Guide to the Letters of Thomas Mellard Reade (as filmed by the AJCP)



National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2018

Collection Summary

Reade, Thomas Mellard
Letters of Thomas Mellard Reade (as filmed by the AJCP)
Date Range
1883 - 1906
Collection Number
16 items
Language of Materials
Australian Joint Copying Project
The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) online portal was created with the assistance of the Australian Public Service Modernisation Fund, 2017-2020. The National Library of Australia gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the other foundation AJCP partners, the State Library of New South Wales and The National Archives of the UK, and all other organisations which supported the work of the AJCP, the world's most extensive collaborative copying project, operating from 1948 to 1997.


Scope and Contents

16 letters written to T.M. Reade by J. Anderson and others concerning laying of the cable from Java to Australia for the Eastern Telegraph Co Ltd, from H.B. Guppy concerning the geology of New Zealand and the Solomon Islands, and from J.M. Maclaren concerning submarine ridges in the Pacific and his geological work in New Zealand.

Conditions Governing Access

Available for Access.

Conditions Governing Use

Many of the records digitised as part of the AJCP are still in copyright. Readers wishing to publish or reproduce documents should seek permission, in the first instance, from the owner of the original material.

Preferred Citation

Acknowledgement of use of this material should refer to the location of the original material and to the Australian Joint Copying Project.

Items from this collection should include references to the location of the original material and to the AJCP nla.obj number, which serves as the online identifier for the digital copy.

Example: M Series: Journal of Capt. James Cook, 18 February 1770, British Library Add. MS 27885 (AJCP ref:

Archival History

Material selectively filmed as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, 1971 (AJCP Reel: M832). Original microfilm digitised as part of the AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.

Existence and Location of Originals

Harold Cohen Library. University of Liverpool, Liverpool, England. Collection Reference: GB 141 TMR. For further information see Special Collections and Archives at the Harold Cohen Library (

Existence and Location of Copies

The original AJCP microfilm of the records filmed from this collection is available at the National Library of Australia [] as well as other institutions holding AJCP microfilm.

Finding-aid Notes

This finding aid is a revised online version of the original finding aid prepared by the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP), published by the National Library of Australia in 2018. The original AJCP finding aids were unpublished typescripts or photocopies available from libraries that held copies of the original microfilm.

Dates used in this finding aid refer to the date range of the records selected for filming rather than to the date range of the Series or Files.


Anderson, J.; Eastern Telegraph Co Ltd; Geologists; Geology: New Zealand; Geology: Pacific Ocean; Guppy, Henry B.; Java; Liverpool, England; Maclaren, J.M.; Reade, Thomas M.; Solomon Islands: geology; Telegraphic communication


Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 383, p146.

Biographical / Historical

Thomas Mellard Reade (1832-1909) was born in and spent most of his life in Liverpool. From 1844 to 1849 he was a pupil in a firm of architects and surveyors and he subsequently worked as a draughtsman and engineer in the London and North Western Railway. He commenced private practice as an architect and surveyor in Liverpool in 1859 and for many years was the architect to the Liverpool School Board. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1878. In 1870 Reade commenced a long series of articles on geological subjects which he continued right up to his death. He was elected a Fellow of the Geological Society in 1872 and was awarded its Murchison Medal in 1896. He was President of the Liverpool Geological Society in 1875-77, 1884-86 and 1895-97. He was the author of The origin of mountain ranges (1886) and The evolution of earth structure (1903).

Sir James Anderson (1824-183) was the captain of SS Great Eastern when it laid the transatlantic telegraph cable in 1865-66. In 1872 John Pender formed the Eastern Telegraph Company, with Anderson as managing director.

Osmond Fisher (1817-1914) was an Anglican clergyman with a strong interest in geology and geophysics. He was the author of The physics of the earth's crust (1881).

