State Library Victoria > La Trobe Journal

No 2 October 1968


Collections of John Gould Manuscripts and Drawings

‘Gouldiana’, or material relating to John Gould, the renowned English ornithologist who with his wife Elizabeth resided in Australia from 1838 until 1840,1 is of increasing interest within the wider framework of Australiana.
It has, in a narrower sense, always been of interest to both the Australian naturalist and to the student of 19th century hand coloured lithography illustrating the great ornithological monographs of the period. The student of Gould prints however must deal with widely scattered collections and take what opportunities arise; as offered for example by the three interesting drawings in the collection of the La Trobe Library.
Even brief cataloguing of Gould material has therefore some value, especially where previously neglected items can be included. In the present paper some material of this kind is described and other collections of interest listed. This account must necessarily present an unbalanced picture treating in detail, as it does, some personally examined material that does not appear to have been previously studied (e.g. Cambridge Collection, La Trobe Library drawings) and merely listing some large and important collections (e.g. Mitchell Library, National Library, University of Kansas Collections) which are either too large for close attention here, or have already received comment elsewhere, or have not been personally examined.
All sources of Gould manuscripts and drawings known to the writer are nevertheless here drawn together and the usefulness of such a list will, it is hoped, outweigh the unevenness of its treatment. In this account it is not intended to include reference to Gould's published works or to plates from broken sets of Gould's works. Collections that have been personally examined in whole or in part by the writer are those of the La Trobe Library, Mitchell Library, National Library, National Museum of Victoria, Balfour and Newton Library, and the British Museum.


LA TROBE LIBRARY, Melbourne. Australian Manuscripts Collection. Preliminary sketches for plates published in Gould's monographs are of particular interest for the light they sometimes shed upon the identity of the artist and the techniques adopted. The La Trobe Library is fortunate in possessing three such drawings (Items M 5311, M 5312, M 5313) which do not appear to have received previous comment other than listing in the catalogue Piccadilly Notes No.92 and in Piccadilly Notes (no number, no date) unpaged, under the headings in both, ‘Original Drawings by Mrs. Gould for The Birds of Australia’ and ‘Drawings by Mrs. Gould [etc.]’.
Provenance: As shown by entry in a Miscellaneous Accession Book of the Public Library of Victoria; (5311–13 Gould, Mrs. Coloured sketches of the Gerygone, Sericornis and Wanderer 3 sheets 3 [£] 16.16-Sotheran 16.5.36) the drawings were purchased from Henry Sotheran Ltd. in 1936. They are each marked ‘M’ this at the time of accession standing for ‘Miscellaneous’.
M 5311. Unwatermarked white paper, 381 mm. (ca. 15″) × 276 mm. (ca. 10 7/8″). Recto: This (sec Illustration, No. 1) is an original unsigned water-colour sketch (fine brush-work over pencil giving the appearance of a pencil drawing with some wash) showing two Sericornis (Scrub-wrens), uncoloured and in outline only, with fern fronds and leafy shrub background in colour. No background wash. Top right corner: M 5311 [ink, twice]; lower right corner: Mrs. Gould [s?] [pencil]; lower left corner, [pencil indecipherable]. The species is Sericornis humilis (Brown Scrub-wren). Pencil alone may be seen in one or two places e.g. at end of tail at right. The composition of the birds, which were figured in pl. 47 of Vol. III of Gould's The Birds of Australia, is the reverse of that found in the plate. The vegetation of the sketch is used in part in the plate but is there elaborated and also is found in reverse. The birds in the sketch are very slightly smaller than those in the plate.
It would seem that this is an original sketch which was later used as a basis for a drawing on the lithographic stone. That the lithographic drawing was not an exact tracing, if a tracing at all, is shown by the increase of size and is revealed by comparison of fine details.
The finished plate carries the legend ‘J. Gould and H.C. Richter del et lith’. The question is whether the original drawing was by Elizabeth Gould or Richter. The birds and the fine brush-work are typical of Elizabeth Gould's style and meticulous approach. The foliage could be E. Gould's, the species was presumably collected by Gould in Tasmania (note3) where E. Gould did many plant drawings (note4) and almost certainly some bird drawings, (note5) and the item was regarded by Sotherans as Elizabeth Gould's. Did Richter use this sketch for transfer to stone? Did he compose one based upon it? Was the sketch in fact by Elizabeth Gould? These are the kind of questions one could apply to many Gould plates. Of interest, in passing, is the black and white wing edge marking in the drawing which is found in most but not all museum skins and which even where present, may be covered by the chest feathers expanding over it. It is not included in the finished plate. On the basis of style and technique the drawing appears to be correctly attributed to Elizabeth Gould.
Verso: Top right corner: 16/5/36 [pencil];
Center: Public Library of Victoria [stamp] Sombre-coloured Sericornis (Sericornis humilis) 798 5/5/— [pencil].
Published references: Piccadilly Notes No.9, p. 83 Item No.798: ‘Sericornis, Sombre-coloured (male and female), unfinished, with the two birds in pencil outline only, the foliage indicated in wash (15 × 10 7/8 ins), £5.5s’. Piccadilly Notes (no number, no date) Item 798. Exactly similar entry.
M 5312. White paper watermarked J. Whatman 1837, 488 mm. (ca. 19¼″) × 308 mm. (max.) (ca. 12 1/8″). Recto: This too is an original unsigned water-colour drawing (see Illustration No. 2) showing two Plain Wanderers both in female plumage, completed in colour with foreground herbage, distant hills, horizon and pale blue sky-wash.
Top right corner: M 5312 [ink]. The outline and plumage marking of the birds are executed in fine brush work. Evidence of pencil is possibly to be found in the ground layer. The composition and detail are so close to that of the plate of Pedionomus torquatus Collared Plain Wanderer (pl. 80. Vol. V) though in reverse, as to make it obvious that it was, so far as can be judged, the original sketch from which the drawing on the stone was made and from which in turn the plate in reverse has been printed. The plate carries the signatures ‘J. & E. Gould’ (lithographed left lower corner) and the legend ‘J. & E. Gould del’. Of additional interest is the presence on the plate of the characteristic ‘Gould’ (Elizabeth Gould?) pencil squiggles to suggest ground surface etc. which are not included in the original drawing. It seems therefore that such details were, at least on some occasions, put in with lithographic pencil at the lithographic stone stage. The colouring in the original is paler and less rich than that shown on the plate studied for comparison. There is no reason to doubt the authenticity of this as an original E. Gould drawing. It is of course rather less delicate than her treatment of airy foliage, slender grasses, etc., nevertheless it exemplifies attention to detail in a rough sketch.
The birds in the sketch are slightly larger than in the plate. The plumage in the sketch is distinctly paler and sandier than in specimens; that in the plate (Nat. Mus. Vic. set) is better but not grey enough. In the sketch the hallux (hind toe) is too small; this is rectified in the plate. The iris is rather pale in both sketch and plate.
Verso: Bottom right corner: 16/5/36 [pencil]

