Guide to the Papers of the Jevons Family (as filmed by the AJCP)


M2632 - M2633

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2019

Collection Summary

Jevons (family)
Papers of the Jevons Family (as filmed by the AJCP)
Date Range
1850 - 1925
Collection Number
M2632 - M2633
45 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

Letters 1854-1868 of W.S. Jevons to his family in England describing his voyage to Australia and life in Sydney, including his work at the Mint.

Journal 1854-1858 and diaries 1856-1858 of W.S. Jevons, including a diary kept on a journey to the Sofala diggings in 1856.

Notebooks and cashbooks of W.S. Jevons, kept in Australia.

Letters 1862-1868 of Herbert Jevons to W.S. Jevons describing life in Sydney, Forbes, Nelson and Dunedin, including employment by Bank of New South Wales, and gold diggings.

Photographs of Sydney and Braidwood.

Conditions Governing Access

Available for Access.

Conditions Governing Use

Readers wishing to publish or reproduce documents should seek permission, from The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester.

For more information contact The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester []

Preferred Citation

Acknowledgement of use of this material should refer to The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester and to the Australian Joint Copying Project.

Items from this collection should include references to the The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester and to the AJCP nla.obj number, which serves as the online identifier for the digital copy.

Example: Papers of the Jevons Family, Series JA/3: Thomas Jevons 1854-1855, The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester (AJCP ref:

Archival History

Material selectively filmed at The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester, as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, 1991-1992 (AJCP Reels: M2632 - 2633).

Original microfilm digitised as part of the AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.

Existence and Location of Originals

John Rylands Library, University of Manchester, England.

Collection reference: GB 133 JA.

For further information see Jevons Family at the University of Manchester [].

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.

See Reel M1195 [] for photographs taken by W.S. Jevons and filmed by the AJCP.

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 2019. 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.

Pieces that were not filmed by the Australian Joint Copying Project have not been included in this Finding Aid.


Australia; Bank of New South Wales; Braidwood, New South Wales; Dunedin, New Zealand; Emigrant voyages; Forbes, New South Wales; Gold and Goldfields: New South Wales; Gold and Goldfields: New Zealand; Great Britain; Jevons Family; Jevons, Herbert; Jevons, W.S., Professor; New Zealand; Nelson, New Zealand; Photographs: New South Wales; Sofala, New South Wales; Sydney Mint; Sydney, New South Wales ; Sydney, New South Wales: photographs;


Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 258, p96.

Biographical / Historical

Willian Stanley Jevons (1835-1882), educated at University College, London. In 1854 he was appointed assayer at Sydney Mint and arrived in Sydney in October 1854. In addition to his professional work, he made detailed meteorological recordings, wrote several articles on the Australian climate, land and railway policy and became interested in wet-plate photography. He returned to England in 1859 and soon established a lasting reputation as an economist and logician. He was a Professor at Owens College, Manchester, 1863-1876 and at University College, London 1876-1880.

Item Descriptions

Series JA/3. Thomas Jevons, 1854 - 1855

2 items

Biographical / Historical

Thomas Jevons (1791 - 1855) was the father of William Stanley Jevons.

Subseries JA 3/1. Family Correspondence, July 1854 - October 1855

2 items

Filmed selectively.

WSJ (Oliver Lang) to his father re voyage to Sydney, 3 July 1854 - 20 July 1854 (File 56)

Sea sickness; other passengers; complaints to captain. (8p.)

WSJ (Sydney) to his father, 29 October 1855 (File 57)

'Mint is going at a rattling pace'; time table of typical day; colleagues. (12p.) (photocopy)

Series JA/4. Lucy Ann Hutton (nee Jevons), 1858

2 items

Biographical / Historical

Lucy Ann Hutton (nee Jevons) (1830 - 1910). Sister of William Stanley Jevons.

Subseries JA/4/1. Family Correspondence, September 1858

2 items

Filmed selectively.

