Historical records of Australian geology

Books, articles and papers from earliest times

Introduction

The following is a listing of significant published works relating to the development of all branches of the geological sciences in Australia during the first century of European settlement, from the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney in January 1788 through to the end of the 1800s. Books, booklets, articles, pamphlets and newspaper items are listed and linked to where a digital copy is freely available online via sites such as Google Books, the Internet Archive and the National Library of Australia's TROVE database. References have be obtained from a variety of sources, though of note are T.G. Vallance, Origins of Australian Geology (Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, 1975), and Robert Etheridge and Robert Logan Jack, Catalogue of works, papers, reports, and maps on the geology, palaeontology, mineralogy and metallurgy, etc. of the Australian continent and Tasmania (Government Printer, Sydney, 1882).

Date
Description

 

1790

Josiah Wedgwood
On the analysis of a mineral substance from New South Wales. In a letter from Josiah Wedgwood to Sir Joseph Banks, 1 January 1790. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 80, 1790, 306-320. [Analysis if a sample of clay from Sydney].

1791

J.F. Blumenbach
Uber die neue Grunderde im Australsand. Mag. f. d. Neueste aus d. Phusik u, Naturgeshichte, 7(3), 1791, 56-67. [Analysis of a sample of clay from Sydney].

1795

J.R. Forster
Onomatoligia nova systematis oryctagnisiae vacabulis latinis expressa, Typis Orphanotrophei, Halae, 1795. Discussion of Sydney clay.

1797

W. Nicholson
Doubts concerning the existence of a new earth in the mineral from New South Wales. Journal of Natural Philosophy, Chemistry and the Arts, 1, 1797, 404-411.

M.H. Klaproth
Untersuchung des Australsandes, Beitrage zur chemishen Kenntnis der Mineralkorper. Bd.2 H.A. Rittman Decker , Berlin, 1797, 66-69.

1798

C. Hatchett
An analysis of an earthy substance from New South Wales called Sydneia, or Terra Australis. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 88, 1798, 110-129.

1801

Richard Chenevix
Analysis of manchanite from Botany Bay. Journal of Natural Philosophy, Chemistry and the Arts, 5, 1801, 132-135.

1808

D.L.G. Karsten
Mineralogishe Tabellen mit Ruksicht auf die neuesten Entdekkungen. Heinrich August Rottmann, Berlin, 1808. On topaz from Botany Bay.

1814

L. von Buch
Einige Bemerkungen uber die geognostische Constitution von Van Diemans Land. Mag. Ges. naturf. Freunde su Berlin, Jg. 6, 1814, 234-240.

T. Thomson
Topaz [from Botany Bay]. Annals of Philosophy, 4, 1814, 472.

1823

N.J. Winch
Account of some specimens of rocks, etc. from Van Dieman's Land and from New South Wales, Annals of Philosophy, New Series no. 5, 1823, 341-342.

1824

Venerable Archdeacon Thomas Hobbes Scott
Sketch of the geology of New South Wales and Van Dieman's Land. Annals of Philosophy, 7, 1824, 461-462.

1825

Alexander Berry
On the geology of part of the coast of New South Wales. Read 1822 before the Philosophical Society of New South Wales (pp.231-254), in Barron Field (editor), Geographical Memoirs on New South Wales; by various hands .... together with other papers on the Aborigines, the Geology, the Botany, the Timber, the astronomy and the meteorology of New South Wales and Van Dieman's Land, John Murray, London, 1825, 504p.

1826

W.H. Fitton
An account of some geological specimens from the coasts of Australia. W. Clowes, London, 1826.

1827

D. Brewster
On the distribution of the colouring matter, and on certain peculiarities in the structure and optical properties of the Brazilian topaz, Transactions of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, 2, 1827, 1-9. Includes analysis of Australian topaz.

1828

Reverend Charles Pleydell Neale Wilton
Geology, No. I. Australian Quarterly Journal of Theology, Literature and Science, 2, 1828, 191–198.

Reverend Charles Pleydell Neale Wilton
A volcano in Australia. Australian Quarterly Journal of Theology, Literature and Science, 3, 1828, 382–385.

J. King
Observations on the climate and geology of New South Wales. Edinburgh Journal of Science, 9, 1828, 117-122.

1829

Reverend Charles Pleydell Neale Wilton
The Burning Mountain of Australia, Sydney Gazette, 14 March 1829, 2.

1830

Reverend Charles Pleydell Neale Wilton
Geology of New South Wales, The Asiatic Journal and Monthly Miscellany, volume 1, 1830, 75-76.

 

Reverend John Dunmore Lang
Fossil bones in a cave at Wellington, Sydney Gazette, 25 May 1830, 3.

Reverend Charles Pleydell Neale Wilton
An account of the burning mountain in Australasia, called Mount Wingen, near Hunter’s River. Edinburgh Journal of Science, 2, 1830, 270–273.

W. Pentland
Communication verbal sur les ossemens trouve´s dans une bre`che calcaire sur la Rivie`re de Hunter (N. S. Wales). Bulletin de la Socie´te´ Ge´ologique de France, 1, 1830, 144.

