ILWS - Charles Sturt University
ILWS - Charles Sturt University

Dr Dirk Spennemann

Dr Dirk Spennemann

A/Prof Dirk Spennemann's main research interests have two foci. The first is the German colonial heritage in Oceania, in particular in Australia and in Micronesia, with historic preservation issues in Micronesia in general. This includes an examination of the environmental constraints in which colonial communities operated and how this shaped the resulting heritage. The second is issues of heritage futures. This includes recognising and managing contemporary and emerging technological heritage (eg nuclear age, space heritage, robotics). It also includes examining the threats to heritage posed by natural and human hazards and the threats posed by managers in their efforts to counter such hazards. Ethical Heritage Planning and Policy are the cornerstones that need to be understood and addressed if our past is to have a meaningful future. In addition, Dirk is a photographic artist, who interprets heritage issues through visual media in exhibitions in Art Galleries and Museums.

Research Interests

  • Heritage futures
  • Relevance/contribution of heritage to communities
  • Historic perspective to environmental issues
  • Rural vernacular architecture

MA (Prehistory), Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität, Germany, 1982 
Ph.D. (Prehistory), Australian National University, 1990

Membership of Advisory Boards and Editorial Panels

A/Prof Dirk Spennemann is a Special Advisor to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, Republic of the Marshall Islands and a member of the Technical Advisory Board to the Historic Preservation Office, Republic of Palau.  He is a member of Australia ICOMOs; ICOMOs Pasifika member; Association of Preservation Technology member;  Association of Professional Futurists member, Pacific History Association member and Pacific Islands Museums Association member.

He is Associate Editor of the journal Campus-wide Information Systems and on the editorial board of Disaster Advances.

Selected Publications


Spennemann, D.H.R. (2017). ‘all day there was a stream of curious visitors.’ the cremation of Devan Singh in Albury, NSW, July 1905. Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society 103: 136–153.

Spennemann, D.H.R. (2017) ‘with the utmost decorum.’ The role of the burials of Punjabi hawkers in shaping the public discourse on cremation in Australia. Mortality

Spennemann, D.H R. (2017). Bourgeois Aspirations: A biographical sketch of Hector Ledru, manufacturer and inventor (1798–1876). Zeitschrift für Unternehmensgeschichte, 62: 257–297.

Spennemann, D.H.R., Pike, M. & Watson, M.J. (2017) The acidity of pigeon excreta and its implications for heritage conservation. International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation 35: 2–15.  doi:

Spennemann, D.H.R. & Watson, M.J. (2017) Dietary Habits of Urban Pigeons (Columba livia) and Implications of excreta pH–A Review. European Journal of Ecology, 3: 27–41.

Pike, M., Spennemann, D.H.R., & Watson, M.J. (2017) Building use by urban commensal avifauna in Melbourne CBD, Australia. Emu - Austral Ornithology. 117: 284-289.

Spennemann, D.H.R. (2017) Government Publishing in the German Pacific 1885-1914. Journal of Pacific History 52: 68-95

Spennemann, D.H.R. (2017) The Use of 3-D Spatial Visualisation in the Interpretation of the World War II Battlefield of Kiska. International Journal of Military History and Historiography 37: 201-222.

Spennemann, D.H.R. (2017). Age Heaping among Indian Hawkers in south-eastern Australia and their source communities in the Punjāb. Journal of Sikh and Punjāb Studies.  24: 149–202.

Spennemann, D.H.R., Pike, M. & Watson, M.J. (2018). Bird impacts on heritage buildings. Australian practitioner’s perspectives. Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development. 8 (1)  62-75.

Spennemann, D. (2015) Techniques in Historic Preservation: Why do corroded corrugated iron roofs have a striped appearance? ILWS Report No 93

Spennemann, D. (2015) Techniques in Historic Preservation: Recording Historic Corrugated Iron. A Guide to Techniques. Second, enlarged edition. Albury, NSW. ILWS Report No 92

Spennemann, D. (2015) Galvanised Iron at Old Urangeline Station, near Rand (NSW). A Photographic Documentation and Analysis. ILWS Report No 91

Spennemann, D. (2015) Crown Corrugated Iron in Australasia: A preliminary survey of its history, marketing and distribution, 1877–1921, ILWS Report No 90

Spennemann, D. (2015)  Nineteenth Century Indigenous Land Use of Albury (NSW), as reflected in the historic sources. Report prepared for the Heritage Division, Office of Environment and Heritage, NSW PDF

Spennemann, D. (2015) Diachronic Observations of the Decay of a Pisé Building at Jugiong (NSW) PDF

Spennemann, D. (2015) Callitris and Mud. An Analysis of the Construction of German Farmhouse Complex at Edgehill near Henty (NSW).

Spennemann, D. (2015)  The Disappearing Goanna. Twenty years' of Accelerated Callus Growth obscuring the Design of A Carved Tree, Mungabareena Reserve, Albury (NSW). PDF

Spennemann, D. (2015) Paraphernalia of the German Nuclear Industry I. Official Paraphernalia.

Spennemann, D. (2015) Paraphernalia of the German Nuclear Industry II. Picture Postcards and QSL Cards