RGSSA Library Catalogue

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Rare Book Discussion Group for 2017

Meetings are held in the Society's rooms
located in the Mortlock Wing
of the State Library of South Australia

Sessions are from 10:30 am to 12 noon
usually held on the 4th Thursday in the month  
Some sessions are repeated in the afternoon

Sessions are limited and bookings are essential
through the web site 
or telephone (08) 8207 7266  
An entry fee applies to non members

Flinders, Banks & the Library at Soho Square

23rd February, 2017

Matthew Flinders’ (1774-1814) principal task on his return from detention on Mauritius in 1810 was to write his Voyage to Terra Australis. The chief source of his background information in London was the library of Sir Joseph Banks where he was a regular visitor.  Robert Brown, who had been the naturalist on Flinders’ Investigator expedition was Banks’ librarian.  The association between the three men endured until Flinders’ death in 1814.
Dr Gillian Dooley, from Flinders University will discuss the importance of Banks and Brown, and the Library at Soho Square.

[The Library's online catalogue can be searched for the names of Australian explorers. See the catalogue record for Voyage to Terra Australis published in 1814. Click on the subjects shown in the record that link to similar works in the catalogue]

Shipwrecks, Lighthouses and Lifeboats

23rd March, 2017

The 'Admella', a passenger steamship on her way from Adelaide to Melbourne and Launceston, was wrecked on the reef off Carpenter Rocks on 6 August 1859. Eighty nine of the 113 on board died.
The lighthouse on Cape Northumberland was without a telegraph so the keeper had to ride to Mount Gambier to get help. Two small boats first reached the wreck a full week after the disaster.
This session will present more general material from the RGSSA collections on shipwrecks, their prevention and rescue.

[The Library's online catalogue can be searched for the names of ships and shipwrecked vessels. Search on 'Admella' for the related works in the catalogue]

The contribution of Germans to 19th century Australia

    27th April, 2017

While Germany was never deemed to be a major player in the age of Colonialism there were German mariners, explorers, discoverers and researchers almost everywhere in the world. Leichhardt is well known but there were other Germans in British service working as Naturalists, Astronomers, Geologists, or Missionaries. Find out what brought Johann Forster, Friedrich Gerstaecker, Christian C. Ruemker and others to these shores and how they contributed to the development of Australia.

[The Library's online catalogue can be searched for letters and books written by and about Ludwig Leichhardt (1813-1848). Also search for Explorers, German and Naturalists, German etc]

The Gills at Glen Osmond

25th May, 2017

The name Gill had a profound effect on the settlement and development of South Australia from the late 1830s up until the present time.
The RGSSA and the independent Public Service are Gill’s legacies.  Thomas Gill was Treasurer of the Society from its inception in 1885 and his extensive library was sold to the Society. 

[The Library's online catalogue can be searched for letters and books written by Thomas Gill (1849-1923). See catalogue record ]

Early Settlement in Aotearoa (New Zealand)

22nd June, 2017

The June meeting will deal with the early history in New Zealand leading up to the Treaty of Waitangi, signed in 1840.  Also featured will be a group of significant people who influenced the settlement of both South Eastern Australia and New Zealand.  These include Tasman, Cook, Light, Wakefield and Grey.
The RGSSA has a significant collection of material relating to our close neighbours.

[The Library's online catalogue can be searched for books about the history of New Zealand and the Treaty of Waitangi]

The 'birth' of the City of Adelaide

27th July, 2017

This session will highlight books and maps in the collection that described the concept of the city of Adelaide.  We will learn about the planning undertaken by Colonel Light to overcome the geographical challenges. The politics of the street names will also be discussed.

[The Library's online catalogue can be searched for books written by and about the explorations of Colonel William Light (1786-1839)]

Ethiopia, the search for Prester John, and exotic Emperors

     24th August 2017

Maps from the 16th to 18th centuries suggest that to Europeans of those times Ethiopia was more of a concept than a country. The few adventurers who penetrated its formidable highlands were not permitted to leave.
Efforts by Portuguese Jesuits to convert the Ethiopians to Catholicism ignored the fact that they had been Christians since 341 AD.  Later British visitors gave accounts of their encounters with some of Ethiopia’s colourful and exotic Emperors.

