[HASN logo] No. 33, August-September 1994 ISSN 0811-4757
Edited and published by Tim Sherratt (Tim.Sherratt@asap.unimelb.edu.au) for ASAP.

[Publications logo]

Alan Frost, Sir Joseph Banks and the transfer of plants to and from the South Pacific, 1786 - 1798, The Colony Press, Malvern, Vic., 1994, viii + 62pp., illus., $65.00.

This elegant publication reproduces 59 contemporary items (letters lists and other notes) concerning the transfer of seeds, plants and trees to and from the South Pacific at the instigation of Joseph Banks, during the earliest years of colonial Australia. The items are drawn from archives in Britain, Australia, America and New Zealand, and are introduced and supported by an annotated text provided the noted Australian historian Alan Frost.

The documents gathered to form this series do not offer a complete view of the arrival of European (and American and African) seeds, plants and trees at New South Wales and the islands of the Pacific, or of the departure of native species from them ... [but they] do well suggest its nature and extent at the end of the eighteenth century ... [and so] provide materials for those interested in the history of European settlement, the health of the early colonists, agriculture and horticulture, and environmental change (p.4).
- John Jenkin, Latrobe University

John Gascoigne, Joseph Banks and the English Enlightenment: Useful Knowledge and Polite Culture, Cambridge University Press, 1994, 324pp., hardback, $49.95.

Joseph Banks was a strong advocate of the importance of science in late eighteenth century Britain and an adviser to government on a range of scientific and imperial matters. This book places the work of Joseph Banks in the context of the Enlightenment.

Banks' relation to major scientific and cultural currents in late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century British society is explored through a number of chapters dealing with the cultural ideal of the 'virtuoso', the pursuit of natural history and anthropology and the practice of 'improvement'. The book also considers the forces which contributed to the waning of the Enlightenment in England.

- From advertising flyer

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS - A Catalogue of Artefacts from Victorian Psychiatric Institutions held at the Museum of Victoria, A4 format, 200 pp, $20.00.

The Museum holds a significant collection of objects which have been collected from Victorian psychiatric institutions and illustrate aspects of the care of people in those institutions from 1848 to about 1950.

An annotated catalogue of the collection has been produced by the Museum to enable this resource to be widely available. It is arranged by the function or use of the objects. Sections include: 'The asylums' physical environment'; 'The routine of daily life and work'; 'Clothing clients and staff'; 'Medical, surgical and other treatments'; and 'Recreations and occupational therapy '. Introductory essays and notes provide information about the context in which the objects were made and used, and pose questions for further historical inquiry. There is also a detailed bibliography on the care of psychiatric patients covering 1800-1994.

The catalogue is a valuable resource for all those interested in the history of institutions in Australia, the development of nursing and the experience in institutionalised care of people who are mentally ill or intellectually disabled. It has been prepared by Elizabeth Willis, Curator of Public and Institutional Life at the Museum of Victoria, and Karen Twigg.

Orders to: Museum of Victoria, Publications Department, PO Box 666E, Melbourne VIC 3001. Ph: (03) 651 6190 Fax: (03) 651 6129.

- From advertising flyer

History of Systematic Botany in Australasia, ed. P.S. Short, Australian Systematic Botany Society, 1990, A4, case bound, 326 pp, $30 plus $10 postage.

This nicely presented volume contains 36 papers presented at an Australian Systematic Botany Society symposium held in Melbourne in 1988. It includes the botanical exploration of our region; the role of horticulturalists, collectors and artists in the early documentation of the flora; the renowned (e.g. Mueller, Cunningham) and those whose contribution is sometimes overlooked (Buchanan, Wilhelmi).

It is now available at a substantially reduced cost (as above) by sending orders and remittances (payable to 'ASBS Inc.') to: Katy Mallett, ASBS Sales, Flora Section, ABRS, GPO Box 636, Canberra ACT 2601.

Electronic Recordkeeping: Issues and Perspectives, May 1994 issue of Archives and Manuscripts, ed. Glenda Acland, Australian Society of Archivists, Canberra, 276 pp, softcover, $30.00.

This special issue of Archives and Manuscripts is devoted to the challenges and problems arising for archivists and records managers from the prevalence of electronic records in modern recordkeeping systems. The articles and reviews deal with both Australian and overseas practice and literature. Available from: Australian Society of Archivists, PO Box 83, O'Connor, ACT, 2601.

Edward Duyker, An Officer of the Blue: Marc-Joseph Dufresne, South Sea Explorer, 1724-1772, Melbourne University Press, xvi + 229pp., $39.95.

French explorer Marion Dufresne was the man who reached Tasmania before the English. It is puzzling that Marion's name is absent not only from Australian but also from French reference works. An Officer of the Blue readdresses this imbalance of both Australian and French history and reveals Marion as a brilliant mariner, who, like Cook was involved in scientific efforts to observe the Transit of Venus and sought the Southland in uncharted waters.

- From MUP catalogue

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