten cancellations made by captains of sailing vessels and by postal agents on several atolls. Ever since they were authorised in 1902, these cancellations have been sought after by collectors. Increased publicity of their existence in 1908, coupled with colonial fervour in the general press, created a strong demand among German stamp collectors. It is not surprising that enterprising expatriates in the Marshall Islands provided a philatelic 'service' catering for that market. Some of them, the philatelic literature has claimed, are outright falsifications that never saw real transportation aboard any of the island vessels. This paper will examine in detail the case of one set of these handwritten cancellations, those created in March and April 1909 aboard the schooner Eanijen Rakijen. It will demonstrate that the voyage indeed occurred, and that the cancellations are genuine, albeit most of them of a purely philatelic nature.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2005) The wreck of the Libelle and other early European Visitors to Wake Island, Central Pacific. Micronesian Journal for the Humanities and Social Sciences vol. 4 no 2, pp. accepted.

Wake Atoll, even though off of the main shipping lines between Hawaii and the Philippines or HongKong had been a navigation hazard in the nineteenth century, largely because it was so low lying and thus hard to see, but also because it position had often been incorrectly reported. This paper details the early European history of the atoll and focuses on a shipwreck and the subsequent salvage events.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2005) Traditional and nineteenth century communication patterns in the Marshall Islands. Micronesian Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences vol. 4 issue 1, pp. 25-51.

In the atoll world of Micronesia, any traditional communication between the populations within an atoll and especially between atolls relied on sea voyages by canoe. This paper considers the situation in the Marshall Islands, a group of atolls arranged in two parallel chains. The paper sets out the (re-)construction of communications networks based on graph theory and then provides a discussion of the evidence on communications in the early Marshall Islands. This draws together data as diverse as traditional stick charts, known voyages and their durations, as well as linguistics, epidemiology and biogeography. Based on a combination of these data a network model is proposed.


Spennemann, Dirk H. R. (2004). The First Descriptions of the Southern Marshalls. The 1788 accounts of Thomas Gilbert, Edward Home & John Marshall. Edited, annotated and introduced by Dirk H. R. Spennemann. Albury : {retro | spect} and Majuro : Micronitor Press. viii, 106 pp. ISBN 1 876940 14 X.

A critical edition of the first accounts of British merchant captains to encounter the southern atolls of the Marshall Islands.

Spennemann, Dirk HR (2004) Books and Libraries in German Micronesia 1885-1914. Library History vol. 20, n? 3, pp. 207-222

This paper reviews what is known about public and private libraries in Micronesia during the period of the German colonial administration in the Marshall Islands (1886-1914) and the rest of Micronesia (1898-1914) with the exception of Guam. In the following we will briefly address the nature of public libraries in the German colonies in Africa and the Samoa, before we concentrate on the situation in Micronesia.

Spennemann, Dirk HR. & O'Neill, Jon G. (2004) Curating Books on remote Islands: The Fate of the deBrum Library on Likiep Atoll, Marshall Islands. Australian Library Journal vol. 53, no 4, 2004, pp.397-407

Extensive private libraries are rare in the tropical Pacific. This holds even more true for libraries established during the late nineteenth century. There was only one such library in entire Micronesia: the Joachim deBrum Library on Likiep. This paper briefly describes the library and discusses its management over time, including the challenges faced in conservation management.

Spennemann, Dirk H. R. (2004) An Example of Mail Fraud in 19th Century Samoa. Journal of South Pacific Law vol. 8 nª 2 . http://law.vanuatu.usp.ac.fj/jspl/Volume8Number22004/spenneman

Article detailing an example of mail fraud, the purchase of wine and spirits from an Albury wine merchant, committed from Samoa, and difficulties in recovering the money owed.

Spennemann, Dirk H. R. (2004) The June 1846 Eruption of Fonualei Volcano, Tonga. An Historical Analysis. Johnstone Centre Report nª 196. Albury, N.S.W. : The Johnstone Centre, Charles Sturt University.

