Peter is well-known in Tasmanian local and family circles, and for many years was the manager of the Launceston Library. He retired from that position in 2009 after receiving an Australian Post Graduate Research Award to study convicts and crime in Tasmania in the second half of the nineteenth century.
Peter was the instigator and project manager of many of the State Library of Tasmania’s ground-breaking online services including Tasmania’s eHeritage and Tasmanian Communities Online. He also worked on the early development of Tasmania Online, Our Digital Island and the Tasmanian Images Database, and developed the interactive Launceston Family Album web site.
He has written many books and articles on Tasmanian history including:
- On the Tide: stories of the Tamar, Launceston Library, Launceston, (2001)
- On the Tide 2; more stories of the Tamar, Launceston Library, Launceston, (2003)
- On the Tide 3: more stories of the Tamar, Launceston Library, Launceston, (2007)
- Launceston Family Album: a selection of stories from the Passport Photographic Album of the Tasmanian International Exhibition 1891-1892 / an archival record by Friends of the Library, Launceston, Inc. in partnership with Launceston Library, (2007)
- Browne, Frank Styant Voyages in a caravan: the illustrated logs of Frank Styant Browne, edited by Paul A. C. Richards, Barbara Valentine and Peter Richardson, Launceston Library and Brobok, Launceston, (2002)
Peter’s current research interests include:
- the treatment and place of convicts in Tasmania in the post-transportation period
- crime reporting in Tasmanian newspapers – Colonial and early Twentieth Century
- Launceston and the Tamar Valley – Social and Maritime History
- the Cooking Pot Rebellion – Norfolk Island, 1846
- the history of Tasmanian horse racing.
In addition to his PhD research project, Peter is currently editing a collection of notable Tasmanian criminal trials for publication.