Henry Brougham Guppy (1854-1926) was a surgeon in the Royal Navy from 1876 to 1885 and served on HMS Lark when it visited the Solomon Islands in 1882. He was the author of The Solomon Islands and their natives (1887) and The Solomon Islands: their geology, general features and suitability for colonization (1887). He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1888. He returned to the Pacific in 1896 and his researches in the islands led to the publication of Observations of a naturalist in the Pacific between 1896 and 1899 (1903).

James Malcolm Maclaren (1873-1935) was born in Thames, New Zealand, and educated at the University of Auckland and the Royal College of Mines in London. He worked for the Geological Survey of Queensland and the Geological Survey of India. From 1906 onwards he was a consulting mining geologist, mostly associated with the Goldfields Group, and travelled all over the world. He was the author of Gold: its geological occurrence and geographical distribution (1908).

Item Descriptions

Series TMR1. Scientific correspondence, 1883 - 1906

16 items

Filmed selectively.

Sir James Anderson (London) to Reade, 25 April 1883 (File A.5.1)

Remarks by John Pender on position of submarine cables; no evidence of cables being shifted by currents after they have settled on sea beds; probability of cables breaking.

Sir James Anderson to Reade, 12 September 1883 (File A.5.2)

Apparent drifting of cables; weight and dimeter of cables; soundings.

Sir John Wolfe Barry (London) to Reade, 25 November 1901 (File B.2.1)

Acknowledges letter; forwarded to Eastern Extension Telegraph Company.

Rev. Osmond Fisher (Cambridge) to Reade, 25 September 1888 (File F.5.26)

Meeting of geologists; Davison; report by Thomas of Tarawera eruption in New Zealand.

Henry B. Guppy (Falmouth) to Reade, 29 December 1887 (File G.15.1)

Guppy's geological notes on Solomon Islands; queries on foldings given in section on Ungi and Treasury Islands; underlying volcanic rocks.

Henry B. Guppy (Falmouth) to Reade, 12 January 1888 (File G.15.2)

Volcanic rocks at Solomon Islands; no satisfactory explanation yet for folding.

Henry B. Guppy (London) to Reade, 22 January 1888 (File G.15.3)

Thanks for papers; origin of deep sea red clay; mangrove mud.

Frederick Hesse [London] to Reade, 22 January 1888 (File H.11.1)

Repairs to Java-Australia cable; sends tracing of cable from Banjoewangie [Banyuwangi] to Darwin; encloses extract from letter of captain of SS Recorder.

J. Malcolm Maclaren (London) to Reade, 9 May 1901 (File M.3.1)

Hopes to meet Reade in Liverpool; geological research; proposes to study gold veins of Wales.

J. Malcolm Maclaren to Reade, 3 October 1901 (File M.3.6)

Summary of account of submarine ridges off coast of Australia discovered by SS Britannia.

J. Malcolm Maclaren to Reade, 13 October 1901 (File M.3.7)

Interest in ocean ridges of south-west Pacific; believes New Zealand received portion of its avian fauna along newly discovered ridge; soundings show two great systems of mountain ranges.

J. Malcolm Maclaren to Reade, 6 December 1901 (File M.3.9)

Maclaren's election as a fellow of Geological Society; south-west Pacific soundings; sends notice about South Australian glacial beds.

J. Malcolm Maclaren to Reade, 24 January 1902 (File M.3.10)

Earthquake shock in New Zealand and Kermadec Islands; his research for a paper for the Geological Society of Edinburgh.

J. Malcolm Maclaren to Reade, 25 September 1902 (File M.3.17)

Departure for India; earthquake in New Zealand.

J. Malcolm Maclaren (Calcutta) to Reade, 10 September 1903 (File M.3.18)

Work for Geological Survey of India; offer of position of Chief Geologist of New Zealand; prefers to continue roaming; interest in dynamic metamorphism of intermediate igneous rocks.

J. Malcolm Maclaren (Calcutta) to Reade, 26 July 1906 (File M.3.19)

Resignation from Geological Survey of India; difficulty of climate; conflict with the director.