1. M 5 311 Brown Scrub-wren (Sericornis humilis). Original water-colour sketch attributed to Elizabeth Gould. La Trobe Library Collection.

Center: Public Library of Victoria [stamp] Collared Plain Wanderer 800 6/6/— [pencil]. Published references: Piccadilly Notes No.9, p. 83 Item No.800: ‘Wanderer, Collared Plain (male and female), watermark 1837 (12 × 19 ins), £ 6.6s’. Piccadilly Notes (no number, no date) Item 800. Exactly similar entry.
Piccadilly Notes (no number, no date) Item 800. Exactly similar entry.
Note: It is plain from Gould's text that he did not know the plumage of both sexes of the species when writing, having received only one specimen from Adelaide.
M 5313 Unwatermarked white paper 381 mm. (ca. 15″) × 276 mm. (ca. 10 7/8″). Recto: This again is an original unsigned watercolour drawing showing two White-throated Warblers perched on a branching Eucalypt spray with slight blue wash background.
Top right corner: M 5313 [ink]. Lower right corner: Mrs. [?] Gould [pencil, in unknown hand, probably same as on M 5311].
The birds are fully painted in fine brush work, the foliage more roughly. The composition is extremely close to that of the finished plate of Gerygone albogularis White-throated Gerygone, pl.97, Vol.II.
The birds in fact are almost replicas, in their outline shape, of those in the finished plate, and this time are not in reverse. The eye in the lower specimen is at a slightly different angle in the plate and differences may be noted also in the tails and coverts of both birds. The white superciliary of the sketch and plate is not found in specimens examined. The chest colour differs in sketch and plate for one bird. The birds of the sketch are slightly smaller than those of the plate. The foliage of the plate is also close to, but not exactly similar to, that of the sketch in detail and arrangement. The legend of the plate reads ‘J. Gould and H.C. Richter del et lith.’
The position of the uplifted wing of one bird and the foliage remind one of the Pardalote Plate (pl.41 of same volume) by Elizabeth Gould and there is no reason to doubt that E. Gould made the present sketch.
Verso: Top right corner: 16/5/36 [pencil]
Center: Public Library of Victoria [stamp] White-throated Gerygone 779£5/5/— [pencil]. Published references: Piccadilly Notes No.9, p. 80 Item No.779: ‘Gerygone, White-throated, (male and female), (15 × 10 7/8 ins), £5.5s’. Piccadilly Notes (no number no date). Exactly similar entry.
Though representing only a fragment of the mass of original Gould material known to exist in various Collections these items of the La Trobe Collection are nevertheless contributory in the gradual process of assessment of Gould plates and are among the few original ‘Gould’ sketches to be found in Australia. M 5311 is particularly interesting in showing Elizabeth Gould's fine brush work.
Manuscript Material. Provenance: Library records. ‘Gould papers’, H17275 Box 336. Some 16 letters (note6) from Gould to Augustus Tulk (then Librarian Pub. Lib. Vic.), Sir Redmond Barry (then Chairman of Trustees) and the University of Melbourne with invoices etc. dating in general to parts of Gould's works together with a solicitor's letter on behalf of Gould's executors. Dates ca. 1857—81.

