RGSSA Library Catalogue

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

2017 Exhibition Catalogue : settlement of South Australia

Colonel William Light's 'dumpy level'

from Roman times to the digital age :

settlement and mapping of South Australia

[cont. from previous post ]

When William Light (1786-1839) arrived in South Australia in 1836 to carry out surveys necessary for the sale of the land he brought with him all of the equipment he needed including this 'Troughton's improved level'.  The 'improved level' was soon superseded by another instrument; the 'dumpy level'.

The 'dumpy' would have been used in conjunction with a chain for measuring distances. With a compass mounted on the level, the surveyor, could also do a rough survey of the land using the compass bearings from his survey pegs or other marks.

Light's level (pictured above) was donated to the RGSSA by Hon. J.H. Cooke
and Mrs and Miss Cooke in 1945.

Call number: R 49 [Relic collection]
[For biographical information refer:
Australian Dictionary of Biography
Adelaide University ]

Planning the 'District of Adelaide'
wall-framed map, 1837

'Plan of preliminary country sections
of the District of Adelaide' by Henry Nixon, 1837
Plan of preliminary country sections of the District of Adelaide by Henry Nixon. Exhibited on wall-framed map, facsimile.
Nixon's Map, 1837
Public Record Office, Kew
National Archives, UK

Lieutenant Henry Nixon (1805-1843) arrived in the Province of South Australia on the Navarino in December 1837. He was appointed assistant to the survey team of the Surveyor-General, Colonel William Light. 
[refer Melbourne University website for additional biographical information on Nixon]

This map has not been previously published and the Society is pleased to offer quality copies for $35 ($30 for members). The map is reproduced under licence from the National Archive Office, UK. (453 mm x 594 mm). This map is referred to in the Society's 'Proceedings' in an article by AG Price, 1935.
[refer: Arrowsmith's Australian Maps, Melbourne University ]

Robert O'Hara Burke (1821-1861)

Part of the tree that marks the grave of Robert O'Hara Burke

the grave 'tree'
Burke, Robert O'Hara (1821-1861)
Call number: R 12 [Relic collection]
Robert O'Hara Burke led an unsuccessful attempt from Victoria to traverse the Australian continent from south to north but failed to return. Burke and his partner, William John Wills (1834-1861), died near Cooper's Creek, South Australia, in June 1861.  Carved into the tree (pictured above) are the initials of Alfred Howitt (1830-1908) whose search party found the bodies of Burke and Wills in September 1861. The date '21/9/61' is carved into the tree and 'R O'H B' indicating that this is Burke's gravesite (hence the engraved word 'DIG'). Howitt later returned to this site to retrieve the remains of Burke and Wills and take them back to Melbourne.

John McKinlay (1819-1872) led the South Australian Relief Expedition that found the tree marked by Howitt in December, 1861. McKinlay added his initials to the 'burial tree' in December, 1861. The engravings appear to be copies of the originals on the main trunk of the tree. The location of Burke's grave is from John McKinlay's diary, SA Parliamentary Papers, HA no. 12, 1862:
Mr. McKinlay's explorations : diary of Mr. J. McKinlay, leader of the Burke Relief Expedition, being journal of explorations in the interior of Australia, together with chart
Call number: rgsp 919.4043 B959 c / rgsp 919.423043 S726 c
Refer RGSSA catalogue record
[Refer: Australian Dictionary of Biography
Burke and Wills digital research archive ]

Map of Burke's burial tree as fixed by J.H. McNamara in March, 1896
The above map was donated to the RGSSA by Mr R. Piper from his grandfather's papers; 
A.W. Piper, Society President, 1910-1913.

Samuel Gason (1845-1897) was the first police officer on the Birdsville Track. In 1866 he suggested to the Lutheran missionaries that they establish a mission at nearby Killalpaninna. The southern portion of the map is illustrated below. 

Map of the Birdsville Track drawn by Samuel Gason, 1873

Gason had been in the South Australian Police Force for about 10 years when he commenced duty at Barrow Creek Telegraph Station in 1873. He was present when the station was attacked by aboriginals in February 1874 and Stapleton and Franks were killed. He served at other police stations in Central Australia and later wrote papers on the Dieri Aboriginals. In 1873 he inspected and recorded the native paintings at Emily Gap near Alice Springs. 
The Dieyerie tribe of Australian Aborigines by Samuel Gason
published Adelaide, 1874
Call number: rga 305.89915 G248
Refer RGSSA catalogue record
[refer Adelaide University research website]

Settlement records of the Far East

'Views and costumes of Japan'--Japanese ladies c. 1878--photograph
Japan and Tibet, 1877-85
Photographs of Japan and Tibet, c. 1877-85
Location: RGSSA-P 4.
[Box inscription: Japan-views and costumes
Photographs indexed separately in digital catalogue. Search on 'Stillfried']
The above photograph is from an album in the Collection containing 101 similar photographs attributed to Austrian photographer, Baron Raimund von Stillfried (1839-1911). They are possibly from negatives he bought in Japan from Felice Beato (1832-1909). There may also be photos in the album from other sources including those of Italian photographer, Adolfo Farsari (1841-1898). Handwritten index sheets are included in the box with the photographs and a photocopied article (1996) on 19th century Japanese tourist photographs and a photocopied biography of von Stillfried.