An analysis of the various historic records of the June 1846 volcanic eruption of Fonualei, Tonga. The report draws on missionary accounts as well as whaler’s logbooks to reconstruct the felt area of the eruption and the dimensions of the ash plume.

Spennemann, Dirk H. R. (2004) Fiction Published in Nineteenth Century Samoa Newspapers (1877–1900). Canberra: Mulini Press. iv, 94 pp. ISBN 0-949910-99-6

Perched at ‘The Beach” (now Apia) on Upolu, a small community of expatriate traders and planters gained a foot hold during the second part of the nineteenth century. German, American and British interests competed for supremacy by interfering with local Samoan politics. Despite the small readership base, three newspapers were started up: the Samoa Times in its two incarnations (1877–1881 and 1888–1896) and the Samoa Weekly Herald (1892–1900).
     Typical country newspapers by nature and outlook, these papers provided their readers with local and regional news, political debate through letters to the editor—and a regular a dose of poetry and short fiction. While little is known about the reading habits of the expatriate community on Samoa, these papers provide a glimpse of what the traders and planters read.
     Fiction Published in Nineteenth Century Samoan Newspapers provides an overview of the history papers and an analysis origin of the fiction content as well as an index to poetry and short fiction published in the three newspapers.

Spennemann, Dirk H. R. (2004) Samoan Mail Fraud and James Fallon. Albury and District Historic Society Bulletin nª 437, July 2004, pp. 1?2

Brief item on an incident of mail fraud, the purchase of wine and spirits from an Albury wine merchant, committed from Samoa, and difficulties in recovering the money owed.


Spennemann Dirk H. R. (2004) An Annotated Bibliography of German Language Sources on the Mariana Islands. Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands : Division of Historic Preservation. 22 cm; vi, 342 pp. ISBN 1-878453-71-8


Spennemann, Dirk H. R. (2003) The Heritage of Nineteenth Century Samoan Newspapers. A Bibliographical Analysis. Johnstone Centre Report nª 195. Albury, NSW: The Johnstone Centre, Charles Sturt University
ISBN 1 86467 144 0

The report provides on overview of the history of the three nineteenth century newspapers published in Samoa: the Samoa Times in its two incarnations (1877-1881 and 1888-1896) and the Samoa Weekly Herald (1892-1900). The physical appearance of the papers in terms of bibliographic detail and paper used are discussed to draw conclusions on matters such a paper supplies to a remote location and the diligence of type setting and composition. It is amply illustrated with images of mastheads.

Spennemann, Dirk H. R. (2003) Teacher and Student perceptions of the cultural heritage of the CNMI. An empirical snap-shot. The Micronesian Journal of the Human-ities and Social Sciences. Vol. 2 n? 1-2, pp. 50-58.

Community attitudes towards heritage are nor well studied in Micronesia. This paper presents the results of a study of the attitudes of teachers, college and high school students of the CNMI. It shows that traditional aspects outrank those on the colonial past. Also differences in significance between Chamorro and Carolinian sites were observed.

O’Neill, Jon G. & Spennemann, Dirk H. R. (2003) The Joachim De Brum House, Likiep Atoll, Marshall Islands—an outstanding example of Micronesian plantation architecture. The Micronesian Journal of the Human-ities and Social Sciences. Vol. 2 n? 1-2, pp. 31-41.

The deBrum House on Likiep Island, Likiep Atoll, Marshall Islands is a cultural heritage site, which is unique in the Marshall Islands, in Micronesia and in fact in most of the Pacific. As a complete colonial period homestead replete with much of the original furnishings, include. Books, phonograph rolls and glass plate negatives it provides a unique insight into both the living conditions of affluent planters during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, as well as into the mind of an exceptional Marshallese man, Joachim deBrum.