National Library of Australia, Canberra

This important collection includes, among other material, items from both the Mathews (M466/24 and Pattern Plates) and the Nan Kivell (N.K.1579?) Collections. The total is here briefly summarised only, excluding secondary material.7
Letters: Included are a considerable number of Gould letters and other letters involving directly, or indirectly, John Gould and the following people: Lizzy Gould, George Bennet, John Gilbert, Edwin Prince, Ronald Gunn, Charles Gould, Robert Kerr, Louisa Gould, William Ince, Sir Richard Owen, Sir J. Agnew, Lady Franklin, Elizabeth Gould, E.P. Ramsay, Henry Sotheran, J.R. Elsey, W. Buller (N.K. 1579?).
Pattern Plates, Original Drawings etc. (a) Nan Kivell Collection. Not seen by writer at time of writing. This consists of a folio of drawings, mainly of sea-birds, and accompanying descriptive notes. The signatures L.G., W.H.B.G., W.H.B., A.T.G. and T.P.G., are to be seen. (note8)

2. M 5312 Plain-Wanderer (Pedionomus torquatus). Original water-colour sketch attributed to Elizabeth Gould. La Trobe Library Collection.

(b) Mathews Collection. This includes over 80 Pattern Plates for Gould's The Birds of Australia Supplement Parts 1—5, 1851—69 (C/F Mitchell Lib.) 179 (note9) Pattern Plates for Gould's Mammals of Australia; and 17 original water colour drawings of birds (No.1 may be in a different medium) attributed at Nat. Lib. to John Gould (from 1846), and three lithographs.
These plates and drawings are particularly important but only brief comment can be made here. The plates, in combination with those in the Mitchell Library complete so far as can be judged the set of Pattern or Key Plates (serving as colour patterns to the colourist) for the whole of the Birds of Australia. They carry instructions to the colourist, some at least of these being in Gould's hand e.g. (on Mammal plate. Pig-footed Bandicoot?): — ‘Be so good as to keep the work close as possible to the patterns as Mrs. Gould complains of the least deviation….’; (Wallaby plate):— a note in (apparently) Gould's hand to Mr. Bayfield (colourist) of which the style of the signature J.G. is significant; and (Wallaby plate):— a note to colourist from W.H. (presumably Waterhouse Hawkins). The drawings attributed to Gould, show, if they are Gould's own, marked talent; one (Euphema splendida) which carries a signature ‘Gould 1846’ in the stylized form found on some plates, is of particular interest. The evidence of Gould's authentic draughtsmanship found in the Cambridge material (McEvey)10 and as reflected in photographs (in the writer's possession) of Gould ‘Family Collection’ material also attributed to Gould supports attribution of the present work to John Gould. If this is correct (and further evidence may well be required) the Canberra material is of particular significance in the problem of tracing the development of Gould's style.

The Mitchell Library, Sydney

The Mitchell Library Collection comprises the largest and most significant holding of Gould material in Australia. Considerable research on these records has already been done chiefly by A.H. Chisholm, but much detail awaits attention. For a general account of the MS. material and its provenance, (it was ‘discovered’, so far as Australian awareness of it is concerned, in the hands of Gould's descendants in England by A.H. Chisholm) the reader is referred to that author's articles.11
Its range will be very briefly summarized here.12
Pattern Plates: Pattern Plates (note13) (not fully examined by the writer) for the seven volumes of The Birds of Australia excluding those for the Supplement (C/F. Nat. Lib. Canberra).
Drawing. Some 74 (note14) drawings of plants (and some of birds) attributed to Elizabeth Gould and probably being Item No.800 Piccadilly Notes No.9. (note15) These are of special importance.
Manuscripts and Correspondence: A large number of letters, including the letters of Elizabeth Gould formine the basis of Chisholm's The Story of Elizabeth Gould; the Diary of E. Gould, in N.S.W., Au.20—Sep. 29, 1839, (M.L. ref. in A1763); J. Gilbert's Port Essington Expedition Diary 1844—5 (M.L. ref. A2586—7); letters from Gould's London Secretary, Prince, to Gould during his Australian visit. Other prominent names to be found in the correspondence are those of Lady Franklin, Sir George Grey and Gould's relatives, the Coxens. The Mitchell Library Collection is too large and too important for further detail to be given here.