WSJ (Sydney) to Lucy, 10 September 1858 (File 12)

'Sydney is in a partial gold fever' due to discovery of gold at Port Curtis; sending photographs; plans to return to England; beauty of wild flowers.

WSJ (Sydney) to Lucy, 31 October n.y. (File 13)

Re attending lecture at Botanical Gardens; visit to sewerage works with O'Connel. (part letter, 1st page crossed) Although described individually, this document was originally microfilmed with a page from another document. The last page of the document described can be found at the beginning of nla.obj-903909289.

Series JA/5. Herbert Jevons, 1855 - 1862

2 items

Biographical / Historical

Herbert Jevons (1831 - 1874) Brother of William Stanley Jevons.

Subseries JA/5/1. Family Correspondence, November 1855 - September 1862

2 items

Filmed selectively.

WSJ (Sydney) to Herbert. (48p.), 29 November 1855 - 9 March 1857 (File 2-9)

Subjects include: working at the mint; local politics; glad to have come to Australia but intends to return to England in order not to be 'stuck in the mud as regards all science'; trip to diggings; writing on meteorological subjects; cricket match between Sydney and Melbourne at the Domain; move to Double Bay - plan of house, description of area.

Nos. 3,5,7 and 8 are photocopies. Some letters are incomplete. Parts of some letters have been published.

WSJ (London) to Herbert who is on his way to Australia, 14 September 1862 (File 18)

Re his decision to go; news WSJ has received from Australia, 'yield of gold is now many times greater than when I left'. (10p.)

Series JA/6. William Stanley Jevons, 1853 - 1868

29 items

Subseries JA/6/1. Family Correspondence, October 1862 - July 1868

2 items

Filmed selectively.

Herbert Jevons (Champion of the Seas, Melbourne, South Yarra, Forbes, Sydney, Nelson, Dunedin, Wheathustone, Christchurch, Shortland) to WSJ while employed by Bank of NSW. (92p.), 24 October 1862 - 9 July 1868 (File 46-61)

Subjects include: voyage - bad food, weather; arrival at Melbourne; employment by the Bank of NSW; discovery of gold at Nelson - description of Nelson and the diggers; transfer to Dunedin, 'most important branch in NZ'; Maori wars in North Island, 'the soldiers are said to be very dispirited…..the country cannot afford any longer to pay for them'; description of Wheathustone - 'I find the gold fields very dull'; Shortland - 'very much superior to any other diggings'.

[Some letters crossed and incomplete].

William Edgar Jevons (cousin) (Penang) to WSJ, 6 November 1862 - 21 August 1863 (File 151-153)

Re native ceremonies; scientific improvements to sugar manufacture. (18p.)

Subseries JA/6/2. Academic Correspondence, April 1856 - February 1863

3 items

Filmed selectively.

WB Clarke (n. pl.) re barometers and ref. to ship leaving New Zealand. (4p.), 6 July 1857 (File 88)
WSJ (Sydney) to H Piddington (Calcutta) describing hot wind which blew over NSW on 10-12 Nov 1855. (3p.), 29 April 1856 (File 418)
WSJ (London) to Dr Smith re arrival of brother in NSW. (4p.), 18 February 1863 (File 420)

Subseries JA/6/3. Miscellaneous Correspondence, January 1854 - December 1862

6 items

Filmed selectively.

Charles Bolton (Jimmycombiani?) to WSJ, 25 December n.y. (File 3)

Re life at diggings near Braidwood. (8p.) (In pencil, faint)

FB Miller (Royal Mint, Sydney) to Herbert J., 2 December 1862 (File 9)

That will be welcoming him to Sydney; has obtained a job for him in Bank of NSW. (4p.)

E Ward (Royal Mint) to WSJ appointing him one of assayers of branch of Royal Mint at Sydney. (2p.), 23 January 1854 (File 11)
WSJ (Sydney) to FB Edmunds re voyage to Australia, 26 January 1855 (File 15)

He is keeping meteorological records; 'Sydney on the whole is a pleasant and cheerful place' (8p. photocopy)

WSJ (America and London) to FB Miller re trip back from A. and his memories and impressions of Sydney. (14p.), 11 September 1859 (File 16-17)
WSJ (Sydney) to EW Ward, 31 January 1855 (File 18)

Re fixed salary proposal. (Copy. Photocopy and transcript of original in Mitchell Library.) (4p.)