Spennemann, Dirk HR (2003) The silverlining of horror. A devil?s advocate?s point of view. Teaching Ethics 3(2), pp. 93-98

Discussion of the impact of nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands, arguing a case that, in a perverse way, the trauma caused by the nuclear contamination has been beneficial to the national economy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands and has increased its standing on the international political scene.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (ed.) (2003), Rudolf von Benningsen (1859–1912) The German Take-Over of the Caroline, Palau & Mariana Islands. Translated, anno-tated and introduced by Dirk H.R. Spennemann. Division of Historic Preservation Oc-casional Historical Papers Series nª 6. Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mari-ana Islands: Division of Historic Preservation. 73pp. ISBN 1-878453-60-2.

An annotated translation of the account of the German take over of German Take-Over of the Caroline, Palau & Mariana Islands following the sale of islands by Spain in 1899. These are the first German colonial observations on the islands, their prospects, as well as opinions on the outgoing Spanish administration.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2003). Usage of Express Stamps on Samoa Times Newspapers. The Samoa Express. Journal of the Fellowship of Samoa Specialists. vol. 19, nª 1, pp. 8–11.

Discusses the presence of, and dates for, Samoa Express stamps encountered on copies of the Samoa Times newspaper.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2003). "Timing the Express" Mail Dates of the Samoa Times Express Postal Service. The Samoa Express. Journal of the Fellowship of Samoa Specialists. vol. 19, nª 1, pp. 4–7.

Provides a listing of all ships carrying mail from Samoa between 1877 and 1881 (as reported in the Samoa Times).

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2003) Traditional Milkfish Aquaculture in Nauru. Aquaculture International vol. 10 nª 6, pp. 551-562

Milkfish (Chanos chanos) aquaculture has a long antiquity on the island of Nauru (Pacific Ocean), predating European contact. Fry were caught in the surf and transferred to brackish water ponds in the island's interior. While most of the fry died, large numbers survived. They were harvested when the milkfish reached a body weight of abut 2 pounds. This paper describes the traditional approaches to aquaculture and puts them into a modern context.

Spennemann, Dirk HR (2003). Jaluit Gesellschaft Mail Steamer Germania. Time Table & History of Service (1904–1914). Albury: Letao Press. A3.

First compilation and reconstruction of the time table of the Jaluit Gesellschaft Mail Steamer Germania running on a route between Sydney and HongKong, servicing the major islands in Micronesia. This time table allos for future reserahc into communications history as well as postal history.


O’Neill, Jon & Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2002) German Colonial Heritage in post-colonial Micronesia. Pacific Studies vol. 25, nª 3, pp. 1–16

Micronesia has a long history of colonial occupation: Spanish, German, Japanese and finally US American. Each of these powers has left tangible remains of their occupation and each has influenced the preservation of Micronesian culture. This paper explores the nature of historic preservation of colonial sites and property in a post-colonial world. What are the priorities and what are the constraints for Micronesian countries to manage their colonial past at a time when cultural self-determination has become reality?.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2002). 'Steam to Tonga and Samoa' The Norddeutscher Lloyd Mail Service 1886 to 1893. Albury, N.S.W. : Letao Press. 37pp. ISBN 1 876940 08 5.

A systematic treatise of the history of the first German steamship connection to Samoa. Steam to Tonga and Samoa discusses the history of the service and its implications on postal and transportation history. Contains the first reconstructed time-table of the steam ship service. The book is extensively illustrated with historic photographs and images of philatelic covers.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2002). Hialeah Forgeries of G.R.I. stamps. The Samoa Express. Journal of the Fellowship of Samoa Specialists. vol. 18, nª 2, pp. 46–49.
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2002). The 1890s Market for Samoan Stamps. The Samoa Express. Journal of the Fellowship of Samoa Specialists. vol. 18, nª 4, p. 94–98.

