Edmund Gill (1908-1986) was a palaeontologist and geomorphologist who, throughout his working life, recorded his fieldwork in some sixty notebooks. Deakin University Library houses Edmund Gill's manuscript collection which includes seventeen notebooks relating primarily to his fieldwork and findings in Western Victoria. The remainder of the notebooks and other items are part of the collection of the State Library of Victoria.
The title of the book, The Anglo-Russian war of 1900: invasion of Victoria: capture of Melbourne, is intriguing. Had the Russians invaded Australia via Port Phillip Bay in Victoria and seized control of Melbourne? Had these events of 1900 actually happened and subsequently erased from the collective memory of Australians? Further investigations led to the discovery that the book was actually a work of fiction from a literary genre often referred to as 'invasion literature'. These books were tales of imaginary wars and battles, frequently set in future times. The Anglo-Russian war of 1900: invasion of Victoria: capture of Melbourne is one of a number of interesting examples of these types of books held in Deakin University Library's Special Collection.
Nindethana Nursery was established by George William Francis Althofer (1903-1993) at his home in the Burrill Valley, Dripstone New South Wales, in 1932. Nindethana means ‘ours’ referring to the origins of the Australian native plants the nursery cultivated. The name was chosen to ‘reign amongst’1 the neighbouring townships of Burrendong, Wuuluman, and Morungulan. Althofer was a botanist, nurseryman, author, poet, and champion for the preservation of Australian flora.
In 1850 Law, Somner & Co who were purveyors of seed for flowers, vegetables, and pasture, were the first seed traders to establish themselves in Melbourne. Their customers were domestic gardeners and farmers from Australia and beyond. Like many of their peers that followed, Law Somner & Co produced annual seed catalogues, and driven by ever growing demand, printed literature incorporating gardening advice. They were vigorous participants in shows and exhibits around Australia and New Zealand, winning numerous prizes along the way. Law, Somner & Co supported industry participation and innovation. They provided free seed to any pasture plots connected with the Young Victorian Farmers Association, on request, and in return enjoyed annual prizes being awarded in their name, donating seeds and plants as prizes for each district of Victoria.1
William Henry Harvey (1811-1866) was a botanist and phycologist who undertook an extended collecting trip around the world from 1853 to 1856. As a result of this journey, he produced landmark publications on phycology, and produced a limited number of sets of algae specimens. Deakin University Library is the proud owner of one of these rare specimen sets - Algae from Ceylon, Friendly Islands and Australia : collected during the years 1852, '53, '54 and '55. Harvey's world trip was a monumental expedition for the time; his travels and the knowledge he gained collecting and observing in the field were to contribute significantly to his reputation as a taxonomist and systematic botanist of some note.
This rare collection of papers provides a snapshot in time illustrating the slow and steady progress of a new scientific discipline becoming an accepted and practiced profession in a young country. Although well established as a discipline in other parts of the world, Town Planning was accepted as a serious issue in Australia only in the early 1900s.
Throughout the nineteenth century, all things scientific gained support. By the twentieth century, an emphasis on logic, order and efficiency began to permeate many areas of life, including the domestic sphere. Aveling and Damousi explain that ‘[d]uring the 1920s, educated Australians tried to be modern, efficient, rational people. Factories were run by experts in scientific management, and experts in domestic science tried to do the same for homes’ (p.110).
Deakin University Library's Special Collection is fortunate to house a remarkable collection of Australian soccer photographs taken by Les Shorrock.
The research project Scholarships and Connections recorded over 100 life stories of students from Indonesia and Papua New Guinea who were sponsored for Australian-based tertiary study from the 1950s to 2010. These interviews with alumni deepen our understanding of the scholarship programs and their objective of building mutually beneficial linkages between Australia and partner countries.
Learning to Read showcases a sampling of Deakin University's extensive range of digitised texts from the Australian Schools Textbook Collection. Visit the entire range of digitised texts by browsing our Collections in Fusion, or to see the original items vist us at the Alfred Deakin Prime Ministerial Library. Click on the links below to explore these fascinating books.