Melbourne: Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union, 1900- 2000. Octavo, the first 97 volumes in a neat binder's cloth, later volumes unbound, a very good set.
The single most important twentieth century reference work on Australian ornithology. The Australasian Ornithologists' Union (for most of its existence the Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union, and now Birds Australia) started with 137 members thus explaining the scarcity of the early volumes and even as early as 1904 the secretary Dudley Le Souef noted that volume one was out of print. A reprint was then suggested but this never happened although many years later volumes one to three were facsimiled by Jack Hyett and Roy Cooper.
In the first volume A. J. Campbell, the first editor of The Emu, gives an account of the formation of the Union and in volume three the editors (Campbell was now joined by Henry Kendall) exhorted the members to "... give wholehearted support by forwarding contributions, while not forgetting the very necessary subscriptions. According to the food (material aid) the natural Emu receives, so will its dress appear- lustrous or otherwise. The same with the literary Emu... Besides the primary plank- the scientific study of the avifauna- there are other great considerations worthy of attention: traffic in birds, their wanton destruction, their national value, especially to the farmer, orchardist, etc, not to mention their aesthetic bearing, without which the sum total of human happiness can never be complete".
For an excellent history of Birds Australia and the fortunes of The Emu see Robin, Libby. The flight of the Emu: a hundred years of Australian Ornithology 1901-2001. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2001.
PROVENANCE: The set of Margaret Cameron, president of Birdlife Australia 1986-89 (see Robin, Libby. The flight of the Emu: a hundred years of Australian ornithology 1901-2001. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2001).
Price: $12,500.00 AU