A review of advertisements of stamp merchants in the Samoan newspapers of the 1890s, examining the nature an extent of the trade in the stamps of the Samoa Express and Davis Post.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. & Taylor, A.Lavar (2002). German Postal Services to Likiep Atoll, Marshall Islands. Vorl?ufer. in press

The postal history of Likiep Atoll is discussed, usuing examples of hand cancelled 'Atoll Post' covers, as well as other postal covers.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2002). Shedding light on the missing years of the Samoan Postal Service 1881–1885. Philately from Australia. vol. 54, nª 4, pp. 93-98.

Discusses the history of the Samoan postal service between the end of the Samoa Times-operated Samoa Express mail service and the beginning of the private post of John Davis. Based on archival sources, this paper is the first serious attempt to illuminate this enigmatic period of Samoan postal history.
[Full Text:

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2002). Germany delivered first stamps in Marshall Islands. The Kwajalein Hourglass vol. 42 nª 50, 25 June 2002, pp. 4-5.

The paper describes the German colonial postage stamps made for use in the Marshall Islands and provides some information of German postal history.
[Full Text:


Handley Bathurst Sterndale, My Adventures and Researches in the Pacific. Edited, annotated and introduced by Jane Downing and Dirk H.R. Spennemann. Mulini Press: Canberra
xliv, 327 pages. ISBN: 0 949910 86 4.

Handley Bathurst Sterndale (1829-1878), son of a British indigo planter in India, roamed the Pacific in the mid-19th century. He was marooned on an uninhabited island in the Eastern Pacific, engaged in pearl fishing, and made a voyage from Manihiki (Cooks) to Samoa in an open boat with the notorious "Bully" Hayes, a large New Foundland and a very small poodle. He wrote for newspapers in Australia and New Zealand before his Pacific career ended in a violent showdown while a trader and self-appointed "King" of Suwarrow Atoll in the Cooks.
Sterndale first wrote about his adventures and life, enhanced by fictitious embellishments, in 1871 in a series of weekly instalments for the Australian Town and Country Journal. Although he seems to have destined the work for eventual publication in book form, this never eventuated. Reproduced here in its entirety, Sterndale's series takes us through his experiences, his erudition and his vast imagination. Embedded in his narrative is the first piece of Pacific fiction written from an islanders' point of view.

[book blurp and ordering information]

Spennemann, Dirk HR. (2001) Georg Fritz, A brief biographical Sketch. in: Georg Fritz, The Chamorro. A History and ethnography of the Mariana Islands. edited by Scott Russell. Occasional Historical Papers Series nª 1. Saipan: CNMI Division of Historic Preservation. pp. 103-104.

Brief item presenting biographical data on the first German administrator of the Mariana Islands, Georg Fritz.


Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2000) Aurora Australis. The German Period in the Mariana Islands 1899-1914. Division of Historic Preservation Occasional Historical Papers Series nª 5. Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands: Division of Historic Preservation.
viii, 247 pp, 5x7 in. ISBN 1-878453-36-X.

[book blurp and ordering information]

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. & Downing, Jane (2000) Creating a media persona in 19th century colonial Australasia: the case of Handley Bathurst Sterndale. Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand Bulletin 24(1), pp. 50-67.

The role of regional and colonial newspapers as means of opinion creation and modification is well documented. As is still practice today, editorials and invited/solicited series on various topics created a public discussion which informed and directed public opinion. Whilst this is most commonly done to further political ambitions, there are examples designed to further a career for personal gain rather than political power and fame. This is the case with Handley Bathurst Sterndale, born 1829 in India. His oeuvre includes newspaper serials in the Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney) (1871-72); the Daily Southern Cross (Auckland) (1874) and the New Zealand Herald (Auckland) (1877). In this paper his writings will be analysed to show how he created a media persona and gained sufficient credibility that eventually led an invitation to furnish a formal background paper on Pacific Island Trade for the New Zealand Parliament. This in turn led to a partnership with a trading firm which placed him in sole control a Pacific Atoll.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2000) Book Review: Tampke, Jürgen (editor), 'Ruthless Warfare.' German military planning and surveillance in the Australia-New Zealand region before the Great War. Documents edited an introduced by Jürgen Tampke. Canberra, Southern Highlands Publishers, 1998. 5. Journal of Pacific History 35(1), pp. 123-124.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1999) Building a Model Colony. An Overview of the German Period in the Mariana Islands. Presented at Northern Marianas Council for the Humanities History Teachers' Institute 21 August 1999 'The German Era, 1889-1914'. Mangilao, Guam and Saipan: Northern Marianas Council for the Humanities. 40pp.

