Series List and Summary Descriptions

01 Personal and Biographical

This series contains pocket diaries, notebooks, address books, correspondence, photographs, papers, family memorabilia, newsletters and articles belonging to Le Souëf family members - J.C. Le Souëf, Mary Le Souëf, Madge Backhouse, A.A.S Le Souëf, May Le Souëf and W.H.D. Le Souëf. The series includes family correspondence; newspaper clippings on various subject topics; family photographs; family name plate/crest; family tree/history and related correspondence; a bibliography of J.C. Le Souëf's work; correspondence relating to the publication of J.C. Le Souëf's work; work notebooks belonging to both J.C. Le Souëf and W.H.D. Le Souëf; travel diary of Madge Backhouse; certificates; Rosebud Aquarium Poster; track map of the world; material on the Entomological Society of Victoria; personalized stationary and material relating to A.A.S. Le Souëf Aboriginal Miniature Weapon Collection.

Date Range: 1840 - 1985   Quantity: 50.2 cm, 36 files
Provenance: Le Souëf Family


02 Personal Correspondence - Family Members

This series contains correspondence, telegrams, photographs, papers, newspaper clippings, postcards. This series mainly consists of personal correspondence between J.C. Le Souëf and Mary Le Souëf (Clarke) from 1937 to 1954, and letters to J.C. Le Souëf from other family members including his mother Edith Evelyn Le Souëf, and his siblings Albert, Horace, Rita and Aline Le Souëf.

Some files also contain copies of letters that J.C. Le Souëf sent to the above mentioned. Also included personal correspondence between J.C. Le Souëf and his uncle A.S. Le Souëf and letters to A.S. Le Souëf from Eric Backhouse, Horace Le Souëf, Una Le Souëf, Mildred Manning, Nancy Le Souëf, Lance Le Souëf and Ernest Albert Le Souëf. A few other correspondents, apart from family members, can also be found within this series in addition to several spiritual/religious and natural history papers written by A.S. Le Souëf which were attached with letters sent to J.C. Le Souëf. Also photographs of animals and Le Souëf Family members and newspaper clippings. Many of the letters still remain within their envelopes and some of the letters are arranged in a chronological order.

Date Range: 1872 - 1982   Quantity: 33.5 cm, 12 files
Provenance: Le Souëf Family


03 Photographs

This series consists of photographic prints (black and white), newspapers clippings, glass negatives, portrait and family photographs of Le Souëf family members dating back to circa 1850 (including a few Dauguerreotype portraits). Family portraits cover four generations of the Le Souëf family with the majority of the photographs taken in Australia. Many are identified and some are dated. The photographs were taken at a number of locations, but many of them were taken on the grounds of Royal Park, where the Le Souëfs resided for many decades.

The collection of photographs also reflects the Le Souëfs' interest in natural history, as many include those of animals, birds, bushland and the coastal waters. Early scenes at the Zoological Gardens including the various animals and their encloures are also included. Many photographs within this series were taken by W.H.D. Le Souëf during his travels throughout parts of Australia (circa 1915-1920). A keen nature photographer, the collection demonstrates W.H.D. Le Souëf's affection for wildlife, particularly his interests in birds and their habitats. The photographs detail the wide range of bird species found in Australia, as well as their nesting sites and eggs. W.H.D. Le Souëf also spent time studing ancient Aboriginal feeding places (middens) and the formation of dune sandstone, which are also represented within this series.

Date Range: 1839 - 1975   Quantity: 74.9 cm, 57 files
Provenance: Le Souëf Family


04 Glass and Film Negatives

This series consists of both glass and film negatives, some identified, of various subjects. Eleven of the lantern slides are hand-coloured . The slides include images of Australian animals; natural history subjects; zoo scenes and animals at Royal Park and Taronga Park; Royal Park house; early bush expeditions (possibly with the RAOU or Field Naturalist Club); Australian Marsupials; Aboriginal children and tribes; Australian landscapes; family photographs and portraits; landscapes and bushland; butterflies; kangaroos; insect larva and pupa; Australian marsupials; nesting sites of birds; coastal waters of Australia. Many of the slides and glass negatives have suffered severe moisture damage when they were stored at the Royal Zoological Gardens and are in urgent need of repair. The condition (some of the glass slides are irreparable) makes it difficult to distinguish the images.

Date Range: 1840 - 1970   Quantity: 116.7 cm, 47 files
Provenance: Le Souëf Family


05 Lantern Slides / Transparencies

This series contains lantern slides of animals at the Melbourne Zoo including emus, kangaroos, birds, lions, pelicans, swans; as well as scenic images of Australian bushland and Africa; and frogs, turtles, butterflies and caterpillars (circa 1910-1920).