National Museum of Victoria, Melbourne

Letters: (note16) Twenty-eight letters of which 26 are to Prof. McCoy (25 in Prince's hand signed by Gould, and one entirely in Gould's hand), (note17) one other incomplete is undoubtedly to McCoy, and one is to the Librarian of the University of Melbourne.

Queensland Museum, Brisbane

John Gould's MSS. notes for his collector John Gilbert. (note18)

Public Library of Queensland, Brisbane

John Gould autograph letter 1851. (note19)

South Australian Archives, Adelaide

Two letters from John Gould to J.B. Harvey. (note20)

South Australian Museum, Adelaide

Twelve letters from John Gould to F.G. Waterhouse. (note21)

Battye Library, Perth

Three letters from John Gould to John Gilbert. (note22)


Manuscript material: (note23) John MacGillivray, Notebooks containing copies of letters and notes written while on H.M.S. Rattlesnake, 1844—49. (Includes copies of letters on natural history to J. Gould 1848—49). Original in possession of Miss R.A.V. McCulloch, Hobart.

A.H. Chisholm Collection, Sydney

In the hands of Mr. A.H. Chisholm, Sydney. (note24) Letters:— John Gould to son Charles Gould, (18) 1859—73; C.G. to J.G., (80) 1857—81; C.G. to three sisters, (ca. 60) 1857—93;C.G. to various correspondents, a considerable number of letters and numerous miscellaneous documents. Old newspapers: four items from Hobart Town Mercury and Sydney Morning Herald 1859—68.

J.S. Ramsay Collection,25 Sydney

Letters from John Gould to E.P. Ramsay are understood to have been disposed of by a Sydney bookseller (purchaser not recorded). (note26)

Great Britain

BALFOUR AND NEWTON LIBRARY, Department of Zoology, Cambridge.
Provenance. The material now described was presented to the Museum of Zoology by the widow of H.E. Strickland in 1875.27
This most important Collection consists principally of primary material comprising ca. 500 MS. sheets of notes and/or sketches, plus some secondary material relating to an exhibition of the works and MSS. of John Gould held in the Balfour and Newton Library in 1955. The notes were prepared by a former librarian Mrs. Smith (formerly Miss Joan Scrivener).28 A list of 28 entries relating to items displayed at the exhibition is included.
Primary material:— (note29) This comprises some 500 sheets of preliminary notes on, and preliminary sketches of, Australian bird species housed as follows:
Ten file holders of stiff board with glued linen ends and tie tapes each measuring 14¼″ × 11″ and labelled with an Order name each contain
heavy paper folio covers measuring 14″ × 10¼″ which carry Order and Generic names and in turn contain
approximately 500 MS. folio sheets of Gould notes and sketches. These are typically on sheets of J. Whatman 1837 (so watermarked) paper measuring ca. 19¼″—19½″ × 13″ (folio page 9¾″ × 13″) and stitched at top left corner. On the first page of many, a left hand column of hand-written (in Gould's? hand) sub-headings e.g. Latin name, Food, Haunts etc. with corresponding ruled lines across the page have both been lithographed leaving the top 5″—6″ of the page blank for sketches. Perhaps the majority of the sheets have drawings, generally hand coloured. (Note: In the sheet illustrated, (No.3), the sub-headings are by hand, not lithographed-hand.) The notes, as distinct from the subheadings, are in ink and/or pencil in Gould's hand.
Often additional notes are made on smaller separate sheets either pinned to or loosely inserted in the folios. One of the latter and no doubt others, is on paper watermarked W. Horstington 1839 (i.e. Podargus phalaenoides). Gould was in Australia from 1838 till April 1840. (note30) If this paper was correctly dated it was either sent to Australia during 1839 and used by Gould here, or was not used until Gould's return to England in 1840.
The significance of this material as a source of information in the study of Gould lithographs has already received preliminary discussion.31 Additionally it throws light on Gould as an ornithologist showing some of his methods of working. A Synopsis of the Birds of Australia and the Adjacent Islands was published 1837—38 and the Suppressed Plates in 1837—8. These notes could have been used in preparation for either or both of these. It was not possible to compare the drawings of the heads with the delightful heads in the Synopsis since unfortunately no copy of this work was available in the Balfour and Newton Library. They are however of a very similar style. That the MS. sheets could not have been confined to use for these two works, if so used at all, is shown by the note on the sheet for the Crested Pigeon. ‘This very elegant Pigeon is an inhabitant of the whole interior or at least of that Portion of New South Wales already known to us…. It also abounds on the plains back of Moreton Bay. I found it also abundant on the Namoi….’, written either while in Australia or on Gould's return. Part of the text of The Birds of Australia for this species (Vol. V) approximates this comment. Thus at this stage it would seem safe to say that they were at least in part used in preparation of the large work and no doubt contain significant points yet to be uncovered.
The sub-headings show the range of field and ecological aspects Gould aimed to cover and indicate his proficiency in his science. This will be discussed elsewhere.
The quotation above also serves to indicate the use of the material as a source of examples of Gould's original literary style, another aspect to be dealt with separately. Enough has been said to illustrate the importance of the Cambridge material to the Gould student from whatever avenue he makes his approach.

