Robert Smith Dods (Robin) was born on 9th June 1868 in Dunedin, New Zealand. His family later returned to England and then migrated to Brisbane where Dod’s mother married Dr Charles Marks. Robin studied architecture in Edinburgh and later practiced in London before returning to Brisbane in 1896 where he set up in partnership with Francis Hall. His domestic work adopted many local techniques in wood but had a sophisticated discipline and a common-sense response to climate which were radically new.
In early 2010 the State Library of Queensland acquired 297 architectural drawings as part of the Hall and Dods Collection. The architectural drawings are dated from 1898 to 1984 and are a mixture of building projects, competition designs and tenders prepared by the company for commercial buildings, hospitals, public building, churches and private residences. Many of the plans were very fragile and required specialist treatment to conserve them which included digitization. The conservation team at State Library has recently completed conservation work on this valuable collection ensuring its preservation for future generations. These plans are now accessible to all via the State Library’s website , with a small amount approximately fifty, still in the process of being digitized. Alternatively you can visit the State Library of Queensland and request these items at the reference desk on level 4 in the John Oxley Library reading room.
Janette Garrad – Library Technician, State Library of Queensland