Page iv
Previous/Next Page
Federation and MeteorologyBureau of Meteorology

Title Page
About the Project
Table of Contents


Contact us
About the Project

Federation and Meteorology draws on the rich and authoritative historical resources of the Bureau of Meteorology, and publishes on the Web for the first time major articles that have been difficult to access. The project was generously funded by the National Council for the Centenary of Federation, based on the observation that the emergence of Australian meteorology as a science parallels closely the story of Federation and was both influenced by and contributed to the ambition of nationhood. national council for the centenary of federation logo

This project brings together a range of scholarly, interpretative and historical resources. Tim Sherratt provides an overview of the hopes surrounding the establishment of the Bureau and the links between meteorology and ideas of nationhood in ‘A Climate for a Nation’, while exploring public attitudes towards weather forecasts and the limits of meteorology in ‘The Weather Prophets’. Eminent historians of Australian science, Rod Home and Ken Livingston, present the case of meteorology in the story of Australian Federation. The 14 volumes of the Metarch Papers, a series of texts originally published by the Bureau between 1986 and 1999 dealing with the history of Australian meteorology generally and the Bureau of Meteorology particularly, have been republished. A substantial amount of biographical material (retirement notices, staff profiles and obituaries) has been selected and republished from the Bureau’s in-house journal Weather News, along with other articles of an historical nature, and those giving an insight into the Bureau’s use of volunteers and relationship with the media. Key articles by Australian meteorological pioneers Henry Russell and Charles Todd review the nineteenth century landscape, while Australia’s evolving role in the international meteorological community in the twentieth century is examined by Bureau meteorologists Neville Nicholls, Neil Streten and John Zillman.

Federation and Meteorology unlocks the rich and evocative story of meteorology in Australia and provides broad public access via the Web to more than 600,000 words of text and 300 images. More than one hundred new biographical entries have been added to the Bright Sparcs and Australian Science at Work databases integrated with and complementing the online publication.


I would like to acknowledge the contributions of the following people in the production of this online resource:

  • Bill Gibbs, Tim Sherratt, Neville Nicholls, Neil Streten, John Zillman, Cathy Bruce and members of the Frosterley Club
  • The Bureau of Meteorology, in particular Bill Downey, Andrew Hollis and Jill Nicholls
  • Austehc staff - Gavan McCarthy, Joanne Evans, Robin Stephens, Rosanne Walker
  • Processor - Ailie Smith
  • Design and content of introductory pages (Home; A national approach; Practical science; Forecasting change; Global perspectives) - Tim Sherratt (

Helen Morgan, Editor
Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre
August 2001

Previous Page Bureau of Meteorology Next Page

© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher