58[“Exploration in Western Australia”, The West Australian, Wednesday 18 May 1910, page 8]




According to the latest issue of the “British Australasian,” received by yesterday’s mail, it appears that two scientific expeditions have been arranged for this year to visit Western Australia, one being British and the other Swedish. In giving particulars of the interesting projects, the “British Australasian” states:—

“The Cambridge Ethnological Expedition is to leave England in the summer of this year with a view to spending 12 months in ethnological and geological research. As at present consituted the party consists of Mr. Alfred Brown, leader, and Mr. Grant Watson. Mr. Brown is a Fellow (in Ethnology) of Trinity College, Cambridge, and lecturer in Ethnology m the University of London. He also holds, for the second time, the Anthony Wilkin Studentship in Ethnology, of the value of £200. Mr. Grant Watson will devote himself chiefly to zoology, but will also assist Mr. Brown in his ethnological researches. The expedition is under the direction of a committee consisting of Professor Ridgeway, M.A., D.Sc. F.B.A., president of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Professor of Archaeology at Cambridge; Dr. J. G. Frazer, F.B.A., Professor of Social Anthropology in the Liverpool University; Dr. A. C. Hadden, F.R.S.. Fellow of Christ’s College, Cambridge, and Lecturer in Ethnology; and Dr. W. H. Rivers, F.R.S. Western Australia has been chosen for the objective as at present the least-known part of the continent. Besides what is provided by the Anthony Wilkin Studentship, the funds have been given by the Royal Society and by Sir John Murray, F.R.S. There is no reason why the work should not be continued beyond the first year, both in Western Australia and in the other parts of the Commonwealth, should funds be forthcoming. Mr. Grant Watson leaves England on May 5, and Mr. Brown later.

“The Academy of Sciences in Stockholm have control of a fund for the furtherance of scientific exploration. This year a portion of the available funds has been awarded to a young zoologist, Dr. Eric Mjoberg, for the carrying out of a journey in the Kimberley district of North Western Australia. “Dr. Mjoberg and his companions will start from Stockholm in June. The expedition will cost 20,000 kroner (about £1,100), part of which sum has been raised by private subscription, and it is expected to last about a year and a half. The Swedish steamship line to Australia is providing free passages for the explorers.

“The vessel will touch at Durban and will go thence straight to Fremantle, where the necessary servants, etc., will be engaged, from that town the expedition will go by steamer north to Derby, which is to become their headquarters.

“One of the objects of the explorers is to make a large and characteristic collection of objects of natural history, including minerals and fossils. But besides this collection of objects, in which the Swedish museums happen to be singularly deficient, Dr. Mjoberg intends to attempt to solve an important animal-geographical question. He wishes to ascertain how far and to what extent immigration has taken place from the Malay Islands, and its influence on the flora and fauna.

“Two excursions are going to be made. The first from Derby on horseback inland, following the Fitzroy River (water in this country of such definitely dry and wet seasons being of primary importance) south and east of the King Leopold Mountains towards the source, and thus reaching the more central districts of the country, crossing the chain of mountains, and returning to Derby along a river north of the mountains. The other excursion will go northwards along the coast to the northernmost paint of the Kimberley district. The coast is much in dented with deep bays and fjords, and the intention is to devote especial attention to the animal life in these fjords, whereby it is hoped to obtain additional important results to those the German Michaelson and Hartleyer expeditions obtained from a purely marine point of view. Thence the road lies via Fremantle to Derby.

“The explorers are all under 30 years of age, but have had considerable experience.”

AB notes:

A good summary here of Eric Mjoberg’s sponsorship and plans.