|Author||Percival Serle (1871-1951)|
|Subject||Biographies of notable Australians who died before 1942|
|Publisher||Angus and Robertson|
The Dictionary of Australian Biography, published in 1949, is a reference work by Percival Serle containing information on notable people associated with Australian history. With approximately a thousand entries, the book took more than twenty years to complete. Published by Angus and Robertson, the dictionary was compiled as two volumes, Volume 1: A-K; and Volume 2: L-Z.
Percival Serle was an Australian biographer and bibliographer.
The book contains 1,030 biographies of Australians, or people who were closely connected with Australia, who died before the end of 1942. According to Serle in his preface:
"This date closed the first one hundred and fifty years of Australia's history, for although the first fleet arrived in January 1788, the first emigrant ship, the Bellona, did not come until January 1793. Until then Australia had been merely a dumping ground for convicts, but the arrival of free emigrants foreshadowed the founding of a nation."— Pervical Serle, 1949
The average length of the biographies is about 640 words. Serle classified them roughly into the following twelve groups:
|Group|| No. of|
|1||Army and navy||10|
|2||Artists, including architects, actors and musicians||130|
|3||Governors and administrators||50|
|5||Literary men and women||137|
|7||Pioneers, explorers, pastoralists, men of business||161|
|9||Scholars, philosophers, clergy||76|
|10||Scientists, including physicians, surgeons and engineers||140|
|11||Social reformers, philanthropists, educationists||53|
|12||Sporting men (cricketers and athletes)||13|
Of the above profiles, the number of women included was 42 or 4 percent of the biographies. Forty-seven percent of those included in the book were born in England, 27 percent in Australia, 12 percent Scotland, 8 percent Ireland, 1 percent Wales and remaining 5 percent were from the rest of the world which included twelve from the United States, nine from Germany, and six from New Zealand.
Prior to its publication similar Australian reference works included:
Sir John Henniker Heaton, 1st Baronet was a United Kingdom Member of Parliament and a postal reformer and journalist in Australia.
David Blair was an Irish Australian politician, journalist and encyclopedist.
Philip Dearman Mennell, was an English-born encyclopedist, journalist and newspaper owner, active in Australia, author of the Dictionary of Australasian Biography (1892).
Subsequently, other Australian biographical dictionaries have been released including the Australian Dictionary of Biography from 1966 and Who's Who in Australia .
The Australian Dictionary of Biography is a national co-operative enterprise founded and maintained by the Australian National University (ANU) to produce authoritative biographical articles on eminent people in Australia's history. Initially published in a series of twelve hard-copy volumes between 1966 and 2005, the dictionary has been published online since 2006.
The Who's Who in Australia is an Australian biographical reference first published by Fred Johns in 1906 as Johns's Notable Australians. It has been used by academics as a resource that identifies Australia's leading individuals, and as a research tool by journalists and historians. The Who's Who reference publication is currently published by Australian Associated Press (AAP).
Willem Janszoon, sometimes abbreviated to Willem Jansz., was a Dutch navigator and colonial governor. Janszoon served in the Netherlands East Indies in the periods 1603–1611 and 1612–1616, including as governor of Fort Henricus on the island of Solor. He is the first European known to have seen the coast of Australia during his voyage of 1605–1606.
John Shaw Neilson was an Australian poet. Slightly built, for most of his life he worked as a labourer, fruit-picking, clearing scrub, navvying and working in quarries, and, after 1928, working as a messenger with the Country Roads Board in Melbourne. Largely untrained and only basically educated, Neilson became known as one of Australia's finest lyric poets, who wrote a great deal about the natural world, and the beauty in it.
Helen de Guerry Simpson, Lady Browne, was an Australian novelist and British Liberal Party politician.
William Ridley was an English Presbyterian missionary who studied Australian Aboriginal languages, particularly Gamilaraay.
Barbara Janet Baynton was an Australian writer known primarily for her short stories about life in the bush. She published the collection Bush Studies (1902) and the novel Human Toll (1907), as well as writing for The Bulletin and The Sydney Morning Herald. She was a shrewd manager of her second husband's estate, owning properties in Melbourne and London. She acquired the title Lady Headley from her third marriage to Rowland Allanson-Winn, 5th Baron Headley, but never wrote under that name.
Mary Eliza Bakewell Gaunt was an Australian novelist.
Frederick Johns was an Australian journalist and biographer.
Helena Mabel Checkley Forrest was an Australian writer and journalist.
Edmund 'Garryowen' Finn was an Australian journalist and author who wrote many colorful descriptions of the life and people in early Melbourne.
The Australian Church (1884–1957) was founded by Dr. Charles Strong in Melbourne.
Frank Leslie Thomson Wilmot, who published his work under the pseudonym Furnley Maurice, was a noted Australian poet, best known for To God: From the Warring Nations (1917).
Hubert Newman Wigmore Church was an Australian poet.
John Arthur Barry was a journalist and author.
Richard Rowe was an English author, also active in Australia.
John Murtagh Macrossan was an Australian politician of the late 19th century in the parliament of Queensland.
The second Cowper ministry was the fourth ministry of the Colony of New South Wales, and second occasion of being led by the Honourable Charles Cowper.
Project Gutenberg Australia, abbreviated as PGA, is an Internet site which was founded in 2001 by Colin Choat. It is a sister site of Project Gutenberg, though there is no formal relationship between the two organizations. The site hosts free ebooks or e-texts which are in the public domain in Australia. Volunteers have prepared and submitted the ebooks.