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Biographical entry Chisholm, Alexander Hugh (Alec) (1890 - 1977)

OBE

Born
28 March 1890
Maryborough, Victoria, Australia
Died
10 July 1977
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation
Naturalist, Journalist and Ornithologist

Summary

Alexander Hugh (Alec) Chisholm published many books on Australia's flora and fauna over the years 1932-1966 and edited a number of prominent Australian newspapers (including Argus (Melbourne), Australasian (Melbourne) and Sunday Pictorial (Sydney)), magazines and books including the compilation of The Australian Encyclopaedia (1958). He left school at 12 and did various jobs, contributed notes on bird life to the local press, then to newspapers in Melbourne, and was honorary nature teacher in Victorian high schools. As a young man he joined the poet Mary Gilmore in a campaign against the slaughter of egrets for women's feather hats. He was an active participant in natural history societies in the several states in which he lived, holding office as President and editing their journals. He was a Fellow of the Royal Australian Historical Society and the Royal Historical Society of Queensland, and a corresponding member of the British Ornithologists' Union.

Details

Events

1911 - 1915
Career position - Reporter, Maryborough and Dunolly advertiser, Victoria
1915 - 1922?
Career position - Reporter for the Brisbane mail
1918 - 1922
Career position - Adviser and lecturer on natural history for the Queensland Government
1919 - 1922
Career position - President, Queensland Gould League of Bird Lovers
1920 - 1922
Career position - President, Queensland Naturalists' Club
1920 - 1922
Career position - Editor, Queensland naturalist
1922
Career position - Corresponding Fellow, American Ornithologists' Union
1926 - 1928
Career position - Editor, Emu
1934
Career position - President, Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales
1937 - 1938
Career position - President, Victorian Bird Observers' Club
1937 - 1938
Career position - President, Field Naturalists Club of Victoria
1939 - 1940
Career position - President, Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union
1939 - 1948
Career position - Editor, The Victorian naturalist
1940
Award - Australian Natural History Medallion, Field Naturalist Club of Victoria
1940
Award - Inaugural Australian Natural History Medallion
1941 - 1977
Award - Fellow, Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union
1947
Career position - Editor Who's who in Australia
1958
Career position - Editor-in-Chief, Australian encyclopaedia
1958
Award - Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)

Related Awards

Related Corporate Bodies

Related Journals

Archival resources

Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales

  • Alexander Hugh (Alec) Chisholm - Records, 1870 - 1976, ML MSS 3540; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details

National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection

  • Alexander Hugh (Alec) Chisholm - Records, 1913 - 1939, MS 2225; National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection. Details

National Library of Australia Oral History Collection

  • Alexander Hugh (Alec) Chisholm - Oral History Recording, 1960, DeB 42; National Library of Australia Oral History Collection. Details
  • Alexander Hugh (Alec) Chisholm - Oral History Recording, June 1972, TRC 121/34; National Library of Australia Oral History Collection. Details

Published resources

Books

  • Chisholm, A. H., The Incredible Year, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1940. Details
  • Chisholm, A. H., The Story of Elizabeth Gould, Hawthorn Press, Melbourne, 1944. Details
  • Chisholm, A. H., Strange New World: the Adventures of John Gilbert and Ludwig Leichardt, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1955. Details
  • Chisholm, A. H., Ferdinand von Mueller, Great Australians, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1962. Details