Subseries JA/6/4. Journals, diaries, notebooks, January 1854 - December 1865

11 items
Journal, 29 January 1854 - 3 December 1865 (File 1)
1 item

Filmed selectively.

Journal extract, 29 January 1854 - 3 December 1865 (Item ff.303-224 ff.126-127)

(paginated bottom left hand) (160p.)

Includes: consideration of post at Sydney mint; letters written to his father on voyage and from Australia; taking meteorological observations; precis of letters received from his father; trip inland; description of countryside, Richmond, Penrith; reflections on religion; Maitland, Hunter Valley; Newcastle; trip to Wollongong, April 1857; Copy of letter to Lucy, 1 Jan 1857; feelings on leaving Australia.

Letts Diary, (280p.), Entries for most days, 1855-11-24 - 1856-12-31 (File 2)

Entries for most days 24 Nov 1855 - 31 Dec 1856; details of expenses; lectures attended; duties at mint; books read; social events; trip to diggings, March.

Diary of journey to the diggings, (84p.), 9 March 1856 - 23 March 1856 (File 3)

Meteorological register, Sydney, March 1856; descriptions of journey, Parramatta, Penrith, River Nepean, Emu Plains; weather; Mount Victoria; Rydall; Macquarie River 'I was disappointed'; lodging at Bushman's Inn, Bathurst; Peel 'the accommodation was the worst we had encountered'; Sofala, diggings - sketches, quality of gold, methods of washing; return journey on Royal Mails; the condition of the roads.

Letts Diary, Entries for most days 1 January [1857] - 26 October 1857, January [1858] - February 1858; 1860 (File 4)

Entries for most days 1 Jan - 26 Oct 1857, Jan - Feb 1858 details of expenses, books read, duties at Mint, weather - storm of August, wreck of Dunbar.

(c. 190p.)

Diary, 31 December 1857 - 13 January 1858 (File 5)

Details of expenses, writing letters and papers.


Notebook I, 1 July 1854 - June 1855 (File 7)
1 item

Filmed selectively.

Notebook I Extract (94p.), 1 July 1854 - June 1855 (Item)

Includes: weather records; details of voyage; notes re gold; geological notes; sketches. (In pencil, very faint, in places illegible).

Notebook II, 1858 - March 1859 (File 8)

Includes: miscellaneous notes on gold; barometer readings; plan of Berrima.

(74p.)(In pencil, faint).

Notebook III, April 1859 - July 1859 (File 9)
1 item

Filmed selectively.

Notebook III Extract [ff.1-11], 1859 (Item)

Voyage from Melbourne to Peru.

(In pencil, faint).

Notebook containing details of WSJ's writings, July 1856 - November 1859 (File 12)
1 item

Filmed selectively.

Publication details of articles written by WSJ while in Australia, [p 1-6], July 1856 - November 1859 (Item)
Cash book, June 1854 - December 1856 (File 20)

Details of expenses in Australia. (59p.)(Photocopy).

Cash book, July 1856 - December 1856 (File 21)
1 item

Filmed selectively.

Cash book f.1, July 1856 - December 1856 (Item)

Subseries JA/6/32. Miscellaneous Scientific Subjects. Notes and writings, December 1854

1 item

Filmed selectively.

Assays and spec. gravity of 51 specimens of gold Sydney Royal Mint, (2p.), December 1854 (File 14)

Subseries JA/6/43. Statistics, notes and writings, c.1856

3 items
Notes and researches on social statistics on the science of towns; especially as regards London and Sydney. Commenced Nov 1856. (1p. only) (File 4)
Notes for a social map of Goulburn. (1p.) (File 5)
Draft sketch map of Goulburn. (1p.) (faint) (File 6)

Subseries JA/6/49. Documents relating to his life and career, 1853 - 1855

3 items

Filmed selectively.

