Tuesday 13 November 2012
Friends of the Baillieu Library members' night

University House, University of Melbourne, 6.00pm

Professor Bernie Joyce: Lecture on the historical understanding of volcanos Recherches sur les Volcans eteints du vivarais et du velay

This function will feature a lecture by Associate Professor Bernie Joyce on the historical understanding of volcanoes. This will take as its starting point a book that the Friends have recently presented to the Library courtesy of a generous donation, namely Barthélemy Faujas de Saint-Fond's magnificent folio volume, Recherches sur les volcans éteints du Vivarais et du Velay: avec un discours sur les volcans brûlans, des mémoires analytiques sur les schorls, la zéolite, le basalte, la pouzzolane, les laves & les différentes substances qui s'y trouvent engagées, &c., published in Grenoble in 1778. This work was a major contribution to the new view of volcanoes that emerged at this period, whereby they came to be seen as a major constructive force in the shaping of the Earth's surface. The Library's copy, which will be on display, is a splendid one and includes a large number of plates.

Associate Professor Bernie Joyce is an Honorary Principal Fellow in the University's School of Earth Sciences after being a member of the University's Department of Geology (now known as Earth Sciences) from 1961 until his retirement in 1996. He is an authority on the role of volcanoes in the formation of the Earth's surface, with a special interest in the volcanoes of Victoria's Western District. He has studied volcanic areas around the world, including Germany and France, recently revisiting the volcanic areas of the Auvergne. He is a former chair of the Australian Heritage Commission Natural Evaluation Panel (Victoria) and for more than twenty years was the convener of the Standing Committee for Geological Heritage of the Geological Society of Australia. In addition to being interested in the history of the Earth, he has also had a longstanding interest in the history of the earth sciences and has published a number of papers on the history of the study of volcanoes. He is one of the Australian members of INHIGEO, the International Commission on the History of Geology. His recent book for the Royal Society of Victoria, Burke and Wills: The Scientific Legacy of the Victorian Exploring Expedition, has been short-listed for the Victorian Community History Awards.

Thursday 18 October 2012
Friends of the Baillieu Library Annual Dinner and guest speaker

University House, University of Melbourne, 7.30pm

Dr Brenda Niall, AO: True North

Brenda Niall is one of Australia's foremost biographers, being the author of four award-winning works. Her publications include: Martin Boyd (1974, 1977); Australia through the Looking Glass: Children's Fiction, 1830–1980 (1984); Seven Little Billabongs: the World of Ethel Turner and Mary Grant Bruce (1979); Martin Boyd, a Life (1988); Georgiana: a Biography of Georgiana McCrae, Painter, Diarist, Pioneer (1994); The Boyds: a Family Biography (2002); Judy Cassab, a Portrait (2005); Life Class: the Education of a Biographer (2007); and The Riddle of Father Hackett: a Life in Ireland and Australia (2009).

Brenda's most recent book, True North: the Story of Mary and Elizabeth Durack, was published by Text Publishing earlier this year and will form the basis of her talk to us at the Dinner. True North has been short-listed for the Victorian Premier's 2012 Book Awards. Brought up in suburban Perth in the 1920s, the Durack sisters were intensely aware of their family's pioneering efforts in overlanding cattle from Queensland to establish vast stations in the remote Kimberley region in Australia's north. They developed a life-long love of the Kimberley, as well as a growing unease about the situation of the Aboriginal people of the region. For the rest of their lives, they continued to write and paint, their closely intertwined lives always shaped by the enduring power of the Kimberley region. Brenda Niall's account of their lives has been widely praised as a rich portrait of two fascinating people and of the environment in which they lived.

Tuesday 20 March 2012
Friends of the Baillieu Library Annual General Meeting and guest speaker

Leigh Scott Room, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne, 6.00pm

Professor Rod Home AM: Royal Society of London and its early imprints

The Royal Society of London, founded in 1660, is the world's oldest continuously existing scientific society. Its early membership included such renowned figures in the history of science as Robert Boyle, Robert Hooke, Christopher Wren and Isaac Newton. From a very early stage, it became involved in the publishing of new scientific work, both by granting its imprimatur to the publication of separate works on scientific subjects and by launching its famous journal, the Philosophical Transactions, the first issue of which appeared in March 1665. In the process, the Society led the way both in popularizing a newly unadorned style of English prose and in promoting a new kind of publication, the scientific research paper.

The Baillieu Library has long held some of the Royal Society's 17th-century publications. Helping the Library to acquire more of them has for some years been a priority area in the acquisitions programme of the Friends of the Baillieu Library. In this talk Professor Home shall use some of these works, together with various other scientific publications from the same period, to illustrate the important changes that took place during these years in the way in which scientific research was pursued and its results communicated and discussed.

Professor Rod Home has a B. Sc. from the University of Melbourne and a PhD from Indiana University. Rod was Professor of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Melbourne from 1975 to 2002 He is now Professor Emeritus. Previously he was lecturer and then senior lecturer in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science. Rod was Foundation Director of the Australian Science Archives Project (ASAP) 1985-96 and Chairman of its National Advisory Board. He is a prolific author, with major historical works to his credit; for example, documenting the scientific achievements of Ferdinand von Mueller, the German-Austrian scientist who was appointed Government Botanist for Victoria by Governor Charles La Trobe in 1853.

In 2001, Rod received the Centenary Medal for service to Australian society and the humanities in history, philosophy and science. In 2010, he was made a Member of the Order of Australia for service to education as a scholar and archivist of the history and philosophy of science. Rod is also a Vice President of the Friends of the Baillieu Library.