Australian Dictionary of Biography

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Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 11

View articles from the Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 11

Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 11

Period: 1891-1939
Names: Nes-Smi
General Editor: Geoffrey Serle
Published in hardcopy 1988


This volume of the Australian Dictionary of Biography, containing 691 entries by 488 authors, is the fifth of six for the 1891-1939 section. The two volumes of the 1788- 1850 section and the four of the 1851-1890 section were published from 1966 to 1976. The late Douglas Pike was general editor for volumes 1 to 5, Bede Nairn for volume 6, and Nairn and Geoffrey Serle for volumes 7 to 10. Nairn retired as joint general editor on 31 January 1984 and John Ritchie succeeded Serle on 1 March 1988. The chronological division was designed to simplify production, for more than 7200 entries will be included in volumes 1-12. (Volumes 1-2, for 1788-1850, had 1116 entries; volumes 3-6, for 1851-1890, 2053; and volumes 7-12 will include about 4060). The placing of each individual's name in the appropriate section has been determined by when he/she did his/her most important work (floruit). An index will be published after the three sections are completed and volumes covering those whose floruit was after 1939 will follow in the 1990s.

The selection of names for inclusion required prolonged consultation. After quotas were estimated, working parties in each State and the armed services working party prepared provisional lists, which were widely circulated and carefully amended. Many of the names were obviously significant and worthy of inclusion as leaders in politics, business, the armed services, the professions, the arts, the labour movement, etc. Many others have been included as representatives of ethnic and social minorities and of a wide range of occupations, or as innovators, notorieties or eccentrics. Many had to be omitted through pressure of space or lack of material, and thereby joined the great mass whose members richly deserve a more honoured place; however, many thousands of these names, and information about them, have accumulated in the biographical register at the Dictionary headquarters in the Australian National University. A selection of 8100 of them was published in 1987 as A Biographical Register 1788-1939.

Most authors were nominated by working parties. The burden of writing has been shared almost equally by the staff of universities and other tertiary institutions and by a wide variety of other specialists.

The Australian Dictionary of Biography is a project based on consultation and cooperation. The Australian National University has borne the cost of the headquarters staff, of much research and of some special contingencies, while other Australian universities have supported the project in various ways. Its policies were originally determined by a national committee, composed mainly of representatives from the departments of history in each Australian university. In Canberra the editorial board has kept in touch with all these representatives, and with the working parties, librarians, archivists and other local experts, as well as overseas correspondents and research assistants in each Australian capital. With such varied support the Australian Dictionary of Biography can truly be called a national project.


Special thanks are due to Professor K. S. Inglis and Dr A. Barnard for their guidance as chairman and acting chairman of the editorial board and to Professor P. F. Bourke, director of the Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University, and Mr P. Grimshaw, business manager of the research school. Those who helped in planning the shape of the work have been mentioned in earlier volumes.

Within Australia the Dictionary is greatly indebted to many librarians and archivists in Canberra and in each State; to the secretaries of many historical and genealogical societies; to the Australian War Memorial, Australian National Gallery and Department of Veterans' Affairs, in Canberra; to the registrars of probates in the various States, and of Supreme and Family Courts, whose generous co-operation has solved many problems; to various town and shire clerks; to the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Sydney; to the State Rail and Urban Transit authorities, Sydney; and to the Australian Department of Defence for authenticating many details. Warm thanks for the free gift of their time and talents are due to all contributors and to all members of the editorial board and the working parties. For particular advice the Dictionary owes much to Brigadier M. Austin (deceased), B. Gandevia, Bernard Smith, F. B. Smith, John McPhee, and to the staff of the Petherick Room, National Library of Australia.

Essential assistance with birth, death and marriage certificates has been provided by the generous co-operation of registrars in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia, the Northern Territory, the Australian Capital Territory and Norfolk Island; by the General Register Offices in Edinburgh and in London; by Bureaux of Vital Statistics in State Health departments in Massachusetts, Washington and Wisconsin, in the United States of America; by the registrar-general, Suva, Fiji; by the Ministry of Health, British Columbia, and the registrar-general, Ontario, Canada; by the master of the Supreme Court, Cape Town, and the director-general, Home Affairs, South Africa; by the registrar general, Georgetown, Guyana, West Indies; by the mayors of Belle lie, Lyons, Marseilles and Signy l'Abbaye in France and of Noumea, New Caledonia; by the civil status officers, Bergamo, Bisceglie, Bologna, Florence, Livorno, Naples, Padua, Pontelongo, Rome, Siena and Trapani, Italy; and by the Royal Danish, South African and Federal Republic of Germany's embassies, Canberra.

