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Biographical entry Mathews, Gregory Macalister (1876 - 1949)

10 September 1876
Biamble, New South Wales, Australia
27 March 1949
Winchester, England


Gregory Mathews, who was born in New South Wales, came under the influence of R. Bowdler Sharpe at the British Museum in the early 1900s and thereafter endeavoured to produce an exhaustive work on Australian birds. This was published in 12 volumes as The Birds of Australia between 1910 and 1927.



Career position - Cattle Station, North Queensland, Australia
Career position - Orchadist, New South Wales
Award - Fellow, American Ornithologists Union, United States of America
Award - Fellow, Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scotland
Education - The Kings School, Parramatta, Australia
1902 -
Life event - Travelled to England
1910 - 1927
Career position - Author, Birds of Australia 12 Volumes, Bibliography, checklist and two supplements.
1911 - 1923
Career position - Studied Australian Birds collecting 30,000 specimens and 5,000 books relating to them
1912 - 1927
Career position - Editor and Publisher, Australian Avian Record
1914 -
Life event - Visited Australia and the United States of America
Career event - Sold physical specimens to Lord Rothschild, now housed in the American Museum of Natural History, New York, United State of America
1935 - 1938
Career Position - Chairman, British Ornithologists' Club, Great Britain
1939 -
Award - Fellow, Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union, Australia and New Zealand
Award - Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE), Great Britain
1939 - 1945
Career position - Presented and supervised the housing of his Library at the National Library of Australia, Australia
1939 - 1946
Life event - Visited Australia
1946 - 1947
Career position - President, Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union, Australia and New Zealand

Related Corporate Bodies

Archival resources

National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection

  • Gregory Macalister Mathews - Records, 1900 - 1949, MS 1465; National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection. Details

State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection

  • Gregory Macalister Mathews - Records, 1890 - 1949; State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection. Details

Published resources


  • Mathews, G. M., The Birds of Australia. Bibliography of the Birds of Australia. (London: H. F. & G. Witherby, 1925). Details
  • Mathews, G. M., Birds and Books. the Story of Mathews Ornithological Library (Canberra: Verity Hewitt, 1942). Details

Book Sections

Journal Articles

  • Bryant, C. E., 'Gregory M. Mathews', Emu, 49 (2) (1949), 145-8. Details
  • Iredale, T., 'The Work of Gregory Mathews, Ornithologist', Proceedings of the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales (1940), 31-33. Details
  • Iredale, T., 'Gregory M. Mathews (1876-1949)', Proceedings of the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, 1948/9 (1948), 16-20. Details
  • Kinnear, N. B., 'Gregory M. Mathews, C.B.E.', Ibis, 91 (1949), 521-4. Details
  • Mathews, G. M., 'G. J. Broinowski', Emu, 41 (1941). Details
  • Mathews, G.M. and Iredale, T., 'Captain Thomas Brown, Ornithologist', The Australian Avian Record, 4 (1922), 176-194. Details
  • Schodde, Richard, 'The Mathews Collection and the Birds of Australia', National Library of Australia News (2000), 3-6. Details
  • Walker, Rosanne, 'Gregory Macalister Mathews: Taxonomist Extraordinaire', Australasian Science, 21 (6) (2000), 46. Details


See also

  • Davis, William E., Boles, Walter E., and Recher, Harry F. eds, Contributions to the history of Australasian ornithology, volume IV (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Nuttall Ornithological Club, 2018), 608 pp. Details
  • Robin, Libby, The Flight of the Emu: a Hundred Years of Australian Ornithology 1901-2001 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2001), 492 pp. Details

McCarthy, G.J.