[The Library's online catalogue can be searched for books about the history of Ethiopia and the legend of Prester John. See catalogue record ]

The Chinese People and Australia

28th September, 2017

Chinese explorers, refugees, labourers, miners, traders and business people have played a part in the development of Australia.  Their presence was at first welcomed, then opposed.  From 1850, laws were passed to limit the number of Chinese in the gold fields and Federation ushered in the 'White Australia Policy'.
The RGS Library has many rare items; books, magazines, pamphlets, almanacs, manuscripts and newspapers with which you can trace the lives of the Chinese who came to Australia.

[The Library's online catalogue can be searched for early works about Chinese people in Australia and the 'White Australia Policy']

Europe Unfolding

26th October, 2017

The great era of European exploration that began in the 15th century arose primarily out of a need to seek out new trade routes.  Maps in some of the early books often showed amazing and sometimes imaginary lands.
Seldom seen atlases from the Rare Book Room will be discussed.  These include Abraham Ortelius 1571 copy of Theatrum orbis terrarum and RGSSA’s oldest book, the 1482 edition of Ptolemy’s Geographia.  

[See the Library's catalogue record for the Theatrum orbis terrarum
Click on the subject, Atlases--Early works to 1800, for other similar works in the catalogue
See the catalogue record for the Geographia

From the Specials Cabinet

23rd November, 2017

The Specials Cabinet – the locked display bookshelves in the RGS Library - holds books that are 'special' due to their age, value and/or rarity.

Early in 2017, six Discussion Group members will be asked to select one item from the Cabinet and demonstrate to the rest of the Group why it was chosen and what it conveys. Library and other research assistance will be provided, if needed.

More information
 about the Rare Book Discussion Group
is available on the web site
and contact details for the RGSSA

Please refer to the entire RGSSA Events Program for 2017  


posted by Sandra Thompson
RGSSA remote cataloguer 

RGSSA Event Program for 2017





Founded in Adelaide
10 July 1885

2017 Program


His Excellency

Hieu Van Le Ao

Governor of South Australia

[image: The Mortlock Wing of the State Library of South Australia houses the RGSSA Collection] 

The object of the Society is to promote the understanding of geography among its members and the community.  Some of its activities include:
Coach tours, day and weekend excursions
Monthly talks on geographical topics
Publication of an annual SA Geographical Journal and bi-monthly newsletter (GeoNews)
Other occasional publications including South Australian regional guides

The Society is always interested in welcoming new members or volunteers
All enquiries to the Office Manager
Teachers: Lecture attendance CPD certificates available
For information about membership refer to the website

Lectures and talks are held in St Andrews Parish Centre
 43 Church Terrace, Walkerville  
For parking at the Centre, enter and park off Fuller Street car park 
NOTE: All meetings are on a Thursday at 5:30 pm unless stated otherwise
Please always check the listed venues and times with the Society

Thursday 16th February
'Lake Eyre Basin'
Richard Kingsford
St Andrew's Centre

Thursday 16th March, 5:30 pm
'Shorebird Conservation in the Adelaide Region'
Tony Flaherty
St Andrew's Centre

Thursday 20th April, 5:30 pm
RGSSA Annual General Meeting
'Arid Recovery: innovation and conservation'
Katherine Tuft
St Andrew's Centre

Thursday 25th May, 5:30 pm
'Why has our former colony, PNG, disappeared from Australia’s conversation?'
Sean Dorney
St Andrew's Centre

Monday, May TBA, 5:00 pm
RGSSA Awards by invitation
Government House?

