2013, English, Thesis edition: The Australian museum library - its formation, function and scientific contribution, 1836–1917 Stephens , Matthew Sean, Humanities, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, UNSW

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Physical Description
  • Thesis
  • PhD Doctorate
Published
  • University of New South Wales. Humanities, 2013
Language
  • English

Edition details

Title
  • The Australian museum library - its formation, function and scientific contribution, 1836&​#150;1917
Author
  • Stephens , Matthew Sean, Humanities, Faculty of Arts &​ Social Sciences, UNSW
Other Contributors
  • Lyons, Martyn, Humanities, Faculty of Arts &​ Social Sciences, UNSW
Published
  • University of New South Wales. Humanities, 2013
Physical Description
  • Thesis
  • PhD Doctorate
Subjects
Summary
  • This thesis examines how the Australian Museum Library both reflected and affected scientific activity and debate at the Australian Museum, Sydney, and beyond, between 1836 and 1917. The relationship between those practising science in the metropolis and those on the periphery, such as in colonial New South Wales, has long been discussed but the role of natural history museum libraries in Australia is little mentioned. Similarly, the ways in which museum library activity signalled the shift of influence, in the nineteenth century, from the gentleman scientist to the university&​#150;trained professional are not well known and will be explored.This is a study of the history of books and their readers and consists of a combination of narrative chapters, biographical and bibliographical case studies, and statistical analyses. Case studies include the physical identification of the dispersed libraries of naturalists Ludwig Leichhardt and William Swainson, as well as a study of the influence of the Australian Museum Library on the scientific activity of Australian Museum Curator, Gerard Krefft. At the methodological core of this thesis is a database constructed from records in the Library&​#146;s 1883 catalogue; this is combined with information from the Museum&​#146;s archives and the physical evidence of the books themselves to reveal the evolution of a collection&​#151; including variations in the source, age, country of publication and subject categories of the books acquired&​#151;over a period of five decades.The gentleman naturalists who first managed the Australian Museum, under the direction of the family of Alexander Macleay, dominated Museum activity for almost forty years. The Library was initially a reflection of the interests of this elite group but was gradually transformed by the scientific aspirations of Governor William Denison, the Museum&​#146;s greater accountability to the New South Wales government, the influence of Sydney University scientists and the research needs of the Museum&​#146;s employees. Despite the Museum&​#146;s reluctance to employ university-trained scientific staff even into the twentieth century, by the early 1900s the Australian Museum Library had adopted the most modern system of classification and international bibliographical subscription and index services available to support the work of its researchers.
Terms of Use
Language
  • English
Related Resource
  • Access to both print and electronic version of this thesis was restricted until June 2014.
Identifier
  • oai:unsworks.library.unsw.edu.au:1959.4/​52915

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