3. Gould folio MS. sheet. Balfour and Newton Library Collection, Cambridge.


British Museum (Natural History), Cromwell Rd., London

The following material is housed in the Library of the Zoology Department. (note32)
1 Solander box of autograph letters, manuscripts and drawings relating to Australian Mammals and Birds. ca. 1848—1868.
One holograph letter addressed to Sir William Jardine dated 31 Jan. 1851.
Two framed water-colour paintings of Trout dated 1862. Presented by Mr. Edelston [Edelsten?] in 1967 and attributed to J. Gould.
Keeper's correspondence 1880— 1 letter addressed to Keeper of Zoology Dopt. 1881— A number of letters from his executors regarding his bequest to the British Museum.
The material under (a) above obviously could be of some significance.

The British Museum, Department of Prints and Drawings, London

Recorded for this Collection are two drawings on recto and verso of a single sheet measuring 9¾″ × 14⅞″.
Recto: Two Quails with their young on the ground among grasses and blue convolvulus. Inscribed ‘Quail/J Gould 1863 and signed and dated a second time ‘J Gould F R S/March 11 1864’. In pencil and water-colours. Verso: Two robins. Pencil.
This sheet was purchased from a Miss Walker in 1890. (note33) The two drawings are in the same style.
The recto of this sheet was exhibited in the display of bird painting at the International Ornithological Congress at Oxford in August 1966 (note34) where it was briefly seen by the writer. From notes taken at the time it would seem that this might well be an original drawing for the plate (Quail) in The Birds of Great Britain (Vol.IV pl.15). It is in reverse, as would be expected in a sketch for copying onto lithographic stone, to that in the finished plate. The two signatures are puzzling and the writing is certainly not typical of John Gould's if either or both are in fact by his hand.

Gould ‘Family Collections’

The following information has been very kindly provided by Maureen Lambourne (Mrs. L. Lambourne), John Gould's great-great-grand-daughter of Leicester, England. Only items of direct interest for present purposes have been listed.
Dr. Geoffrey Edelsten Coll. (Hampshire).
  • Oil portrait of John Gould by Robertson 1879.
  • 3 Water-colours, unsigned but probably by Richter (Pastor Roseus, Pitta Maxima, Fieldfare inscribed ‘Killed April 18th, 1864’).
  • 1 Water-colour unsigned, probably by Hart ‘Paradisia Sanunca’ [?] Bird of Paradise, New Guinea.
  • 3 Water-colours, unsigned, probably by Elizabeth Gould, including two botanical drawings inscribed ‘V. D. Land’ and ‘Flowers, Mount Wellington’, and (one?) for (B. of A.) IV, pl.27, Tasmanian Honeyeater.
  • Letters from Charles Gould to John Gould (2), to Sai Gould (3), to Louisa Gould (31).
  • Letters from Franklin Gould.
Collection of the late Dr. Alan Edelsten.
  • Oil portrait of Elizabeth Gould (anon).
  • Pencil sketch of Franklin Gould.
  • About 40 rough sketches by John Gould (unsigned) for plates but not so used; other more finished water-colours for Gould and Richter plates and presumably by Richter, and possibly some E. Gould botanical sketches.
Mrs. Aubrey Twyman (Wiltshire) Coll.
  • Oil portrait of Elizabeth Gould (anon).
  • Water-colours-Linnet, for Birds of Europe, Thrush for Birds of Great Britain, House Sparrows, Bird of Paradise.
  • Also various plates—hand-coloured lithographs particularly of humming birds but without annotations.
In the Gould ‘Family Collections’, no documentary evidence of the authorship of the unsigned drawings is at present known to the writer. A number however have been attributed to John Gould in terms of family provenance. From photographs kindly made available by Mrs. Lambourne the similarity of these broad water-colour/pencil sketches to the material illustrated by Henry Sotheran35 Ltd. is very evident and one in particular Myzomala (=Myzomela) sclateri36 bearing annotation in Gould's hand is, if Gould's work, a splendid example of his ability in bird draughtsmanship and Gould plate design. (See Illustration, No.4).
It would appear that many of the sketches in these Collections represent discarded or unused work. For a general account of the Gould ‘Family Collections’, and their historical significance, the reader is referred again to Chisholm (see note 11).

