• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE6231

Whyte, Jean Primrose

(1923 – 2003)
  • Born 27 June, 1923, Adelaide South Australia Australia
  • Died 18 March, 2003, MelbourneMelbourne Victoria Australia
  • Occupation Librarian


Jean Primrose Whyte was born in 1923 to parents Ernest Primrose (Prim) Whyte and Kitty Macully. She spent the first ten years of her life at Yadlamalka, a sheep station north of Port Augusta, before attending St Peter’s Collegiate Girls’ School. Jean was employed at the Public Library of South Australia whilst she undertook studies at the University of Adelaide, from which she graduated in 1946.

Jean became a professional librarian after taking the examinations of the Australian Institute of Librarians and in 1959 she joined the Fisher Library at the University of Sydney.

Jean graduated with a Master of Arts in librarianship from the University of Chicago in 1965. Followed by a moved to Canberra in 1972, she took up the position of Director of Information, Reference and Research at the National Library of Australia.

In 1975 Jean became the foundation professor in the Graduate School of Librarianship at Monash University. She retired as an emeritus professor in 1988 and in this same year Jean was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia ‘for service to education particularly in the field of librarianship’.

From 1959 to 1971 Jean edited the Australian library journal. Monash University awarded Jean an honorary Doctor of Letters degree in 1996.


Archival resources

  • National Library of Australia, Manuscript Collection
    • Papers of Jean Whyte, 1881-2009 (bulk 1951-1995) [manuscript]
    • Education for librarianship in the United States and in Australia [manuscript] : a comparison / by Jean P. Whyte
  • National Library of Australia
    • [Biographical cuttings on Jean Primrose Whyte, Professor Librarianship, containing one or more cuttings from newspapers or journals]
  • State Library of South Australia
    • Jean P. Whyte : SUMMARY RECORD