For assistance overseas, thanks are due to Sean Murphy, Dublin; to Information Systems Consultants Inc., Washington, D.C., U.S.A.; to the archives and/or libraries of the universities of Bristol, Cambridge, Durham, Leeds, London and Oxford and of the London School of Economic and Political Science, England; to the universities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh and St Andrews, Scotland; to the Union Theological College and the Queen's University of Belfast, Northern Ireland; to the University of Auckland, New Zealand; to the University of Cape Town, South Africa; to Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland; to the Free University of Brussels, Belgium; to Karl Marx University, Leipzig, German Democratic Republic; to the archives of the Warsaw Institute of Music, Poland; and to Northwestern University, Chicago, U.S.A.

Thanks are also due to the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, the Public Record Office, the Royal Academy of Music, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the Royal College of Physicians, the Royal College of Surgeons of England, the Royal Geographical Society, the Royal Horticultural Society, the Royal Institute of Public Health and Hygiene, the Royal Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Royal Society of Health, all in London, and the Ministry of Defence, England; to the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, the National Gallery of Scotland, the National Library of Scotland and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scotland; to King's Inns Library, Dublin, Ireland; to the National Archives of Quebec, the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, and the Public Archives, Ottawa, Canada; to the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, the reference librarian, Alexander Turnbull Library, and the Ministry of Defence, Wellington; to the Austrian Dictionary of Biography, Vienna; to the National Foundation of Political Sciences, Paris; to the Swedish Emigrant Institute and state and county archivists, Harnosand, Stockholm and Uppsala, Sweden; to the Cape Archives Depot and the South African Library, Cape Town, South Africa; to the National Medical Association, Washington, D.C., and the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations, Chicago, U.S.A.; and to other individuals and institutions who have co-operated with the Dictionary.

The Dictionary deeply regrets the deaths of such notable contributors as C. W. Allen, B. G. Andrews, Marjorie Barnard, R. A. Blackburn, William Bryden, Kate Campbell, Noel Counihan, Norman Cowper, C. Craig, John S. Cumpston, David Derham, Alan Dougan, Douglas A. Dunstan, Edward Ford, J. M. Freeland, Viva Gallego, Cecil Hadgraft, Harry Harper, Norman Harper, L. J. Hartnett, Margaret Hazzard, Molly Huxley, J. A. Kirkwood, P. Lloyd-Lucas, Dudley McCarthy, Jean V. Moyle, S. Murray-Smith, K. F. Russell, David Saunders, Allan Sierp, W. E. H. Stanner, Donald R. Stranks, Bill Trevena, R. S. Veale, and Harold Wyndham.

The Dictionary's, founding chairman, Sir Keith Hancock, died on 13 August 1988. A tribute to him will appear in volume 12, which will complete the project over which he first presided.

Grateful acknowledgment is due to the director and staff of Melbourne University Press; to the editorial and research staff in Canberra: Frank Brown, Martha Campbell, Suzanne Edgar, Gillian Fulloon, Emma Grahame (now resigned), Helga Griffin, Hilary Kent, Diane Langmore, Merrilyn Lincoln, Helen O'Shea, Ann Smith and Margaret Steven: to Michal Bosworth and Ruth Frappell (both now resigned) and Susan Hogan in Sydney, Betty Crouchley (now resigned) and Jennifer Harrison in Brisbane, Joyce Gibberd in Adelaide, Wendy Birman in Perth, Gillian Winter (now resigned) and Anne Rand in Hobart, Mimi Colligan (now resigned) and Geoff Browne in Melbourne and Sally O'Neill in London; and to the administrative staff: Stephanie Burrows (now resigned), Annie Gan (now resigned), Rachel Hewson, Edna Kauffman, Alison Manners (now resigned), Ivy Meere and Peter Milthorp.