Book Sections

  • Chisholm, A. H., 'Bennett, George (1804-1893), medical practitioner and naturalist', in Douglas Pike (ed.), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 1, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1966, pp. 85-86. Also available at http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A010084b.htm. Details
  • Chisholm, A. H., 'Gilbert, John (1810?-1845), naturalist and explorer', in Douglas Pike (ed.), Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, vol. 1, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1966, pp. 441-442. Details
  • Chisholm, A. H., 'Gilbert, John (1810?-1845)', in Douglas Pike (ed.), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 1, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1966, pp. 441-442. Also available at http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A010407b.htm. Details
  • Chisholm, A. H., 'Gould, Elizabeth (1804-1841), natural history artist', in Douglas Pike (ed.), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 1, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1966, p. 465. Also available at http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A010426b.htm. Details
  • Chisholm, A. H., 'Gould, John (1804-1881), zoologist', in Douglas Pike (ed.), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 1, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1966, pp. 465-467. Also available at http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A010427b.htm. Details
  • Chisholm, A. H., 'Calvert, James Snowden (1825-1884), explorer and botanist', in Douglas Pike (ed.), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 3, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1969, p. 333. Also available at http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A030308b.htm. Details
  • Chisholm, A. H., 'Broinowski, Gracius Joseph (1837-1913), artist and ornithologist', in Douglas Pike (ed.), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 3, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1969, p. 239. Also available at http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A030223b.htm. Details
  • Chisholm, A. H., 'Atkinson, Caroline Louisa Waring (1834-1872), naturalist and writer', in Douglas Pike (ed.), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 3, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1969, pp. 59-60. Also available at http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A030060b.htm. Details
  • Chisholm, A. H., 'Coxen, Charles (1809-1876), naturalist and politician', in Douglas Pike (ed.), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 3, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1969, pp. 487-488. Also available at http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A030453b.htm. Details
  • Chisholm, A. H., 'Elsey, Joseph Ravenscroft (1834-1857), surgeon, explorer and naturalist', in Douglas Pike (ed.), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 4, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1972, p. 139. Also available at http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A040141b.htm. Details
  • Chisholm, A. H., 'Helms, Richard (1842-1914), zoologist and botanist', in Douglas Pike (ed.), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 4, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1972, p. 374. Also available at http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A040423b.htm. Details
  • Chisholm, A. H., 'Ramsay, Edward Pierson (1842-1916), ornithologist and zoologist', in Bede Nairn (ed.), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 6, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1976, pp. 3-4. Also available at http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A060004b.htm. Details
  • Chisholm, A. H., 'Wheelwright, Horace (Horatio) William (1815-1865)', in Bede Nairn (ed.), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 6, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1976, pp. 383-384. Also available at http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A060411b.htm. Details
  • Chisholm, A. H., 'Barrett, Charles Leslie (1879-1959), naturalist and journalist', in Bede Nairn and Geoffrey Serle (eds), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 7, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1979, p. 185. Also available at http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A070191b.htm. Details
  • Chisholm, A. H., 'Cayley, Neville William (1886-1950), ornithologist and artist', in Bede Nairn and Geoffrey Serle (eds), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 7, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1979, pp. 596-597. Also available at http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A070605b.htm. Details
  • Kloot, Tess, 'Chisholm, Alexander Hugh (1890-1977), Journalist, Ornithologist and Encyclopaedist', in John Ritchie (ed.), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 13, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1993, pp. 422-423. Also available at http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A130463b.htm. Details

Edited Books

  • Chisholm, A. H. (ed.), Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales with Sixty-five Plates of New Descript Animals, Birds, Lizards, Serpents, Curious Cones of Trees and other Natural Productions by John White, Esq., Angus & Robertson for Royal Australian Historical Society, Sydney, 1962. Details

Journal Articles

  • Balmford, Peter, 'Newspapers as a Source of Information about Natural History', Victorian Naturalist, vol. 102, no. 1, 1985, pp. 20-27. Details
  • Chisholm, A. H., 'The Ornithological History of Queensland', Queensland Naturalist, vol. lii, 1922, pp. 66-79; 93-101; 115-123. Details
  • Chisholm, A. H., 'John Gilbert. Some Letters to Gould', Emu, vol. 38, 1938. Details
  • Chisholm, A. H., 'Some Letters from George Grey to John Gould', Emu, vol. 38, 1938. Details
  • Chisholm, A. H., 'The Story of John Gilbert.', Emu, vol. 39, 1940, pp. 156-176. Details
  • Chisholm, A. H., 'Mrs John Gould and her Relations', Emu, April, 1941. Details
  • Chisholm, A. H., 'John Gould's Australian Prospectus', Emu, vol. 42, 1942, pp. 74-84. Details
  • Chisholm, A. H., 'Birds of the Gilbert Diary', Emu, vol. 44, 1944, pp. 131-150. Details
  • Chisholm, A. H., 'An Explorer and His Birds. John Gilbert's Discoveries in 1844-5', 1945. Details
  • Chisholm, A. H., 'The Diaries of S. W. Jackson', Emu, vol. 58, 1958, pp. 75-76. Details
  • Chisholm, A. H., 'J. R. Elsey, Surgeon, Naturalist, Explorer', Queensland Naturalist, vol. 17, no. 3/4, 1964, pp. 60-70. Details
  • Chisholm, A. H., 'Some Early Letters in Australian Ornithology', Emu, vol. 63, 1964. Details
  • Chisholm, A. H., 'J. R. Elsey, Explorer of the Never-Never', Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, vol. 52, 1966. Details
  • Chisholm, A. H., 'Dudley Dickison - Student of Birds and Books', Victorian Naturalist, vol. 84, no. 8, 1967, pp. 251-253. Details
  • Chisholm, A. H., 'Obituary. Gilbert Roscoe Gannon', Proceedings of the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, vol. 89, 1968, p. 12. Details
  • Chisholm, A. H., 'Obituaries: Roy Percy Cooper', Emu, vol. 77, no. 2, 1977, p. 88. Details
  • McGill, A. R., 'Alexander Hugh Chisholm', The Emu, vol. 77, 1977, pp. 232-235. Details
  • Willis, J. H., 'Alexander Hugh Chisholm, OBE, CMZS., C.F.A.O.U. (1890-1977). An Appreciation', Victorian Naturalist, vol. 94, no. 5, 1977, pp. 188-190. Details

Online Resources

See also

  • Robin, Libby, The Flight of the Emu: a Hundred Years of Australian Ornithology 1901-2001, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 2001, 492 pp. Details

McCarthy, G.J,& Rosanne Walker and Helen Cohn