As part of the conference a reception was held in the Macleay Museum on 4 July. The occasion saw the opening of the exhibition, Aspects of Geological History, and the launch of two books, the conference proceedings and the history of the Geological Society of Australia.
Aspects of Geological History draws on the diverse and valuable collections of the University to illustrate various historical themes. Emphasis is given to geology at the University with many rarely seen items on display, including Professor A.M. Thomson's lecture notes from the 1860s, the ice axe Griffith Taylor took to Antarctica in 1910, and an album of excursion photographs from 1922.
The University Library's Rare Book department has an extensive range of early geological books, many of them in the Tomkeieff Collection. Professor S.I. Tomkeieff spent much of his career in the Geology Department at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in England. The University of Sydney was fortunate to acquire this collection in 1970 after Tomkeieff's death. A selection of books from the Tomkeieff Collection is included in the exhibition together with other geological books recently acquired by Rare Books.
Other parts of the exhibition are devoted to the Rev. W.B. Clarke (1798-1878), mining, and geological models. Among the more unusual and appealing objects on display are a series of plaster models of prehistoric animals made in Germany in the late 19th century. Several specimens from the extensive and valuable Dixson Collection of Broken Hill minerals are also displayed.
The Museum acknowledges the loan of exhibits from the University Archives, the Rare Book department of Fisher Library, the Department of Geology and Geophysics, the University Art Collection, and the School of Physics. Aspects of Geological History will run until 2 December 1994.
- From Macleay Museum News, no. 4, September 1994.