Nan Kivell Collection, London
(Rex de C. Nan Kivell C.M.G., Redfern Gallery)

The relevant items in this collection are at present in the National Library, Canberra. See items listed under that institution.

Knowsley Hall, Prescot

In the following quotation (note37) reference to Gould's published works are excluded and only original material listed, by the present writer.
‘The Gould works of interest to Australia which are in this Library are: ….“Original Drawings” 2 Vols. Folio ….“Gould & Richter's original Drawings of Australian Animals” Imp. folio. And letters of Gould.’

Linnean Society of London

Microfilm F M 4/2699—700. Letters, 1830—37, included in Swainson Correspondence (Linnean Society of London-Papers 1790—1870). Originals in the possession of the Linnean Society of London. (note38)


McGill University
Manuscript: ‘ca. 1840. Manuscript in Gould's Handwriting, containing Descriptions of 587 Birds, mostly one to a page. 4to. Lettered “Boy's Birds”. Loosely inserted is an older MS. on 1211 of paper, headed “Ornithological List” and containing Descriptions of 87 Birds. An important and unique addition to the Blacker collection.’ (note39)
Manuscript: ‘[1844] On the sub-family Odontophorinae, or partridges of America. 8VO. pp. 60. Original manuscript. John Gould's original manuscript in his own handwriting of a paper on the Odontophorinae
which he read at the British Association Meeting in 1844. It was never printed or published, only an abstract appearing in the British Association Report. Page 19 is unfortunately missing.’ (note40)
Drawings: ‘Gould, John. 1831—6. Twenty-two water-color drawings, most of them used to illustrate his Birds of Australia. A few dated 1831; Whatman Paper water-marked 1835 and 1836 in most other instances. Mr. E.C. Stuart Baker, through whose influence these remarkable and extremely rare originals were secured, informed the Compiler that the drawings were bought at the sale of the library of the Hon. C.R. Weld who was related to a former Governor of Tasmania and received the collection from him. The notations on most of the plates are in the handwriting of Mrs. Gould. There are depicted 17 Australian and one African species in the main lot. The portrait of a toucan is varnished and framed.’ (note41)


University of Kansas Library
Ralph N. Ellis Collection.43 ‘Ralph Ellis is said to have stated that any future student of Gould would, for completeness’ sake, have to consult the Gould material he had collected. This was no idle boast.’ ‘To my knowledge the University of Kansas Library has the most extensive collection in existence illustrating these several steps [in production of a Gould lithograph]. There is, as yet uncataloged, a total collection of over 750 unique items: sheets of rough sketches, finished water-colors, lithographic tracings, black and white lithographs, and in addition eleven original lithographic stones. This part of the Gould collection is the most unusual and valuable because, of course, it is all unique material. Then in addition, there are 1600 unbound hand-colored lithographic plates, two autographed Gould letters, one letter from Edward Lear to Gould….’ ‘It is reported that Ralph Ellis was able to acquire most of the uncommon material in this collection when, in 1934, the firm of Henry Sotheran, who after Gould's death, bought the whole remaining stock of his works, unearthed a forgotten cache in their basement storeroom.’
The importance of the outstanding Kansas Ellis Collection will be obvious.
Yale University Library, including the Library of William Robertson Coe.
Drawings: ‘A collection of original water colors and sketches, hand colored plates with some uncolored duplicates and proofs from “The Birds of Australia” and “The Birds of New Guinea” enclosed in a cover of Part 4 of “The Birds of New Guinea”.’
‘….letters from John Gould written during 1857 and 1858’. (note44)

Kraus, H.P. Dealer New York

Gould Drawings. Item No. 247 in Kraus Catalogue 115. ‘Gould, John. Collection of two hundred and thirty-seven original drawings for The Birds of Australia, 201 of them in pencil, 36 in pencil or pen with crayon or water coloring. About two thirds of the drawings folio size, the remainder smaller. Drawn on folio sheets, or smaller leaves mounted to folio size. Bound in two folio volumes.’ ‘N. pl., C. 1840—1848. $21,000’.
Item 107 Catalogue 90 ‘Gould, John. Ten Watercolors, various folio sizes….’ ‘1. Published’. ‘11. Published with Major changes’. ‘111. Unpublished’. This wonderful collection would, as the first entry remarks, no doubt, ‘make it possible to

4. Honeyeater (Myzomala [=Myzomela] sclateri). Original water-colour sketch attributed to John Gould. Gould ‘Family Collection’.

study at close hand the genesis of the plates for one of Gould's most remarkable publications.’ These Collections are still in this Dealer's hands.45
Gould manuscripts and drawings, of which relatively few are in private hands, are thus widely distributed and there may well be items still to be made known. All demand study in the process of answering the many questions relating to Gould and his work.
The most significant of present holdings are the Cambridge, Gould ‘Family’, Kansas, Kraus, McGill, Mitchell Library, National Library and La Trobe Library Collections. It would indeed be wonderful if the Kraus material were ever added to that already in Australia thus ensuring the preservation of most of the records relating to one of Gould's finest works, The Birds of Australia, within the land of its origin.
Allan McEvey
National Museum of Victoria.


