About the records

Title Records of Alfred Dunbavin Butcher
Date Range 1864 - 2000
Reference MS 13595
Creator Alfred Dunbavin Butcher (1915 - 1990)
Extent 18 metres (6,480 items)
Repository State Library of Victoria
Abstract This is a guide to records of Alfred Butcher, Zoologist and Conservationist, who through his wide ranging professional career and desire to educate the community, was a significant figure in conservation, wildlife management and environmental assessment.

Administrative Information

  • The collection is comprised of records from 6 accessions. The codes used to uniquely identify each accession range from BUTC1993-0001 to RMZG1992-0001.
  • The records have been allocated to 22 series. The codes used to uniquely identify each series range from BUTS0001 to BUTS0022.
  • Through the processing of the records, 2 provenance entities were identified. The codes used to uniquely identify each provenance entity, i.e. records creator or custodian, range from BUTP001 to BUTP002.
  • The inventory covers 6,480 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 BUTCA0001 to BUTCB0346. The total collection occupies 1,819 linear cm of shelf space (or its equivalent).
  • The documentation of the records at inventory level started on 25 October 1993. The latest additions were made on 23 April 2009. The latest modifications were made on 9 July 2009. This collection profile was updated on 12 June 2013.

Scope and Content

Alfred Dunbavin Butcher held many important positions during his long and distinguished career and the collection reflects five major functional aspects of this career as well as a number of ancillary functions. He was the Director of Fisheries and Wildlife in Victoria from 1949-1973; in 1962 he was appointed Chairman of the Zoological Board of Victoria, retiring in 1987; he was a founding member of the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) in 1965 and remained with the Foundation until the controversial take-over of the ACF in 1973 by "radical" members; from 1973-1978 he held the position of Deputy Director of Conservation, Victoria; and he was the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Westernport Bay Environment Study in the early 1970s. Butcher held important positions on numerous committees and study groups, both nationally and internationally, including the World Wild Life Fund, the National Parks Authority and the Scouts Association of Australia. A conservationist long before the concept became fashionable, Butcher's working life brought him into contact with a broad range of people and the collection reflects his ability to communicate with premiers, princes, gardeners and children with genuine interest and caring.

The papers are mainly personal and official correspondence, and also include artworks, published works (journals, etc.), photographs, slides, newsclippings, and memorabilia. Butcher kept his papers in meticulous order which made preliminary serialising very easy. The collection dates mainly from the early 1930s until the late 1980s.

Surveying and Mapping the Records

The bulk of the records from this collection were given to the Australian Science Archives Project (ASAP) in 1993 by Alfred Butcher's wife Bessell Butcher. Additional records from this collection were discovered during the project conducted by ASAP at the Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens in 1993, and work on the collection was partly funded by the Friends of the Zoo. Further material was added to the collection by Alf Butcher's son Michael Butcher in 1999 and 2006; and by his close friend and associate Keith Dempster in 1999 and 2000. The records listed in this guide were transferred to the State Library of Victoria in 2007.

Further information about this guide and the records it describes, including transfer arrangements, custodianship and other contextual information, is held in the office files and the Heritage Documentation Management System (HDMS) database at the eScholarship Research Centre, University of Melbourne.


The Alfred Dunbavin Butcher Guide to Records has been published by the University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre (previously the Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre). You may download, temporarily store in cache and display the material on this web site in unaltered form only. You may also print and copy the material on this site in unaltered form as permitted by the Copyright Act 1968 only (retaining this copyright notice). This guide is the result of serious scholarly research and must be formally acknowledged as such when the guide itself or the records it catalogues are cited.

The Alfred Dunbavin Butcher Collection is held by the State Library of Victoria. The State Library of Victoria manages any rights (including moral rights) in all material contained in the Alfred Dunbavin Butcher Records.

All information in the guide to this collection and in the material of the collection itself, served from Australia, is administered under Australian Intellectual Property Laws.

How These Records Can Be Used

Researchers wishing to consult these records will need to contact the State Library of Victoria regarding the access conditions that may apply to specific series or inventory items.

Where material from the Alfred Dunbavin Butcher Collection is copied or quoted the source of the material must be acknowledged.

Preferred Citation

Records from the Alfred Dunbavin Butcher should be cited as [Inventory item number and title], [Series number], Alfred Dunbavin Butcher Collection, MS 13609, State Library of Victoria, Australia.

For citation of the published guide, an acceptable form would be: Andrea Barnes, Gavan McCarthy, Ann McCarthy and Rachel Tropea, Alfred Dunbavin Butcher Guide to Records, eScholarship Research Centre, 2008 [URL and date accessed].

Published by the The University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre on AustehcWeb, July 2004
ISBN 978-0-7340-4135-7
Listed by Andrea Barnes, Gavan McCarthy, Ann McCarthy and Rachel Tropea
HTML edition Ann McCarthy and Rachel Tropea
Updated 12 June 2013

The template for this finding aid is part of the Heritage Documentation Management System

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