About the records


Title Records of Brown Family
Date Range 1800 - 1992
Reference MS 13489
Creator Ian Brown Family
Extent 2 metres (72 items)
Repository Australian Manuscripts Collection, State Library of Victoria
Abstract Dr. Gilbert Brown (1883-1960) was a pioneer of modern anaesthesia in Australia and was the first president of the Australian Society of Anaesthetists. He was made a CBE in 1953. Dr. Marie Brown, née Simpson, (1883-1949) had a strong emphasis on public health and maternal and infant health in her medical career. She was associated with the Mothers and Babies' Health Association for many years. Their son, Ian Brown (1917-1987), had a 36 year career with the CSIRO (previously CSIR), beginning in the Division of Industrial Chemistry in 1942.

Administrative Information

Records of Ian Brown were transferred to the Australian Science Archives Project shortly after his death in 1987, from his office at CSIRO and his home. The records were sorted and a summary box list was compiled before the records were transferred to the Basser Library at the Australian Academy of Science.

In September 2000, Richard Brown, Ian Brown's son, contacted the Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre about further records relating to his father, and also to his grandparents, Gilbert and Marie Brown. Gavan McCarthy surveyed the records in Richard Brown's home in December 2000 and transferred the records to the Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre where they were accessioned and reboxed.

  • The collection is comprised of records from 8 accessions. The codes used to uniquely identify each accession range from ASAP31/1/89 to BROW2002/0002.
  • The records have been allocated to 7 series. The codes used to uniquely identify each series range from BROS0001 to BROS0007.
  • Through the processing of the records, 4 provenance entities were identified. The codes used to uniquely identify each provenance entity, i.e. records creator or custodian, range from BROP001 to BROP004.
  • The inventory covers 72 items, and may include records of continuing value, records sentenced for destruction and records that have been destroyed. The codes used to uniquely identify each inventory item range from BROW00001 to BROW00066. The total collection occupies 174 linear cm of shelf space (or its equivalent).
  • The documentation of the records at inventory level started on 31 July 2002. The latest additions were made on 5 September 2002. The latest modifications were made on 12 June 2013. This collection profile was updated on 12 June 2013.

Scope and Content

Both Gilbert Brown and Marie Brown (née Simpson) were born in England in 1883. They met in Liverpool, where they were both working as doctors. Gilbert Brown migrated to Australia in 1912 and was joined by Marie in 1914, the couple marrying on the day of her arrival in Adelaide. Marie joined her husbands practice in Snowtown, South Australia. Their only child, Ian, was born in 1917.

Marie Brown maintained an interest in public health and maternal and infant health throughout her medical career. For many years she was associated with the Mothers and Babies' Health Association, as a committee member and as deputy chief medical officer. She was also honorary medical officer of the Kindergarten Union and a member of the National Council of Women. Gilbert Brown was a pioneer of modern anaesthesia in Australia and was the first president of the Australian Society of Anaesthetists. He was decorated with a CBE in 1953.

Ian Brown graduated from the University of Adelaide in 1940 with a BSc and was awarded a DSc by the University of Adelaide in 1966. He began his career in chemistry in January 1941, working as an assistant chemist in the Birkenhead laboratory of the Shell Company. Later that year he occupied a similar position with Beckers Pty Ltd. In 1942 Ian Brown began work in the CSIR Division of Industrial Chemistry. He continued to work for the CSIR/O for 36 years, retiring in 1978.

Many of the records in this collection are of a personal nature, including family photographs, diaries, family trees and personal correspondence. There are more than one hundred letters, still with their envelopes, written by Dr Marie Brown to her mother in England, dating from her departure for Australia. There is also a diary, kept by Gilbert Brown in the months leading up to the arrival of Marie, entries ceasing on the day of her arrival in Adelaide.


Published by the Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre on AustehcWeb, April 2004
Listed by Ailie Smith and Gavan McCarthy
HTML edition Ailie Smith
Updated 12 June 2013
http://www.austehc.unimelb.edu.au/guides/brow/about.htm

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