Exhibition pays tribute to early academic explorers
Wednesday, 5 April 2006
An exhibition acknowledging the work of University of Adelaide academics in mapping and documenting remote regions of South Australia, opens at the Barr Smith Library tomorrow.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor James McWha, will launch Beyond the Cloisters: University Exploration & Discovery, which features the early exploration work of 10 distinguished University of Adelaide staff.
Beyond the Cloisters showcases documents, maps and photographs from the likes of naturalists Ralph Tate and Frederic Wood Jones, anatomist Sir Edward Stirling, botanist T.G.B. Osborn, pathologist Sir John Cleland, musician E. Harold Davies, dentist Thomas Draper Campbell, physiologist Sir Cedric Stanton Hicks and geologists Sir Douglas Mawson and CT Madigan.
All of these men, who lectured at the University of Adelaide in various disciplines, undertook expeditions into remote regions of South Australia, helping to document and map the state for both geological and scientific purposes.
"The achievements of these expeditions should not be underestimated," Professor McWha said. "Apart from recognising the work of these intrepid academics, this exhibition is also a tribute to the vital work of Special Collections and the University's archives, which provide a direct link to our past."
Many of the expeditions were a tribute to cross-institutional collaboration, with the University of Adelaide working alongside the Royal Geographical Society of South Australia, the South Australian Museum and the Royal Adelaide Hospital.
The personal records of the academics documented in Beyond the Cloisters bear witness to repeated requests for leave of absence to embark on various expeditions. These requests were invariably supported by the University, which also contributed financially.
"These academics made considerable contributions to expanding the boundaries of our knowledge, and their work continues to be of significance today.
"The Board of Anthropological Studies collected an astounding amount of data relating to indigenous people which more recently has served to support native title research," Professor McWha said.
Beyond the Cloisters: University Exploration & Discovery opens at 4pm on Thursday, April 6 in the Ira Raymond Room, Barr Smith Library, and runs until June 23.
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