Stillfried spent his childhood in the military outposts of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. After fighting a doomed campaign for the Habsburg Emperor in Mexico, by 1868, he established a photography studio in Yokohama. The port town was flooded by 'globetrotters'; a term used by the local Japanese to describe the wave of western tourists arriving from the completion of the Trans-American railway and the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869.

In Japan, Stillfried officially represented several European nations which may have offered him access to local communities allowing these candidshots. Such access would not have been encouraged as a matter of course. Japan had only been 'officially open for business' to outsiders from 1853 for the second time in its history. 

Stillfried formed a partnership with Hermann Andersen (1877-1885) and bought the studio owned by Felice Beato in Yokohama. Beato had been a war photographer but was famous for photographs of oriental people and exotic locations at a time when the western world was largely unfamiliar with these subjects. He particularly excelled at landscape and street photography, portraiture and hand-tinting for colour photos and very likely trained Stillfried in the craft. 

Stillfried and Andersen carried on in the Beato tradition, training many Japanese photographers, until their partnership dissolved in 1885. In the late 1870s, Stillfried took photographs in Dalmatia, Bosnia, and Greece. In 1886, Stillfried sold the majority of his photographic stock to his Japanese protégé, Kusakabe Kimbei, and left Japan. 

[refer online images, Stillfried Collection, Smithsonian Institution ]

Younghusband Expedition, 1903-1904

a rare photographic collection
Younghusband Expedition, 1903-1904
Photographic collection
Location: RGSSA-P 37/1-4
[Photographs indexed separately in digital catalogue. Search
on 'Younghusband']
The photographs shown above and below are in an album containing 27 photos (b&w) taken by Francis Younghusband in 1903-1904; developed from original 'lost' plates lent to the Society by R.D. Farquharson. Including, handwritten index sheets, a reprint of an article by Farquharson in the RGSSA proceedings, and some correspondence.

In London, 1928, Reg Farquharson, an amateur photographer and a Society member, obtained a number of undeveloped rolls of film. The films were developed and Farquharson discovered, much to his surprise, a remarkable set of 27 photographs which he believed were from the 'highly controversial' British Expeditionary Mission to Tibet, 1903-1904. The expedition was led by Lieutenant Colonel Sir Francis Edward Younghusband (1863-1942), KCSI, KCIE, under orders from Lord Curzon, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and Viceroy of India.

Younghusband was head of the Tibet Frontier Commission with John Claude White, the Political Officer for Sikkim, and led the British expedition to Tibet with the aim to settle disputes over the Sikkim-Tibet border. The expedition controversially became a de facto invasion of Tibet from successive instructions from London. About one hundred miles inside Tibet, on the way to Gyantsé, thence to the capital of Lhasa, a confrontation outside the hamlet of Guru led to a 'victory' for the expedition over 600-700 Tibetan militia, largely monks. Many historians now regard the British victory in Tibet as a massacre, hence, 'highly controversial'.

British Expeditionary Mission, Tibet, 1903
Photographs in the collection of Captain William Hayman
Colonel Younghusband pictured front centre with Captain Hayman to his right--

Lhasa and its mysteries with a record of the expedition of 1903-1904 by Laurence Austine Waddell, 1854-1938. London, 1906.

The above book in the RGSSA's Collection contains historical information, biography, maps, photographs, and illustrations (155) regarding the British expedition led by Colonel Younghusband in Tibet. The author, Lieut. Colonel L.A. Waddell, Indian Medical Service, was the expedition's expert on Tibetan culture. 

From 'Lhasa and its mysteries'
'Prime Minister of Tibet-Shata Shapé'--facing p. 8

From 'Lhasa and its mysteries'
Younghusband pictured seated 2nd row (second on left)
British Garrison under siege at Gyantsé, Tibet, May 1904--p. 252

Call number: rg 951.5 T a

Sir Francis Edward Younghusband (1863-1942) was born into a British military family at Murree, British India.  In 1882, he was commissioned as subaltern in the 1st King's Dragoon Guards. On leave, 1886-87, he went on expedition across Asia, carrying out numerous scientific observations which brought him under notice of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS), London. He was the first known European explorer of the Manchuria region of China, establishing the height of Baekdu Mountain; the highest peak in the region.  He then crossed the Gobi Desert to Chinese Turkestan and pioneered a route from Kashgar to India through the uncharted Mustagh Pass. For this achievement he was elected the youngest member of the RGS, received the Society's gold medal, and was later elected President of the Society in 1919. 

