What is Bright Sparcs?

Bright Sparcs is a biographical and bibliographical database of Australian scientists with links to related articles and images. It includes both scientists who were Australian by birth and those who undertook significant scientific work in Australia. It currently contains over 3,000 entries, and is growing all the time!

Scientists included in Bright Sparcs are usually either deceased or retired. There is a simple reason for this defining line: the scientist's career records are complete, and their file does not need constant updating.

Each Bright Sparcs entry contains: the scientist's name, dates, place of birth, and some details of their professional life. Occasionally, some details are unknown, and the consequently the entry may be short.

Bright Sparcs entries also includes links to 'Archival Sources' and/or 'Online Sources'. These are places on the WWW where you can find more information about that scientist. Currently there are over 1,300 Bright Sparcs entries with links to online archival resources!

Archival Sources list the places throughout Australia where a scientist's archives are held. The content of each archival source may differ, and include any of the following: letters, diaries, receipts, drafts of papers, reports, notebooks, newspaper clippings, sound recordings, photographs ... and more! To access the archival source you need to physically visit the location(s) indicated.

Online Sources, on the other hand, are available to you right now through a series of hyperlinks to a variety of sources! For example, links include the Australian Academy of Science (AAS) Biographical Memoirs, which contain very detailed life stories of over eighty AAS Fellows; and other ASAPWeb locations, such as the Optical Munitions Exhibition, or the Physics in Australia to 1945 Bibliography and Biographical register.

Bright Sparcs is also searchable: a Structured Search can be made for a particular scientist simply by entering their name, or you can browse through the alphabetical listing.

Concept /Keyword Searches can also be made for scientists from a particular Australian state, profession, date range, and so on.

Bright Sparcs is maintained by the Australian Science Archives Project. We are always working to add more names to the database, improve the graphics and interface, and increase the amount of information available through this resource.

The Teachers' Guide to Bright Sparcs is now online. Teachers and students alike will find this Guide helpful as it provides many ideas for using the extensive Bright Sparcs resources in schools. The Teachers' Guide includes Puzzles and Information Sheets which can be photocopied, as well as History and Science study units, questions to be considered, and suggested topics for further study.

Published by the Australian Science Archives Project on ASAPWeb, 2 January 1997
Comments or corrections to: Bright Sparcs (bsparcs@asap.unimelb.edu.au)
Prepared by: Denise Sutherland and Elissa Tenkate
Updated by: Elissa Tenkate
Date modified: 19 February 1998

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