Copies of letters by Thomas Graham and William Miller (London Univ.) to Cpt. Ward recommending WSJ for post at Sydney mint. (2p.), 13 October 1853 (File 47)
Account with Thomas Jevons, 1853 - 1855 (File 48)

Including passage money to Australia. (4p.)

Statement of terms on which WSJ travelled by boat to Sydney, written by his father. (2p.) (File 49)

Series JA/9. Harriet Winefrid Jevons, 1925

1 item

Biographical / Historical

Harriet Winefrid Jevons (1877 - 1961). Daughter of William Stanley Jevons.

Subseries JA/9/1. Family Correspondence, 9 September 1925

1 item

Filmed selectively.

FS Boyce (Sydney) to HWJ (cousin) requesting plates taken by WSJ begiven to city of Sydney, 9 September 1925 (File 1)

Note by HWJ 'nothing was done about this, plates were lost.'

Series JA/10. Henrietta Elizabeth Jevons, 1854 - 1863

2 items

Biographical / Historical

Henrietta Elizabeth Jevons (1839 - 1909). Sister of William Stanley Jevons.

Subseries JA/10/1. Family Correspondence, 4 June 1854 - 17 April 1863

2 items

Filmed selectively.

Herbert Jevons (Liverpool, Forbes, Sydney) to sister, 17 April 1862 - 17 April 1863 (File 1-4)

That should go to NZ; his arrival in Sydney; description of Forbes. (16p., some crossed letters)

WSJ (London, Sydney) to sister, 4 June 1854 - 30 January 1859 (File 16-41)

Subjects include: impressions of Sydney; social engagements; visit to diggings; visits to theatre; local gossip; music; packing to leave Sydney. (174p.)

Series JA/11. Thomas Edwin Jevons, 1855 - 1865

3 items

Biographical / Historical

Thomas Edwin Jevons (1841-1917). Brother of William Stanley Jevons.

Subseries JA/11/1. Family Correspondence, 25 January 1855 - 17 August 1865

3 items

Filmed selectively.

Herbert Jevons (Forbes) to brother re working at bank; little gold coming in; diggers going to NZ; formation of Forbes cricket club, 16 February 1863 (File 3)
Herbert Jevons (Dunedin) to brother re new gold fields on west coast; social life, 17 August 1865 (File 4)
WSJ (Sydney) to brother; description of Sydney Harbour (3p.), 25 January 1855 (File 7)

Series JA/16. Henry Enfield Roscoe

1 item

Biographical / Historical

Henry Enfield Roscoe (1833 - 1915) Cousin of William Stanley Jevons.

Subseries JA/16/1. Family Correspondence

1 item

Filmed selectively.

WSJ (London, Liverpool, Paris, Sydney, Petersham) to his cousin, 28 Aug n.y. - [Jan 1859?] (File 1-10)

Re visit to exhibition of Australian minerals in Leicester Sq.; boarding Oliver Lang for Australia with his apparatus; his theory of an atomic system; his life in Sydney and work at the Mint; his interest in meteorology; introduction of responsible government; trip to Illawarra; assistant Bolton has gone to new diggings at Port Curtis; gold fever; geology of Braidwood diggings (part letter). (73p.)

Series JA/33. Photographs, c.1858-c.1880

3 items

Filmed selectively.

Loose Australian photographs, some identified, c.1858 (File JA/33/2/1-37)

Includes: scenery, Botany Bay; gold balances at Bullion office of Sydney Royal Mint, 2/3/58; gold diggings at Braidwood; drawing room at Double Bay.

Loose Australian photographs, some identified, c.1860s (File JA/33/3/1-31)

Includes: diggings; scenery; Mrs Miller; Jevons' laboratory; portraits; Willow Tree Hotel, Victoria Street Sydney; additional images of Sydney.

Photographs of grave of Herbert Jevons, died at Waiwera, New Zealand, 23 Jan 1874, c.1880 (File JA/33/10/1-4)