Booklet setting out the principal historic, social and economic trends during the German colonial rule in the Mariana Islands. The booklet was created as a background document for high school teachers teaching Mariana Islands history.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1999) Centenary of German Annexation of the Carolines. Marshall Islands Journal 30(42), 18.

Article written for the Marshall Islands weekly newspaper describing the German annexation of the Caroline Islands, Palau and the Marianas following the purchase from Spain one hundred years ago.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1999) A brief history of the introduction of olives to Australia. Olivae(English edition) 77, pp. 22-28.

An illustrated summary of the history of the introduction of olives to the various states of Australia and the role of the olive industry in the agricultural development of the country.
Also published in French, Italian and Spanish:
Brève histoire de l'introduction des Oliviers en Australie. Olivae (Edition Française) 77, pp. 22-28.
Breve storia dell'introduzione dell'oliva in Australia. Olivae (Edizzione Italiana) 77, pp. 22-28.
Breve historia de la introducción del olivo en Australia. Olivae (Edición Española) 77, pp. 22-28.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. and Downing, Jane(1999). Unmasking transient colonial authors: the case of Handley Bathurst Sterndale. Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand Bulletin 23(3), pp. 148-163.

Nineteenth century colonial newspapers relied heavily on correspondents and contributions by the general public for special feature articles. While some of these contributions and serials carry by-lines with true names or well-known pseudonyms, the attribution of others is more complicated. This was especially so in the example provided here, an 1871 contribution to the Australian Town and Country Journal, where the author had only spent a short time in Australia and was only a transient resident of Sydney.
Textual analysis provided a number of promising clues that led nowhere due to the author's deliberate attempts at obfuscation in his supposed real life adventures. A systematic verification of all claims and allusions made in the serial through a comparison with contemporary publications which could have served as sources, led to the positive identification of the author: Handley Bathurst Sterndale (1829-1878), well known to Pacific historians as the author of an influential New Zealand parliamentary paper of 1874.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. & Downing, Jane(1999) Literary Detection: Discovering the identity of a 'Master Mariner'. Margin 47, pp. 8-13.

The paper discusses the process which led to the successful identification of th author a 1870s serialised story published in the Australian Town and Country Journal, a regional newspaper published in Sydney. A systematic verification of all claims and allusions made in the serial through a comparison with contemporary publications which could have served as sources, led to the positive identification of the author: Handley Bathurst Sterndale (1829-1878), well known to Pacific historians as the author of an influential New Zealand parliamentary paper of 1874.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1999) Book review: Medizin und Kolonialimperialismus. Deutschland 1884-1945. By Wolfgang U. Eckart. Paderborn -- München -- Wien -- Zürich, Ferdinand Schöningh, 1997. 638pp, tables, figs, maps, notes, bibliog., index. ISBN: 3-506-72181-X. Journal of Pacific History Vol. 34(2):233-234.
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1999) An Annotated Compendium of German Language Sources on the German Protectorate of the Marshall Islands Vol 1: Bibliography. Charles Sturt University, The Johnstone Centre, Albury, NSW.

A bibliography compiled for the Republic of the Marshall Islands Historic Preservation Office. The indexed bibliography contains 483 entries of German language publications of all fields of science and the humanities, as well as fiction, dealing with the Marshall Islands. All records have been annotated or summarised by the author.[The other 18 volumes of the compilation are photocopy reproductions of the original sources].


