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Biographical entry Browne, William Rowan (1884 - 1975)


11 December 1884
Lislea, County Londonderry, Ireland
1 September 1975
Darlinghurst, New South Wales, Australia


William Browne, the husband of Ida Brown, was assistant-professor/reader in geology at the University of Sydney 1923-1949. He was interested in the Kosciusko State Park and had a great deal to do with the proclamation in 1962 of a 'primitive area' for conservation.


Born Lislea, County Londonderry, Ireland, 11 December 1884. Died Sydney, 1 September 1975. Educated University of Sydney (BSc 1911, DSc 1922). Adelaide observatory 1911; demonstrator in geology, University of Sydney 1911-13, assistant-lecturer in geology 1913-16, lecturer 1916-23, assistant-professor 1923-40, reader 1940-49; took over and finished "The Geology of the Commonwealth of Australia" on Edgeworth David's (q.v.) death; contributed site studies for Warragamba Dam and Gladesville Bridge. W.B. Clarke medal, Royal Society of New South Wales 1942; Fellow, Australian Academy of Science 1954. Royal Society of New South Wales medal 1956; volume of "Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales" dedicated to him 1966; Mueller Medal, ANZAAS 1960. Foundation member, Geographical Society of New South Wales 1927, president 1929-30, 1948-49; founding member, Geological Society of Australia 1952, president 1955-56. Commemorated by W.R. Browne medal of the Geological Society of Australia.

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Archival resources

University of Sydney, Archives

  • William Rowan Browne - Records, P 71; University of Sydney, Archives. Details

Published resources

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Journal Articles

  • 'William Rowan Browne, DSc, FAA', Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales, 99 (1966), 1-4. Details
  • Browne, W. R., 'Obituary: George Davenport Osborne', Australian Journal of Science, 18 (2) (1955), 52-53. Details
  • Browne, W. R., 'Obituary: Professor W. N. Benson, FRS', Australian Journal of Science, 20 (6) (1958), 175-176. Details
  • Browne, W. R., 'Sir Edgeworth David, 1858-1934', The Sydney University Gazette, 1 (1958), 214-216. Details
  • Browne, W. R., 'Obituary: Dr. W. G. Woolnough', Australian Journal of Science, 21 (5) (1958), 135-136. Details
  • Browne, W. R., 'Obituary - Professor L. A. Cotton', Australian Journal of Science, 26 (3) (1963), 81-82. Details
  • Browne, W. R., 'Obituary: Griffith Taylor', Australian Journal of Science, 26 (10) (1964), 318-319. Details
  • Browne, W. R., 'Some Builders of Geology in New South Wales', Records of the Australian Academy of Science, 2 (1) (1971), 29-50. Details
  • Browne, W.R.; Brown, Ida A., 'Scientific Societies in Australia. The Royal Society of New South Wales', The Royal Australian Chemical Institute Proceedings, 28 (1961), 100-109. Details
  • Vallance, T. G., 'William Rowan Browne 1884-1975', Records of the Australian Academy of Science, 4 (1) (1979), 65-81. Details


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Digital resources

William Rowan Browne


McCarthy, G.J.