Date Range: 1910 - 1920   Quantity: 18 cm, 2 files
Provenance: Le Souëf Family


06 Le Souëf Family Members - Publications

This series contains journals, articles, papers, newspaper clippings, books, notebooks, photographs, correspondence, radio scripts, published and draft copies of articles, papers and general publications compiled by members of the Le Souëf - A.A.C. Le Souëf, A.A.S. Le Souëf, J.C. Le Souëf and W.H.D. Le Souëf. Many of the papers written by these men reflect their interest in Natural History or the work they were involved.

Within this series there is also a draft manuscript which documents A.A.C. Le Souëf's recollections of Victoria and his early life in Australia. This is a particularly enthralling primary resource which describes in avid detail early colonial life, the demands, the gold fields, the complex relations with the Aboriginal community, people, places, dates and notable incidents.

Also contains copies of the 'Le Souëf Fauna Park Ltd' Prospectus.

Date Range: 1867 - 1972   Quantity: 53.6 cm, 23 files
Provenance: Le Souëf Family


07 General Publications - Natural History

This series consists of journals, bulletins, circulars, papers, reprints, pamphlets. Also includes: articles, papers and publications relating to areas in natural history; The Frankston Naturalist, a Journal of the Frankston Field Naturalist Club; circulars from the Fisheries and Games Department of Victoria; Zoo Life, an official publication for the Zoological Society of London; Zoological Society Bulletin, by the New York Zoological Society; various Government publications; Junior Science and Junior Naturalist Newsletters; Victorian Historical Journal; Oryx Journal of the Fauna Preservation Society; Sun Nature Books; and other general publications relating to Australian native animals and birds.

Date Range: 1896 - 1982   Quantity: 40.1 cm, 23 files
Provenance: Le Souëf Family


08 J.C. Le Souëf - Correspondence File

This series contains correspondence, telegrams, postcards, receipts, papers, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, articles. The files were alphabetically created and controlled by J.C. Le Souëf. They contain personal correspondence to both Mary and JC from family member and close friends, in addition to other correspondents from a wide range of differing organisations and work associates. Within the file, J.C. Le Souëf has also filed accounts for various companies and subscription fees.

Date Range: 1888 - 1987   Quantity: 36.4 cm, 15 files
Provenance: John Cecil Le Souëf


09 Newspaper Clippings - Natural History

This series contains loose newspaper and magazine cuttings. This series consist of a number of articles taken from various sources (although not cited), relating to flora and fauna found in Australia and other parts of the world. Subjects include birds, reptiles, marine life, amphibians, moths and butterflies, insects, spiders, animals and plants. Most of the newspaper clippings are attached to tissue paper and some are numbered, dating back as far as 1895, however, the majority of the newspaper clippings date circa 1930s. It remains unclear who collected the newspaper clippings.

Date Range: 1895 - 1983   Quantity: 56.1 cm, 17 files
Provenance: Le Souëf Family


10 Newspaper Clippings - General

This series contains newspaper, journal and magazines clippings. The series also consists of a number of articles, on various subject topics including: natural history, zoological gardens, zoological societies, Australian Aborigines, Australian animals, horticulture, agriculture, astronomy, Melbourne University examinations, natural disasters, snakes, flora, Belgrave Wild Zoo, Clarke family. Also includes a few articles by members of the Le Souëf family, in particular published work of J.C. Le Souëf, including draft publications.

Date Range: 1875 - 1990   Quantity: 67 cm, 12 files
Provenance: John Cecil Le Souëf


11 ABC Broadcasts and 3LO Children's Session

This series consists of radio scripts, draft articles and stories, correspondence, newspaper clippings and loose notes that mostly relate to J.C. Le Souëf's professional life. The series also includes transcripts from a children’s session on 3LO which was written and presented by J.C. Le Souëf whilst working for the Australian Broadcast Commission from 1932 to 1934. The talk show was entitled "Zoo Talk" where Le Souëf told children facts and stories about animals and birds, and informed the children about the Melbourne Zoo. Also within this series, there are a number of draft articles and stories by J.C. Le Souëf, mostly about animals and birds, and natural history.

Date Range: 1916 - 1939   Quantity: 12.6 cm, 6 files
Provenance: John Cecil Le Souëf


12 Belgrave Wild Zoo / Le Souëf Fauna Park Ltd

This series includes material relating to the establishment of J.C. Le Souëf's wild park in the Belgrave District known as 'Le Souëf's Fauna Park Ltd' or the Belgrave Wild Zoo which was incorporated under the Companies Act 1928. The wild park was to be established on a 56 acre property known as "Heights Estate" in the Dandenong Ranges, with its main purpose being to create a special sanctuary for Koalas and other unique Australian animals which were threatened by extinction. This series documents the work carried by J.C. Le Souëf in the development and construction of the Fauna Park including loose notes and sketches detailing the grounds, enclosures, parking area and fencing, as well as the documentation detailing the proposal for the establishment of the park. Also included are copies of the prospectus for the Fauna Park, deeds of partnership between Le Souëf and Neville Davis, Huggins, memos of agreement regarding purchase of land, correspondence, capital requirements and cost estimates.

