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James Ferguson, John Alexander Ferguson: preserving our past, inspiring our future.

James Ferguson, John Alexander Ferguson: preserving our past, inspiring our future, National Library of Australia, Canberra, 2011, vii + 236 pages; ISBN 978 0 64227 718 3.

John Alexander Ferguson's fame extends far beyond his career as a barrister and judge of the NSW Industrial Commission. He found time to serve as a councillor of the RAHS from 1918 to 1945, and is now commemorated by the biennial Ferguson lecture most recently held in August this year. His claim to wider fame is based on the seven-volume Bibliography of Australia, published between 1941 and 1969. This epic work aims to describe every printed document about Australia published between 1784 and 1901, and is still routinely cited by book dealers to describe their wares.

Ferguson not only catalogued but also collected many of the publications he listed, and his assemblage of 34,000 items is now held by the National Library of Australia, which has published this biography by his grandson James. The biography draws on family papers and photographs to illuminate Ferguson's endeavours in history and the law as well as his role as a Presbyterian layman. The book is beautifully produced with 30 illustrations and a family tree.

Anne-Maree Whitaker

Book Review Editor

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Title Annotation:BOOK NOTES
Author:Whitaker, Anne-Maree
Publication:Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society
Article Type:Book review
Date:Dec 1, 2011
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