Guide to the Papers of Thomas Griffith Taylor

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MS 1003

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Collection Summary

Creator
Thomas Griffith Taylor
Taylor, Thomas Griffith
Title
Papers of Thomas Griffith Taylor
Date Range
1880 - 1963
Collection Number
MS 1003
Extent
15.93 metres (1 ms box + 59 archives boxes + 2 large folio boxes + 5 small folio boxes + 1 small phase box + 1 medium phase box + 1 large phase box + 12 map folios + 1 volume + 2 folio packets)
Language of Materials
English
Repository
Special Collections (Manuscripts)

Introduction

Content Description

Comprises correspondence, 1880-1963, relating to Thomas Griffith Taylor's travels and publications and some personal correspondence; manuscripts, published and unpublished, in typescript, handwritten and proof form; annotated printed material, including serials, books, pamphlets and reprints covering a wide range of subjects; and, miscellaneous material including press clippings, maps, medals, scrapbooks. Throughout his life Taylor kept copies of his letters and these form a journal-like account of his life and career on which he based his autobiography, Journeyman Taylor. The collection includes papers on Taylor's early years, 1880-1910; Antarctica, 1910-1912; Canberra and surrounding district, 1910, 1912-1928; Chicago University, 1929-1935; Toronto University, 1935-1951; Australian Institute of Geographers; Australian Academy of Science; and A.N.Z.A.A.S.

Conditions Governing Access

Please refer to the collection's catalogue record for the access conditions (http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn2961870).

Conditions Governing Use

Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions. For such material, written permission to publish must be obtained from the copyright holder(s). Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.

Preferred Citation

Items from this collection should be cited as '[Title or description of manuscript item], Papers of Thomas Griffith Taylor, National Library of Australia, MS 1003, [series and/or file number]'.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The bulk of the collection was donated to the Library in a succession of instalments between 1954-64, initially by Thomas Griffith Taylor, and added to by other family members and associates of the geographer.

Arrangement

The papers are sorted into a basically chronological sequence following the main events in Taylor's career. The manuscripts and publications have been extracted from this sequence and made into separate series.

Biographical Note

Thomas Griffith Taylor was born at Walthamstow, Essex, England on 1 December 1880, and came to Australia with his family in 1893. He attended Sydney Grammar School and later the King's School. In 1904 he graduated as Bachelor of Science from Sydney University, accepting in 1905 a position as a Demonstrator in Geology under Edgeworth David who was to have a profound effect on his career. In the same year he was awarded a Bachelor of Engineering and in 1907 was awarded the 1851 Travelling Scholarship to Cambridge where he conducted research on Archaeocyathinae, gaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1909. From 1911 to 1912 he worked in Antarctica as Senior Geologist with the British (Terra Nova) Antarctic Expedition. There he led two western expeditions of the continent and made extensive studies of the processes of glaciation. From 1910 to 1920 Taylor held the position of Physiographer with the Commonwealth Weather Service and from 1912 to 1913 helped complete a survey of the Federal Capital Site. In 1914, after again visiting England, he married Doris Priestley, sister of (Sir) Raymond Priestley who was also a geologist with the Scott Expedition. In 1916 he was awarded a Doctor of Science from Sydney University and became Associate Professor of Geography in 1920. Taylor took up the position of Senior Professor of Geography at the University of Chicago in1929, and from 1935 to 1951 he was head of the Department of Geography at the University of Toronto. After his retirement in 1951, when he helped found the Australian Institute of Geographers, he was also active as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and of ANZAAS. Throughout his life he travelled extensively in most parts of the world. He died at Manly, Sydney on 5 November 1963.

Item Descriptions

Series 1. Early years, 1880-1910 - Box 1-2

Correspondence, field notebooks, press clippings, photographs, maps and sketches relating to Taylor's early years, first as a schoolboy and later as a student at Sydney University and at Cambridge. The series includes extensive correspondence between Taylor and the various members of his family which contain a detailed account of his travels in the Pacific, North America and Europe as well as in Australia. Further material from this period may be found in Series 9 and 10.

Series 2. Antarctica, 1910-22 - Box 2-4

Correspondence, diaries, notebooks, press clippings, photographs, maps and sketches relating to Taylor's work as Senior Geologist with the British (Terra Nova) Antarctic Expedition. He also held the position of Physiographer with the Federal Meteorological Service during this period. The series includes a diary of day to day events, sledging diaries and other material giving details of the two sledging journeys of the Western Party of which Taylor was the leader. Also documented is extensive correspondence between Taylor and his family and friends with detailed descriptions of conditions in Antarctica and comments on the various members of the expedition. There are also manuscripts of articles by Taylor for the South Polar Times and the manuscript of With Scott, the silver lining, together with four original drawings by David Low for the book. The series also contains material relating to glacial studies in Europe and New Zealand in preparation for the expedition. Further material relating to Taylor's work in the Antarctic may be found in Series 9 and 10.