Date Range: 1922 - 1963   Quantity: 6.1 cm, 4 files
Provenance: John Cecil Le Souëf


13 Zoological Gardens and Acclimatisation Society

This series consists of newspaper clippings, photographs, loose notes and artefacts all relating to the Zoological Gardens of Melbourne and the Acclimatisation Society (later known as the Acclimatisation and Zoological Society). Included are newspaper clippings and photographs of Mr A.A.W. Wilkie, who succeeded the late W.H.D. Le Souëf as director of the Melbourne Zoo in 1923, as well as a fine collection of newspaper clippings collated by A.A.C. Le Souëf documenting the development and establishment of the Zoological Gardens and the Zoological Societies. A number of keys to animal cages and buildings at the Melbourne Zoo (many of which are unidentified), can also be found within this series.

Date Range: 1862 - 1960   Quantity: 17.3 cm, 4 files
Provenance: Le Souëf Family


14 General Correspondence

This series contains correspondence, cards and newspaper clippings. It includes a number of letters and greeting cards received by Mary Le Souëf after the death of J.C. Le Souëf, tributes published in newspapers, correspondence relating to the publication of J.C. Le Souëf's "Zooie Nature Book" series, letters and cards of acceptance to Mary and J.C. Le Souëf's wedding, correspondence to J.C. Le Souëf and Aline Seely regarding the death of their mother Edith Evelyn Le Souëf, letters to J.D. Wilkie following his accident, correspondence regarding the estates of Eva Wales Nixon [Le Souëf] and the death of Lancelot Le Souëf, J.C. Le Souëf's employment; and real estate. Also found within this series is a certificate belonging to J.C. Le Souëf from the Royal Agricultural Society and a 3LO radio script.

Date Range: 1869 - 1983   Quantity: 18.9 cm, 9 files
Provenance: John Cecil Le Souëf


15 Travel Diaries - Collecting Trips

This series contains notebooks and loose notes detailing both W.H.D Le Souëf's and J.C. Le Souëf’s collecting trips around different parts of the world. W.H.D Le Souëf's journal documents a trip taken in 1881 to 1882 to Calcutta and Singapore whilst he was director of the Melbourne Zoo. J.C. Le Souëf also traveled extensively throughout Australia in pursuit of different types of insects and moths. Credited with discovering on Mt William in the Grampians the species Hesperilla Crypsargyra or Mountain Skipper and in 1980 Cecil found and described another species in the Darwin region. In later years his main entomological activity was a study of the lycaenid genus Ogyris, of which he reared many specimens from remote parts of Queensland and New South Wales. J.C. Le Souëf's journals documents social as well as collecting trips, although they mainly detail his collecting trip for specimens for his entomological work and studies.

Date Range: 1881 - 1973   Quantity: 6 cm, 3 files
Provenance: Le Souëf Family


16 J.C. Le Souëf - Personal Diaries

This series consists of 46 personal diaries, all of which are bound volumes, belonging to J.C. Le Souëf from 1937 to 1982. Entries within the diaries were maintained fairly consistent and most of the diaries also include a detailed index (alphabetical) at the back. J.C. Le Souëf recorded daily activities and events relating to his entomology work, work at his aquarium, projects, his family, illness, deaths, the weather, trips, birthdays, appointments and so on. The index at the back is divided into categories which include: aquarium, family, general, entomology and personal; and under each heading it lists the particular event or activity with its corresponding page number or date.

Date Range: 1937 - 1982   Quantity: 48.4 cm, 4 files
Provenance: John Cecil Le Souëf


17 Administrative

This series consists of administrative records which relate to the animals and birds housed at the Zoological Gardens of Melbourne. This includes notebooks and registries documenting animal donations, permits issued for protected fauna, visitors book, and cash book recording publicity expenses. Also included are time and pay sheets for drivers/salesman for the Coca Cola Company (who J.C. Le Souëf briefly worked for as a driver/salesman), an address book listing zoological institutions and individuals, a notebook describing animal illness, an account book from the Society of Australian Scholars, and diaries documenting animals received and dead.

Date Range: 1864 - 1968   Quantity: 62.7 cm, 12 files
Provenance: Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens


18 Movie Film

This series consists of movie film, circa 1960s, all of which is unidentified. Contains 9 rolls of Kodachrome Film for a 16mm Roll Camera. Three packs of film are unsealed; two are used yet not processed and three are processed, and unidentified.

Date Range: 1960 - 1969   Quantity: 8.8 cm, 3 files
Provenance: Le Souëf Family


Inventory not assigned to a series

Published by the The University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre, January 2008
With support from Friends of the Zoos and Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens
Listed by Gavan McCarthy, Andrea Barnes and other Austehc staff
HTML edition Ailie Smith
Updated 27 November 2008

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

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