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Author/Editor: N. Sivasothi
Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore.


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Wed 14 Feb 2007

On the trail of Gibson-Hill

Category : research

30 Jan 2007 - Bonny Tan, Eunice Low and Timothy Pwee of the National Library Board dropped by two weeks ago to examine some of Gibson-Hill's bird specimens. Carl Alexander Gibson-Hill was Curator of the Raffles Museum in 1947 and Director in 1957.

Eunice had visited us earlier in October 2004 in preparation for an internal talk at NLB and now Bonny is workin on the Gibson-Hill Collection Catalogue.

"His collection was purchased by Mrs Loke Yew, mother of Dato Loke Wan Tho (1915-1964), who presented it to the National Library in June 1965, in fulfillment of her late son's wish." See NLB's webpage on Donor's Collections.

Gibson-Hill had a keen interest in birds and a sample of his collection was brought out for examination by the library staff. This was to provide Bonny with an idea of what to expect when begins her detailed examination scheduled later this year. We also brought out an old photo of Gibson-Hill that used to hang on the walls of the museum, along with the other former directors.

I often wish we had decent photos of the other museum staff that worked in the various entities that gave rise to and were derived from the Raffles Library and Museum.

Bonny had worked with Raffles Museum curator HK Lua in 2005 during preparation for NLB's "From Books to Bytes" exhibition. This exhibition is still on display and certainly worth a visit at the National Library. Also, see the wonderful resource presentation of the material on display at NLB's Virtual Exhibitions.


L - Bonny Tan chatting with HK Lua in the Dry Collection Room. R - Examining and photographing Gibson-Hill's specimens.


Timothy and Eunice are also keen naturalists and enjoyed the opportunity to examine this historical collection. The well preserved specimens are kept out of light when not being examined by researchers. For general photos like these, no flash is used.


Juvenile Red-tailed Tropic-bird (Phaethon rubricauda).

Posted at 6:26AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,