From 'Lhasa and its mysteries'
'Map of Tibet, showing its main physical divisions and districts'--p. 40

In 1887, Younghusband was the first European known to cross the Mustagh (Muztagh) Pass through the Karakoram Range that includes K2. Land borders for Tajikistan, China, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India converge in this region. The pass is extremely dangerous due to the movement of glaciers. To date, since Younghusband's crossing in 1887, there have been only two recorded crossings of the Mustagh; by an Italian expedition in 1929 and a French ski expedition in 1986. This highlights Younghusband's mountaineering skills as; 
exceptional in any century 
'When the peak, now known as 'Everest', was first measured in 1854, and was thus ascertained to be the highest known summit on the globe, it was called 'Peak XV' in ignorance of its native name, and afterwards was christened 'Everest' in honour of the name of the Surveyor-General of India, who had instituted the survey of the Himalayas, which had led to the discovery of this surpassing summit of the earth's surface.'--'Lhasa and its mysteries' : p.75-76.

From 'Lhasa and its mysteries'
Younghusband's camp under Nojin Glacier (near Lhasa), 1903-04--facing p. 284

'I think they will find Everest easily enough'

As President of the RGS (London) and Chairman of the Mount Everest Committee, Younghusband, made these closing remarks at a meeting to address preparations for the Society's first attempt on Everest that also attest to his character: 
All I have done myself is to crystallise an idea which has been in the minds of both the Alpine Club and this Society for many years past—this great idea of ascending Everest. We have heard a number of men of great experience and expert knowledge this evening, and I think you will have gathered that they are thoroughly aware of the enormous difficulties and dangers which they will have to encounter, but I hope you will see that we are making every possible preparation to discount all we possibly can by forethought, arrangement, and organisation beforehand; and I hope you have also gathered that there is in the members of the expedition the grit, courage, and determination upon which success will ultimately depend. 
I do not altogether share these doubts about their being able to find Everest.
I think they will find it easily enough.
Colonel Ryder at the close of our mission to Tibet went up to the north, and both he and Major Rawling described it as rising up by itself, and well away from it neighbours, 9000 feet above anything near it. On the one side was Makalu, about 14 miles off, but Everest stood up clear, and from it they described how lesser mountains gradually came away towards Tingri.
I do not think personally they will have much difficulty in finding Everest.
--7th March, 1921
Younghusband organised four unsuccessful assaults on Mount Everest in the 1920s including the tragic attempt on which George Mallory and Andrew Irvine perished in 1924. Younghusband's letters, documents and journals are in the collection of the India Office Library in London.

another ship named Endeavour
1996 NASA
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Photographs of part of South Australia taken from space by Andrew Thomas AO, Honorary Life member of the RGSSA.  Photographs of South Australia are courtesy of Andrew Thomas AO and NASA

Astronaut Andrew S.W. Thomas, mission specialist
Johnson Space Center of the United States-NASA

satellite technology creates
digital mapping records

Dr Andrew Thomas, a graduate from Adelaide University, was Australia's first astronaut into space in 1996. He has a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering with first Class Honours.   

Before his trip into space, Andrew Thomas asked for a piece of Australiana to take into space, as the American astronauts all had some memorabilia to take with them to commemorate their trips. The RGSSA sent him a piece of tree that was taken from the 1862 crossing from South to North of this continent, on which his great grandfather, F.G. Waterhouse, was the scientific advisor. 

[On display: Boxed piece of 'Stuart's Tree' exhibited from relics collection: ref R103.]

The images below were taken from the space shuttle, Endeavour, during Andrew Thomas' mission in space, a journey of  6.5 million kilometers, in orbit around the Earth.  The copies on display were presented to the Society by Andrew Thomas.

The gulfs of South Australia as seen from space

Adelaide Plains seen from the space shuttle Endeavour

Space shuttle orbiting the Earth

May 2017
Exhibition of Rare Books curated by the Library Committee
of the Royal Geographical Society of S.A. Inc.

Mortlock Wing
State Library of South Australia. North Terrace Adelaide
Hours Tuesday to Friday 10am to 1pm
Phone 08 82077266

Location and contact details available from the Society's website

Exhibition catalogue is available to download in a pdf file from the Society's website

Continued from previous posts
2017 Exhibition Catalogue

2017 Exhibition Catalogue : mapping the 'South Lands'

All external links retrieved November, 2017
posted by Sandra Thompson
RGSSA remote cataloguer

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