Thursday 15th June, 5:30 pm
Brock Lecture
'The many lives of Sir Hubert Wilkins'
Jeff Maynard
St Andrew's Centre

Thursday 20th July, 5:30 pm
Janis Sheldrick
St Andrew's Centre

Thursday 17th August, 5:30 pm
'Conserving whales and dolphins in the 21st century'
Dr Catherine Kemper
St Andrew's Centre Theatre

Thursday 21st September, 5:30 pm
'Human space flight – my personal experiences'
Andrew Thomas NASA
(see below * this popular event must be booked)
St Andrew's Centre

Thursday 19th October, 5:30 pm
‘The Irish in South Australia'
Susan Arthure
St Andrew's Centre

Thursday 16th November, 5:30 pm
'Scenic beauty – can it be measured and mapped?'
Andrew Lothian
St Andrew's Centre            

Online Lectures are available through the members portal on our website 


Thursday 7th December 2017
Venue: TBA
6:30 for 7:00 pm
Please mark this in your Diary


May to June
'Images of the World – from Roman times to the digital age'


*Meet Australia's first NASA astronaut
Andrew Thomas
21st September 2017 at 5:30 pm
Numbers are limited and restricted to members only 
Please pre-book through our website or the Society's office


Proposed events to be advised

Meets in the Society's rooms at 10:30 am 
on the 4th Thursday of the month
Experience publishing formats from AD374
For further details contact the Society directly or through our website

[Please see the blog post for all information on the 2017 program] 

 Search on "Flinders Ranges Walks"
for this  logo in Google Store


      Eight weeks during winter 2016 saw us complete most of the allotted tasks. There were minor disruptions on account of rain, but all taken in good spirit. In 2017 we will look at the possibilities of GPS guided walks, and improvements to the RGSSA Flinders Ranges Walks App.
[More information about the new app is on the website's home page ]
All hands welcome for any of the sessions

Southern Flinders Ranges
1 May – 12 May
Mt Brown and Dutchman's Stern
Accommodation at The Dutchman HS – 300 km north of Adelaide –timing and accommodation – confirmed

Central Flinders Ranges
12 June – 23 June
Wilcolo, Bunyeroo Gorge, Yuluna, Aroona-Youngoona, Trezona, Wilkawillina
Accommodation at Oraparinna Shearer's Quarters, Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park – 500 km North of Adelaide – timing and accommodation confirmed

Northern Flinders Ranges
27 July – 4 August
Italowie, Balcanoona Creek, Monarch Mine, Oppaminda-Nudlamutana, Mawson-Spriggina, Acacia Ridge, Bararranna, Terrapinna Tors
Possible 2-3 nights camp at Terrapinna during the period
All other accommodation at Balcanoona Shearer's Quarters – 600 km north of Adelaide –timing and accommodation confirmed

See the GeoNews or contact the RGSSA office
for updates and more information
Further details for all '2017 Program Events' will be advised in GeoNews and www.rgssa.org.au


The Library of the Society is located in the Mortlock Wing of the State Library of South Australia (as pictured above).

Special Features 
Rare Books: including twenty seven books published before 1599. The oldest is a beautifully bound version of Ptolemy's Geographia (1482). 
Over 200 manuscripts: including a number of Australian explorer's diaries, eighteen original George French Angas watercolours and three manuscripts of Sir Joseph banks including his 1766 Newfoundland diary. 
Over 800 maps: including many South Australian maps which provide a record of discovery, exploration and settlement.

Periodicals: including the journals of most Australian geographical, historical and Royal societies, the Linnean Society from 1791 and RGS London from 1831.

Pictorial collection: over 2,000 photographs, paintings and drawings including Francis Younghusband's 'lost' photographs of Tibet. 

Artefacts/ relics: collection includes Colonel Light's brass surveying level.

Most Library items catalogued at: www.rgssa.org.au/Catalogue.htm

Library enquires: library@rgssa.org.au 
Telephone: 08 8207 7265
Staffed Tuesday  from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
Thurs (on-line)
Answer machine operates 24 hours
Email: admin@rgssa.org.au
Postal address: 
PO Box 3661, Rundle Mall
Adelaide S.A. 5000


posted by Sandra Thompson
RGSSA remote cataloguer