Article ID: CBB001252598

Conrad Kelsall: “Butterflying” on the Little Mulgrave River, North Queensland, in 1903 (2013)


In 1900, an English immigrant, Conrad Kelsall (1873--1936), settled on a block of virgin lowland rainforest on the Little Mulgrave River in tropical north Queensland. Four letters written to his family in Devon in 1903 tell of his butterfly collecting, both as a personal interest and a potential commercial activity. He supplied specimens to local natural history dealer, Alfred Bernie Bell, who sold them to major Australian butterfly collectors, G. A. Waterhouse and George Lyell, English natural history dealers Watkins and Doncaster, and famed lepidopterist Walter Rothschild. One letter also records Kelsall's contact with little-known Australian beetle collector, Horace Brown. The four letters provide a glimpse of the local enthusiasm for butterflying in north Queensland in the early twentieth century, as well as a record of how north Queensland specimens found their way to some of the major butterfly collectors of the day. Annotated transcripts of the letters are provided.

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Authors & Contributors
Kinukawa, Tomomi
Vane-Wright, Richard I.
Byrne, Dianne F.
Daszkiewicz, Piotr
Jegu, Michel
Lambkin, Kevin J.
Archives of Natural History
Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences
Notes and Records: The Royal Society Journal of the History of Science
Journal of the History of Collections
Museum History Journal
Noesis: Travaux du Comité Roumain d'Histoire et de Philosophie des Sciences
Manchester University Press
NewSouth Books
University of California Press
University of Georgia Press
University of Philadelphia Press
Natural history
Collectors and collecting
Correspondence and corresponding
Petiver, James
Alder, Anthony
Balfour, Alice Blanche
Brongniart, Adolphe-Théodore
Caradja, Aristed
Fountaine, Margaret
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, early
18th century
17th century
20th century
Early modern
Great Britain
Northern Ireland
Colorado (U.S.)
Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris
Oxford University Museum of Natural History

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