Sir Charles Maurice Yonge Collection
- Future Students
- Current Students
- Research and Teaching
- Partners and Community
- About JCU
- Celebrating 50 Years
- Anton Breinl Research Centre
- Agriculture Technology and Adoption Centre
- Living on Campus
- Advanced Prawn Breeding Research Hub
- Advanced Analytical Centre
- Applying to JCU
- Australian/NZ Students
- Australian Lions Stinger Research
- Boating and Diving
- Australian Tropical Herbarium
- Careers at JCU
- Association of Australian University Secretaries
- Careers and Employability
- Australian Quantum & Classical Transport Physics Group
- Centre for Tropical Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology
- College of Business, Law and Governance
- College of Healthcare Sciences
- College of Medicine and Dentistry
- College of Science and Engineering
- COVID-19 Advice
- Cyclone Testing Station
- Daintree Rainforest Observatory
- Diploma of Higher Education
- Discover Nature at JCU
- Division of Research and Innovation
- Division of Tropical Environments and Societies
- Division of Tropical Health and Medicine
- Staff Intranet
- Economic Geology Research Centre
- Elite Athletes
- Foundation for Australian Literary Studies
- Gender Equity Action and Research
- Give to JCU
- Information for JCU Cairns Graduates
- Graduate Research School
- JCU Ideas Lab
- Indigenous Education and Research Centre
- Indigenous Legal Needs Project
- IT Services
- Information for Agents
- International Students
- JCU College
- JCU Connect
- JCU Contact Information
- JCU Eduquarium
- JCU Global Experience
- JCU Motorsports
- JCU Prizes
- JCU Sport
- Language and Culture Research Centre
- InfoSkills Toolkit
- Subject Guides
- 'How To' Guides
- Referencing Library Guide
- Endnote Library Guide
- LinkedIn Learning
- Copyright - About the JCU Copyright section
- Copyright Officer for the University
- For Undergraduate Students
- For Postgraduate Students
- For Lecturers
- Copyright - Fair Dealing
- ePortfolios & Copyright
- Copyright, the Internet and Music
- Copyright - Creative Commons
- Copyright - Creating Works
- Copyright Warning Notices for Staff
- Copyright Acronyms and Terminology
- ResearchOnline@JCU - Copyright
- Helpful Copyright Links and Resources
- Library FAQs
- Borrow and Renew
- Your Library account
- Interlibrary Loans & Document Supply
- Print and Copy
- Study Rooms
- I am a
- Special Collections
- Marine Geophysics Laboratory
- New Students
- Off-Campus Students
- Office of the Provost
- Office of the Vice Chancellor and President
- Open Day
- Outstanding Alumni Awards
- Parents and Partners
- Pathways to University
- Planning and Performance
- Planning for your future
- Professional Experience Placement
- Queensland Research Centre for Peripheral Vascular Disease
- Rapid Assessment Unit
- Researcher Development Portal
- Safety and Wellbeing
- Scholarships @ JCU
- Strategic Procure to Pay
- Student Equity and Wellbeing
- TQ Maths Hub
- Unicare Centre and Unicampus Kids
- VAVS Home
- Work Health and Safety
- WHOCC for Vector-borne & NTDs
- Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine
Pictured are A.P. Orr (a Scottish hydrographer) and C.M. Yonge (leader of the GBR expedition). Photo credit National Library of Australia.
Sir Charles Maurice Yonge (1899-1986) was a highly distinguished marine zoologist whose contribution to marine science and especially malacology, was long and productive, with a publication record spanning 63 years. He led the highly successful Great Barrier Reef Expedition of 1928-1929, which opened up the scientific world to the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef, and laid the foundations of scientific study into modern coral reef biology. He was a dedicated scientist who travelled widely, a fine teacher and a prolific writer. He inspired generations of upcoming young scientists around the world to take his research further and discover more.
Throughout his life, Sir Maurice acquired an extensive private library of books, reports and papers relating to all aspects of the sea, in all its wonders. In 1982, knowing that his health was failing him, he sold his private scientific library to the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS). Sir Maurice had undertaken a six-week research trip to AIMS in 1978, and formed such lasting bonds with scientists and personnel there, that he felt the most appropriate home for his library was at AIMS.
Comprising around several thousand items, the collection includes works published from the early 1700s to the twentieth century. The subject range of the collection is overall marine, with malacology a strong subject area. Many other marine subjects are also represented, such as oceanography, fisheries, marine biology, marine botany and zoology, biographies, records of major scientific expeditions, history, marine fiction, anthologies & poetry, and even seafood cookbooks.
The collection held pride of place in the AIMS Library from 1982 to 2016. In order to ensure safe, long-term preservation of the collection, it was gifted to James Cook University Library in 2016, and is now housed under strict archival conditions in Special Collections.
Find out more:
The Luana, at Snapper Island, 1928.
Photo: National Library of Australia.
Read more about the Expedition to the Great Barrier Reef 1928-1929 and the Sir C.M. Yonge Collection in this fabulous series of blog posts by Trisha Fielding, Special Collections Library Officer:
- Expedition to the Great Barrier Reef 1928-1929 - Part 1. In which a group of British and Australian scientists embarked on an expedition to investigate the greatest coral reef in the world.
- Expedition to the Great Barrier Reef 1928-1929 - Part 2. In which getting to the reef involves some adventure.
- Expedition to the Great Barrier Reef 1928-1929 - Part 3. In which we meet the daring explorers.
- Expedition to the Great Barrier Reef 1928-1929 - Part 4. In which we explore the work at Low Isles and life on a tropical island.
- Expedition to the Great Barrier Reef 1928-1929 - Part 5. In which we focus on the significance of the expedition and on the women of the expedition.
- Return... to the Great Barrier Reef. In which we learn what happened to Yonge after the expedition, and follow his books on their journey to AIMS and JCU.
The Collection comes to JCU:
- A Library of Exquisite Treasures. Former AIMS Librarian Suzie Davies talk about the unique challenge of taking on an entire collection of books.
- 'Behind the Scenes' of the Sir C.M. Yonge Collection - Part 1. An insight into what the cataloguers have discovered as they work their way through the new collection.
- 'Behind the Scenes' of the Sir C.M. Yonge Collection - Part 2. We discover that the librarians put books in the freezer (yes, literally), and find out what the library officers and volunteers have learned through working with these books.
- Official launch of the Sir C.M. Yonge Collection. In which many people come to the library to see witness the launch of the collection.
Highlights from the Collection:
- We have found so many gems in the collection that we can't list them all here - and we keep finding more wonderful works to showcase. Check out the Sir C.M. Yonge Collection posts in the JCU Library News Blog.
Listen to the ABC North Queensland's Pat Hession discuss the Yonge Expedition and Collection with Bronwyn McBurnie and other special guests. Click on the image to hear the podcast.