A significant south-west scientific collection can now be viewed from anywhere in the world, thanks to a three-year project to digitise Edmund Gill's field work.
The Edmund Gill Collection was launched at Deakin University in Warrnambool on Thursday. It includes field notebooks, photos, colour slides, aerial photos, maps, manuscripts, and reprints of the 388 scientific papers.
Dr Gill was interested in geology, especially as it related to western and coastal Victoria. He was also a palaeontologist, geomorphologist and museum administrator.
Dr Gill, who died in 1986, left his research about the region with the university library. It has been a labour of love for the Deakin University staff who worked to decipher his notes, scan maps and photos into an online collection.
His son Malcolm, a retired scientist, travelled from Canberra and said he was happy to support his father’s work and honour him.
He said it was great to hear how it was influencing current research. “The fact it can be made available on the internet is special because it becomes available to so many more people,” Dr Gill said. “It’s particularly special when you’ve got all the pictures and the whole lot.”
Dr Gill shared family stories and spoke about his father’s research attributes, and his significant focus on the Western District.
Geologist Derek Walters shared how vital Dr Gill’s research was when he wrote his thesis.
He said it provided the background and understanding of the region’s recent geology. “It was remarkable to find it all in the one place, you have no idea,” Mr Walters said.
Honorary Associate Professor John Sherwood, who helped with the project, said it was a very special day for Deakin University and shared stories about working as a field assistant with Dr Gill and the research papers the pair published about western Victoria’s geology.
It can be viewed at the Deakin University library or online at deakin.edu.au/library. Go to the special collections link and the fusion link to view it.