Reverend Charles Pleydell Neale Wilton
Australian Geology - A sketch of the geology of the country about the River Hunter, Australian Almanack for the year of our Lord 1831, Gazette Office, Sydney, December 1830, 156-163.

1831

Thomas Livingstone Mitchell
An Account of the Limestone Caves at Wellington Valley, and of the situation near one of them where fossil bones have been found. Proceedings of the Geological Society of London, 1, 1831, 321–322.

 

Thomas Livingstone Mitchell
Additional information illustrative of the natural history of the Australian bone-caves and osseous breccia. Communicated by Dr. Lang. Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal, 10, 1831, 368–371. [Incorrectly attributed to John Dunmore Lang].

 

Venerable Archdeacon Thomas Hobbes Scott
Geological Remarks on the vicinity of Swan River and Isle Bauche or Garden Island, on the coast of Western Australia. Proceedings of the Geological Society of London, 1, 1831, 330–331.

1832

Reverend Charles Pleydell Neale Wilton
A sketch of the geology of six miles of the south-east line of coast of Newcastle in Australia, with a notice of three burning cliffs on that coast, The London and Edinburgh Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science, London, 1832, 92-95.

W. Pentland
On the fossil bones of Wellington Valley, New Holland. Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal, 12, 1832, 301–308.

Reverend Charles Pleydell Neale Wilton
A sketch of the geology of the country about the River Hunter. In: Australian Almanack for the year of our Lord 1832. Ralph Mansfield, Sydney, 1832, 179–188.

1833

Reverend Charles Pleydell Neale Wilton
Notice of the Burning Mountain of Australia. New South Wales Magazine, 1, 1833, 45–46.

Reverend Charles Pleydell Neale Wilton
A sketch of the colony of New South Walesl or, Australia. New South Wales Calendar and Directory, 1833, ix-xxi

W. Pentland
Observations on a collection of fossil bones, sent to Baron Cuvier from New Holland. Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal, 16, 1833, 120–121.

W. Nicol
On fossil woods from Newcastle New South Wales, with a plate. Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal, 14, 1833, 155.

1834

Thomas Livingstone Mitchell
An account of the limestone caves at Wellington Valley, and of the situation, near one of them, where fossil bones were found. Proceedings of the Geological Society of London, 1, 1834, 321–322.

 

Reverend Charles Pleydell Neale Wilton
On the fossil woods of Newcastle and the districts of the Hunter River. New South Wales Magazine, 2, 1834, 28–30.

 

Reverend John Dunmore Lang
[Geology and landscape of Australia], in An historical and statistical account of New South Wales both as a penal settlement and as a British colony. Cochrane and M’Crone, London, 1834. Refer volume 2, chapter 4.

1837

C.E. Meinicke
Das Festland Australien, eine geographische Monographie. F.W. Kalbersberg, Prenzlau, 2 volumes, 1837. Refer volume 1, chapter 4.

1839

Robert Montgomery Martin
The geology, mineralogy, and soil of New South Wales, the rocks of New Holland, &c. in Robert Montgomery Martin, History of Austral-Asia: comprising New South Wales., Van Diemen's island, Swan River, South Australia, &c. Whittaker & Co., London, 1839 [1844], 100-118.

Thomas Livingstone Mitchell
Three expeditions into the interior of eastern Australia; With descriptions of the recently explored regions of Australia Felix, and of the Present Colony of New South Wales, 2nd edn. 1839, T. and W. Boone, London.

1841

Johannes Menge
Geology of South Australia (1–10). South Australian Register, 19, 1841 - 26 June, 10, 17, 24 July, 7, 14, 28 August, 18 September, 23 October.

Paul Edmund de Strzelecki
Report by Count Strzelecki. Appendix C in Despatch from Governor Gipps to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Great Britain & Ireland Parliament, House of Commons, Paper 120, 9 March 1841.

William Branwhite Clarke
Earthquake. Sydney Morning Herald, 9 February 1841. Letter to the editor.

William Branwhite Clarke
Australian Mining Company. Sydney Morning Herald, 24 September 1841. Letter to the editor, signed 'Carbonacious, Barangara'. Discusses conformability of coal seams located at depth at Concord, near Parramatta.

William Branwhite Clarke
The Legitimate Objects and Benefits of Natural History and Science - The Rev. W.B. Clarke's Lecture at the New Grammar School. Sydney Morning Herald, 23 October 1841.

1842

F.W. Stein
Mineralogische Bemerkungen auf einer zwo¨ lfta¨gigen Reise von Sydney . . . u¨ber Paramatta nach den sogenannten blauen Bergen. St. Petersburg. Schrift. Mineralogische Gesellschaft, 1, 1842, 145–162.

E.W. Binney
Geological notice of South Australia. Mining Journal, 26 March 1842, 98.

William Branwhite Clarke
On the Occurrence of Atmospheric deposits of Dust and Ashes, with remarks on the Drift Pumice of the Coasts of New Holland. Tasmanian Journal of Natural Science, Hobart, 1842, I(V), 321-41.