Grateful acknowledgement is made to Professor Joseph Burke (Fine Arts Department, University of Melbourne) and to the Directors of, and those in charge of Collections at, the following: La Trobe Library, National Library of Australia, Mitchell Library, Balfour and Newton Library, Zool. Depart. Lib. British Museum (Nat. Hist.), Depart. of Prints and Drawings The British Museum, and the University of Kansas Library; to the University of Melbourne for research funds (1955); to the following for enabling the author to visit Cambridge, Major H.W. Hall, O.B.E., M.C., the Myer Foundation, the Ian Potter Foundation, and the M.A. Ingram Trust; and to the following people for help in various and particular ways:—
Mrs. L. Lambourne, A.H. Chisholm Esq., K.A. Hindwood Esq., H.L. White Esq., Dr. D.L. Serventy, Miss P. Mander-Jones, Miss S. Mourot, Mrs. P. Fanning, C.A. Burmester Esq., J.L. Cleland Esq., Miss P. Reynolds, Miss C. Kemp, G.W. Cottrell Esq., R. de C. Nan Kivell Esq., C.M.G., R. Hughes Esq., R. Williams Esq., M.R. Halliday Esq., Robert Gillmor Esq., Mrs. M.E. Millett, T. Hume Esq., Miss Alexandra Mason, H.P. Kraus Esq., Miss L. Mills and Dr. Ursula Hoff.


The Tasmanian (& Austral-Asiatic Review), 21 Sept. 1838 and The Australian, 4 Apr. 1840 (proposed departure). See also Hindwood, K.A., Emu, 38:101.


Piccadilly Notes: ‘An Occasional Publication Devoted to Books, Engravings, & Autographs Edited by J.H. Stonehouse’. Pub. by Henry Sotheran, Ltd. London. No.9, undated, was published in 1934 (see page 157 of No.22). The other issue quoted, lacking both number and date, is titled on cover page:—Piccadilly/Notes/Containing Descriptions of many of the/Original Drawings for Gould's Birds/of Australia and New Guinea,/as well as separate hand — /coloured Plates from/the same Books.


Cat. Birds of Brit. Mus., Vol.VII, p. 310, ‘ Tasmania John Gould Esq.’


Eliz. Gould's letters, 3 Jan. 1839 and 9 Jan. 1838 (error for 1839), examined by writer, 1955, (M.L. ref. A174) and quoted by Chisholm 1944 (The Story of Elizabeth Gould, pp. 41, 49): ‘I am during his absence drawing as many native plants as I can….’, ‘….I find amusement and employment in drawing some of the plants of the colony….’


McEvey, Allan, ‘John Gould's Ability in Drawing Birds’, Art Bull. of Victoria, 1967—8, p. 18. (Owl.)


Writer's notes. See also Guide to Collections of Manuscripts Relating to Australia, Nat. Lib. Aust., Canb., A84.


Refs. used: (a) Writer's notes, 1955; (b) ‘John Gould. A Guide to his Papers in the National Library’, Manuscript Section, Nat. Lib. Aust., Canb., 1966 (MS 587, M466/24, MS 454, MS 1217, MS 162, NK 1579?, G 746, G 743, MS 1955); Guide to Collections of Manuscripts Relating to Australia, A823; ‘Checklist to the Mathews Ornithological Collection’, Nat. Lib. Aust., Canb., 1966; (c) R. de C. Nan Kivell Esq., in litt. Feb.—Apr. 1968.


H.L. White Esq. in litt. Feb., Apr. 1968.


179 = entry in Checklist to the Mathews Ornithological Collection.’ Only 156 of these examined by writer.


McEvey, Allan, ‘John Gould's Ability in Drawing Birds’. Art Bull. of Victoria, 1967–8. pp. 13–24.


Chisholm, A.H., ‘Out of the Past: Gould Material Discovered’. Vic. Nat., Oct. 1938. pp. 95–102. ‘John Gould's Australian Prospectus’, Emu, 42:74–84, 1942. (Note: On pages 83–4 of this article appears a valuable bibliography of the articles and a book written, to that date, as a result of Chisholm's discovery. Various authors are included.)


Refs.: (a) Writer's notes, 1955; (b) Photostat catalogue of entries under ‘Gould Papers’ by courtesy of Mitchell Library; (c) Miss S. Mourot (Mitchell Deputy Lib.) in litt. May–June 1968.


