The Lance McCarthy Collection comprises some 90 items including books, prints and proofing material by the botanical draughtsman Ferdinand Bauer (1760 – 1826), who was one of six scientists selected by Sir Joseph Banks to accompany Matthew Flinders on his circumnavigation of Australia.
The late Dr Lance McCarthy was a physicist at Flinders University for many years, and during the early 1990s he began collecting prints and illustrated publications by and about Bauer. Over the ensuing two decades he organised and contributed to several exhibitions and publications on the science and art of the Investigator voyage.
The Collection represents a highly significant body of work and constitutes an important intellectual asset with explicit links to the University’s namesake. The Collection also enriches our appreciation of the Investigator Garden at the Bedford Park campus, which was spearheaded by Dr McCarthy in early 2000 and established more recently as testament to Flinders’ achievements.
Bauer worked under the direction of botanist Robert Brown, and in addition to botanical specimens, drew zoological subjects. He returned to England on the Investigator in 1805, carrying with him 11 cases of drawings. Upon his return, the Admiralty continued to employ Bauer to allow him to publish an account of his travels. Bauer also worked on the Illustrationes Florae Novae Hollandiae for five years and contributed ten plates to Flinders’ Voyage to Terra Australis. The Lance McCarthy Collection includes materials from these volumes and other folios of work.
The Collection was offered to Flinders via the Library and Art Museum by Mrs Sheila McCarthy following Dr McCarthy’s death in July 2015. Some of the Collection was purchased with funds made available through the Library and Office of the Vice Chancellor. The University of the Third Age also generously supported the acquisition as a commemorative gesture for the University’s 50th Anniversary. The remaining portion was gifted by Mrs McCarthy in memory of her husband.