Series 3. Canberra and the surrounding district, 1910, 1912-13 - Box 5

From 1912 to 1913, Taylor, as Physiographer with the Federal Meteorological Service, participated in a survey of the Federal Capital Site. The Series includes a Report of the geology along the proposed railway to Jervis Bay, dated December 1912 and material relating to the opening of Canberra on 13 March 1913. There is also a field notebook of a physiographic survey of the capital site made by Taylor in 1910, photographs of early Canberra, and correspondence between Taylor and his family and friends. Further material may be found in Series 9 and 10.

Series 4. Commonwealth Weather Service and Sydney University, 1913-28 - Box 6-8

Correspondence, maps, field notebooks, newspaper articles and clippings, sketches, photographs and reviews relating to Taylor's career in the Commonwealth Weather Service till 1920 and at Sydney University from 1920 to 1928. During this period he travelled widely in Europe, South Africa, New Zealand, Japan and the Pacific as well as in Australia. There is extensive correspondence between Taylor and the various members of his family giving detailed accounts of his travels and including much scientific observation. The material reflects Taylor's special interest in the problems of settlement in tropical and in arid areas in Australia. It also illustrates Professor David's influence on the development of Taylor's career. Further material from this period may be found in Series 9 and 10.

Series 5. Chicago University, 1929-35 - Box 9-10

This series comprises mainly correspondence, much of which is between Taylor and his family and contains detailed accounts of his work as Senior Professor of Geography at Chicago University, and of his travels in North America, the Pacific, Australia and Great Britain. There is also correspondence of a more general nature including material relating to the publication of various books and articles. As well as the correspondence, there are lecture notes, field notebooks, press cuttings, maps, and photographs. Further material covering this period may be found in Series 9.

Series 6. Toronto University, 1935-51 - Box 10-12

Correspondence, press clippings, photographs, maps and field notebooks relating to Taylor's work as Head of the new Department of Geography at Toronto University. During this period he maintained his usual extensive correspondence with his family and friends giving detailed accounts of his work and his travels in North America, Europe and Australia. The correspondence also relates to numerous articles and books written by Taylor during his period. Further material may be found in Series 9.

Series 7. Australian Institute of Geographers, Australian Academy of Science and ANZAAS - Box 13

After his retirement in 1951, Taylor returned to Australia where he was instrumental in the establishment of the Australian Institute of Geographers. In 1961 he became its first President. Most of the correspondence relates to his work for this organisation, and to his work for the Australian Academy of Science. There is also material relating to his interest in ANZAAS.

Series 8. Retirement, 1951-63 - Box 14-16

Correspondence, press cuttings, articles, maps and photographs documenting Taylor's life in Sydney after his retirement. The series consists largely of correspondence relating to various publications, particularly to his autobiography Journeyman Taylor. Further material may be found in Series 9.

Series 9. Scrapbooks, 1880-1963 - Box 17-24

Scrapbooks containing correspondence, press cuttings, photographs, pamphlets, notes, manuscripts of articles and reviews, field notebooks, diagrams and sketches covering the period from 1880 to 1963. Much of the correspondence is personal and includes many letters between Taylor and his family while on various journeys and field trips to many parts of the world. The correspondence also reflects the development of Taylor's career, his interest in various geographical and scientific societies, and the publication of his many books and articles. (All loose items have been removed from the scrapbooks and placed in other series.)

Series 10. 'Wanderyears', 1907-15 - Box 25-27

A series of letterbooks containing carbon copies of letters written by Taylor and bound together to form six volumes which he titled 'Wanderyears'. It was Taylor's practice to keep a record of his travels in the form of copies of letters sent mainly to his family giving detailed descriptions (often containing geographical and geological data) of places he had visited. The series covers the years 1907 to 1915 when Taylor travelled extensively in Europe, South Africa, North America, Antarctica and the Pacific. Although most letters are to his family, they frequently contain a record of observations of a scientific nature. Also included are copies of some more general correspondence and a few press cuttings and pamphlets.

Series 11. Manuscripts and proof copies - Box 28-37

Manuscripts and proofs of many of the books and articles written by Taylor, some of which remained unpublished. Many of them are incomplete.

Series 12. Publications - Box 38-49

Some of the many books, articles and reviews written, edited, or contributed to by Taylor, most of which are autographed or annotated. There are also some books and articles by other authors. Most of the reprints of Taylor's own articles have been collected and bound together.

Series 13. Miscellaneous - Box 50-56

Various unidentified photographs, maps, sketches and press clippings.


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