These plates alone, donated to the Mitchell Lib. in 1947 by the Technical College (writer's note 1955) are worthy of careful study. The correspondence of Dr. E.P. Ramsay 1888–91 (copies seen by courtesy of Nat. Lib.) reveals the early decision to purchase the set.


The count of 74 depends upon what one accepts as a drawing. The writer's count (1955) exceeded 74 Confirmed by Miss S. Mourot in litt. June 1968. M.L. ref. PXD377.


First offered in Piccadilly Notes, No.9, as 74 drawings, 1934; purchased 1951. Miss S. Mourot, in litt. June 1968.


Writer's notes. See also Mack, George, ‘John Gould's Correspondence with Sir Frederick McCoy’, Emu, 38: 212–16, 1938.


Illustrated in McEvey (etc.) and Mack, 1938.


Longman, Heber A., ‘John Gould's Notes for John Gilbert’, Q. Mus. Mem., 7: 291–4. 1922. Whitley, Gilbert P., ‘John Gould's Associates’, Emu, 38: 141–67, 1938.


(Anon), ‘The “Times” on John Gould’, Emu, 21: 114–25, 1921.


(a) ‘John Gould. A Guide to his Papers in the National Library of Australia’, Canb., 1966, under MS 587.
(b) Whittell, H.M., The Lit. of Aust. Birds, 1954, p. 328.


Sutton. J., ‘Letters of John Gould to F.G. Waterhouse’, S. Aust. Orn., X: 104–15, 1929. Whittell. H.M. The Lit. of Aust. Birds, p. 741.


Mozley, Ann, A Guide to the Manuscript Records of Australian Science, Aust. Acad. Sci., 1966, p. 49.


As for 20 (a). Microfilm in Nat. Lib. (G 746) and M.L. (FM 4/2231). Miss S. Mourot in litt. May 1968.


A.H. Chisholm Esq. in litt. 19 July 1968.


Hindwood, K.A., ‘some Gouldian Letters’, Emu, 38: 206–12.


A.H. Chisholm Esq. in litt. July; 17 Aug. 1968.


R. Hughes Esq., in litt. Nov. 1966, Apr. 1967.




Writer's notes 1966.


See footnote 1.


In McEvey etc. footnote 10.


M.R. Halliday Esq. in litt. Feb. 1968.


R. Williams Esq. in litt. Jan.-Feb. 1968.



An item of the utmost significance received at the last minute (Mrs. L. Lambourne in litt. 7 Aug. 1968) is a copy of an entry ‘by Mrs. Moon (Gould's eldest daughter)’ in ‘an old scrap book’ in this Collection. It reads: ‘Other times he [Gould] was in his office at the back of the house, busy with his books and birds in all of which Mr Prince was his help and Mr Richter and afterwards Mr Hart alone did the lithographing or drawing on stone from fathers sketches and colouring from the same. Of course the greater part of the colouring and all the printing was done away from the house and by others, but all the copy plates were done at home and every thing was overlooked by father or Mr Prince….’ This contemporary documentary evidence for Gould having been the sole author of the drawing and colouring of original sketches strongly claims Gould's complete authorship of the later sketches in the ‘Family Collection’ and is, therefore, substantial primary evidence of his ability in painting birds quite apart from that gained by stylistic analysis of the drawings themselves. It is also of great significance regarding his working methods.


See McEvey etc. (footnote 10) for details.


Obviously late work since the species was not described until 1879, Forbes, P.Z.S., 1879, p. 265, pl.XXV.


Mrs. M.E. Millett in litt. 13 Aug. 1968. The two collections of original drawings may well be of importance and interest. For the significance of the ‘letters of Gould’ the reader is referred to Letters from Knowsley Hall, Lancashire. Selected and arranged by Wagstaffe, R. and Rutherford, G.; The North-Western Naturalist, 1954–5; and Chisholm, A.H. ‘some Early Letters in Australian Ornithology’, Emu, 63: 287–96; 373–82.


Miss S. Mourot in litt. May 1968.


Wood, Casey A., An Introduction to the Literature of Vertebrate Zoology [etc], O.U.P., 1931. ebrate Zoology [etc.], O.U.P., 1931.






Some Gould MS. material may have been preserved with Gould's ornithological Collection in Philadelphia. See Stone, Witmer, ‘The Gould Collection in Philadelphia’, Emu, 38: 231–3.


(a) Sauer, Gordon C. (M.D.), ‘Gouldiana’, Books and Libraries at the University of Kansas, 1. No. 12, May 1956. (b) Miss A. Mason in litt. Mar. 1968.


Ripley, S. Dillon and Scribner, Lynette L., Ornithological Books in the Yale University Library [etc.], Y.U.P., 1961.


H.P. Kraus Esq., Catalogue, and in litt. June 1968.