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Science and the making of VictoriaRoyal Society of Victoria
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Early Scientific Journals in Victoria



Dates of Publication






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A. Transactions and Proceedings of the Victorian Institute, Unnumbered Volume.

The title page is dated 1855 and states "for the sessions 1854-1855". There is no volume or part number. The undated preface states that ". . . The collected results [of meetings of the Institute] are now laid before the members; the papers which are read to the Institute are published entire, and an abstract of the Proceedings of the meetings is appended. . . ." It therefore seems that the whole of the Transactions were published together at the one time. The date of publication must have been after 7 June 1855, the date of the last meeting of the Victorian Institute, as the account of that meeting appears in the Transactions. Although a report of the council presented at a general meeting on 8 March 1855 stated (PM, xv) that papers contributed prior to and including December 1854, the period covered by the council report, "will shortly be published", I have found no evidence of any publication prior to the appearance of the complete volume described here.

The first report of the Council of the Philosophical Institute states (PM2, xxi) that "At the amalgamation of the two societies the funds of each were exhausted in their current expenses, and in the publication of their Transactions." It also states at the time of the Union [the Victorian Institute was] perfectly free from debt, . . .". This indicates that the Trans. Vict. Inst. had been published and paid for by or about the time of amalgamation, i.e. late June to early July 1855 (the first Council meeting of the joint body was 28 June and the first general meeting 10 July). However, other evidence suggests that publication and/or distribution was not effected until some 8 to 10 weeks after amalgamation. Certainly a letter dated 28 June 1855 from F. Mueller to W. J. Hooker, London, shows that Trans. Vict. Inst. was still unpublished then, as Mueller wrote "I am sorry that the years transactions of our scientif. Societies are not yet fully printed, but I have given orders that a copy of the phil [a few obscured letters] transact. shall be transmitted to you, and will send reprints of the bot. articles of the Victorian Institute; both societies are now united ............". In addition, Mueller's words "will send" instead of "am sending" indicate a future intent and suggest that no preprints or reprints were yet available.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Victorian Institute for the Advancement of Science

People in Bright Sparcs - Mueller, Dr Ferdinand

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Aston, Helen 1984, 'Publication Dates of Early Scientific Journals in Victoria', Muelleria, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 281-288.

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