Spennemann, Dirk H.R. & Downing, Jane(1998) Cyclopean Ruins and Remains on the Caroline Islands. The ruins of Nan Madol and Lelu in the 1860s as seen through the eyes of 'A Master Mariner' MARC Working Papers Vol. 74. Agana: Richard F. Taitano Micronesian Area Research Center, University of Guam.
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. & Downing, Jane(1998) Editing a 19th century serial: from Antiquarian research to boys' own adventure in: Allan Curtis and Lynda Wilson (eds), The Johnstone Centre 1998 Workshop Abstracts. Johnstone Centre Report no. 123. Albury, NSW: The Johnstone Centre, Charles Sturt University. p. 48.
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1998) The annexation of Eneen-kio (Wake Island, Central Pacific Ocean) by the United States of America. Journal of Pacific History 38(2), pp. 239-247.

The paper details the history of the discovery of Wake Island and the early European utilisation of the island. Against the backdrop of German colonial history in Micronesia the annexation by the United States of America is described and its legality discussed. It is concluded that annexation of the island was probably unlawful, but that with the passage of time the status quo thus established can no longer be undone.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1998) Japanese poaching and the enforcement of German souvereignty in the Marshall Islands Journal of Pacific History 38(1), pp. 51-67.

In the first decade of the 20th century Japanese plumage hunters visited many of the uninhabited Central Pacific atolls depleting the local bird populations. When a group of Marshallese engaged in traditional birding surprised a group of Japanese on remote Bokak Atoll in 1909, the German colonial administrator was forced to deal with the issue without guidance from Berlin. This paper describes the events and reviews the German actions in the light of similar incidents in Hawaii.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1998) An officer, yes; but a gentleman.? A biographical sketch of Eugen Brandeis, Military adviser, imperial judge and administrator in the German Colonial Service in the South PacificPacific Island Studies Monographs nª 21. Sydney: University of New South Wales. 87pp.

Biography of the German Colonial Administrator Eugen Brandeis. The book sets out the role of Brandeis in the Marshall Islands addressing his attitudes towards the Marshallese (in the 1902 Mejit Affair), and towards corporal punishment (he was accused of being a 'flogger' in British post WWI cicrles). Brandeis' management of the aftermath of a typhoon (June 1905) as well as his handling of international trade affairs should him to be hamfisted and engaging in brinkmanship.


Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1995) Population control measures in traditional Marshallese Culture and their implications for today. Asian Culture (Asian-Pacific Culture) Quarterly 23 (1), 19-30.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1992) Historic Demography of Majuro Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands. Journal of the Pacific Society (Tokyo) 15(1), 1992, (1)-152)-(21)-132
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1992) Copra Revenues as a parameter of Male Income in the Outer Islands of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Journal of the Pacific Society (Tokyo) 15(2-3), 1992, 43-54.
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1992) Makmõk. Notes on the occurrence, utilisation, and importance of Polynesian Arrowroot (Tacca leontopetaloides ) in the Marshall Islands. Republic of the Marshall Islands Ministry of Internal Affairs / Ministry of Social Services Occasional Paper Nº 1. Majuro, Marshall Islands: Ministries of Internal Affairs and Social Services.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1990) Changing Gender roles in Tongan Society: some comments based on archaeological observations. In: P.Herda, J.Terrell & N.Gunson (eds.), Tongan Culture and History . Papers from the 1stTongan History Conference held in Canberra 14-17 January 1987. Department of Pacific and South East Asian History, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University, Canberra.

This document forms part of the hypertext curriculum vitaeof Dr. Dirk H.R. Spennemann (Charles Sturt University, Albury, Australia). If you arrived at this page through a search engine you may wish to call up http://csusap.csu.edu.au/~dspennem which will link you to the top of the frame-based CV.