William Branwhite Clarke
Fossil Bones, Nos. I-VI. Sydney Morning Herald, 8 October 1842 - 2 January 1843. Unsigned, though referred to in Clarke's 1872 list of publications. Issued as follows: I (8 October 1842); II (19 October 1842); III (26 October 1842); IV (11 November 1842); V (19 November 1842); VI (9 December 1842); Addenda (2 January 1843).

1843

B.T. Finniss
The Geology of South Australia. No.1. South Australia Magazine, 2, 1842, 225-232.

Joseph Beete Jukes
A few remarks on the nomenclature and classification of rock formations. Tasmanian Journal of Natural Science, 2, 1843, 1-12.

William Branwhite Clarke
On a Fossil Pine Forest at Kurrur-Kurran, in the inlet of Awaaba [Lake Macquarie], East Coast of Australia. Proceedings of the Geological Society, London, 1843, IV(I), 161-4 [Abstract]. Reproduced in part or full in The Sydney Weekly Register, 1845, V(107), 68-9; Annual Report of the Department of Mines of N.S.W. for the Year 1884, Sydney, 1885, 156-9 plus map and figures. Original article signed and dated 'W.B. Clarke. Parramatta, 29th August 1842.'.

1845

Paul Edmund de Strzelecki
Physical description of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land: accompanied by a geological map, sections, and diagrams and figures of the organic remains, Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans, London, 1845, 462p. [Reprinted 1968]

1846

Reverend Charles Pleydell Neale Wilton
On a species of encrinite (Encrinus australis). Tasmanian Journal of Natural Science, Agriculture, Statistics, etc., 2, 1846, 118–120.

T. Burr
Remarks on the Geology and Mineralogy of South Australia. Murray, Adelaide, 1846.

 

Reverend John Dunmore Lang
The Mosaic Account of the Creation Compared with the Deductions of Modern Geology. S. Goode, Melbourne, 1846.

William Westgarth
Observations on the geology and physical aspects of Port Phillip . . . Tasmanian Journal of Natural Science, 2, 1846, 402–409.

1849

James Dwight Dana
[Geology of New South Wales] in Geology, United States Exploring Expedition during the years 1838, 1839, 1841, 1842, under the command of Charles Wilkes USN, volume X, C. Sherman, Philadelphia, 1849, 756p + Atlas, 21 plates.

Ludwig Leichhardt
Uber die Kohlenlager von Newcastle am Hunter. Zeits. Deutsch. geol. Ges., 1, 1849, 44-52.

1850

Joseph Beete Jukes
A sketch of the physical structure of Australia, so far as it is at present known, T. & W. Boone, London, 1850, 95p. [Reprinted 2009]

James Dwight Dana
On the degradation of the rocks of New South Wales and formation of valleys. American Journal of Science, 2nd series, 22, 1850, 289-294.

1852

Joseph Beete Jukes,Edward Forbes,Lyon Playfair,W.W. Smith, John Percy and Robert Hunt
Lectures on gold for the instruction of emigrants about to proceed to Australia, Delivered at the Museum of Practical Geology, David Bogue, 86 Fleet Street, London, 1852.

1854

E.D. Rudder
The History of Transmuted Rock; or, Bible Geology, D.L Welch, Sydney, 1854.

1855

Ludwig Leichhardt
Beitrage zue Geologie von Australien, Abhandlungen der Naturforschenden Gesellschaft zu Halle, Dritter Band, Jahrgang 1855, Deck und Verlag von H.W. Schmidt, Halle, 1856.

1858

William Stanley Jevons
Remarks on the geological origin of Australia. Sydney Magazine of Science and Art, 2(17), 1858, 89-93.

1860

Ludwig Leichhardt and William Branwhite Clarke
Journal of Dr. Leichhardt's Third Expedition, edited by the Rev. W.B. Clarke, MA, FGS, FRGS, &c, Waugh's Australian Almanac, Sydney, 1860, 54-66.

William Branwhite Clarke
Researches in the southern goldfields of New South Wales, Reading and Wellbank, Sydney, 1860, 305p.

1867

Ludwig Leichhardt and George H.F. Ulrich and William Branwhite Clarke
Notes on the geology of parts of New South Wales and Queensland made in 1842-43, by Ludwig Leichhardt. Published in Germany in 1847 . Translated by George H.F. Ulrich, Esq., of the Geological Survey of Victoria, and edited by the Rev. W.B. Clarke, MA, FGS, Waugh's Australian Almanac, Sydney, 1867, 29-55.

1878

William Branwhite Clarke
Remarks on the Sedimentary Formations of New South Wales, illustrated by references to other provinces of Australasia. Government Printer, Sydney, 4th edition, 1878, 165p, maps and sections. Introductory notice signed and dated 'Branthwaite, North Shore, 2 June 1878.

1881

Robert Etheridge Jun. and Robert Logan Jack
Catalogue of works, papers, reports, and maps, on the geology, palæontology, mineralogy, mining and metallurgy, etc. of the Australian continent and Tasmania, Edward Stafford, London, 1881, 196p.


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