In 1985, Gavan McCarthy commenced data collection about the archives of Australian science as a key activity of the Australian Science Archives Project. Bright Sparcs came into being through the vision and effort of Tim Sherratt, a former Deputy Director of the Australian Science Archives Project (now Austehc), whose work from 1992 made it possible.
The current Encyclopedia of Australian Science development team is:
- Gavan McCarthy - content manager
- Joanne Evans - system development
- Helen Morgan - research and development
- Ailie Smith - research and data entry.
The eScholarship Research Centre also acknowledges the contribution of :
- Russ Weakley/Maxdesign - site redesign, 2010
- Helen Cohn - bibliography compiler, 2008-
- Annette Alafaci - research and data entry, 2004-06
- John Horacek - bibliography compiler, 2003-07
- Alan van den Bosch - server manager, 2002-06
- Ailie Smith - research and data entry, 1999-2004
- Laurie Carlson - bibliography compiler, 1999-2002
- Rosanne Walker - content manager, 1996-2002
- Robin Stephens - server manager, 1996-2002
- Elissa Tenkate - manager, Canberra office, and publications and marketing manager, 1996-98
- Denise Sutherland - Bright Sparcs site manager and www resource developer, 1996-98
- Victoria Young - www resource developer, 1995-96
- Karl Slotte - bibliographic data entry, 1996-97
- Guillaume Mallet - search engine design and programming activities, 1996
- Griffiths & Young - design of Bright Sparcs logos, 1996.
Bright Sparcs was partially financed in the 1990s from the National Priority (Reserve) Fund allocation for Improved Library Infrastructure administered by the AVCC Standing Committee on Information Resources. It grew out of the data contained in the Register of Archives of Science in Australia (RASA), which was designed and developed by Gavan McCarthy, with research by Kim Humphery. Initial funding for RASA was provided by the Committee to Review Australian Studies in Tertiary Education (CRASTE), the National Centre for Australian Studies at Monash University and the National Library of Australia.
Further support has come from a variety of sources, including:
- The Ancient Aeronauts & Mariners
- Smith Kline Beecham
- Sally White
- Birds Australia
- Royal Society of Victoria
- National Council for the Centenary of Federation
- Australian Research Council Learned Academies' Special Projects
- Dr Joan Durdin
- New South Wales College of Nursing
- Royal College of Nursing
- Office for the Status of Women
We would also like to thank the following for their cooperation and assistance in the development of Bright Sparcs:
- Australian Academy of Science
- Australia Foundation for Culture & the Humanities
- Australian Society of Archivists
- Department of History and Philosophy of Science, The University of Melbourne
Additional Acknowledgments from Guide to the Archives of Science in Australia: records of individuals (1991)[ Excerpt from the Guide to the Archives of Science in Australia: records of individuals compiled and edited by Gavan McCarthy, published by Thorpe in association with the Australian Science Archives Project and National Centre for Australian Studies, Melbourne, 1991, ISBN 0909532974. ]
Financial support for work on this guide came from three sources. The project was initially funded by a grant from the Committee to Review Australian Studies in Tertiary Education (CRASTE) in late 1987. CRASTE was established by the Commonwealth Department of Employment, Education and Training in connection with the Australian bicentenary celebrations of 1988. Though we realised from the outset that this grant would not be sufficient to see the task completed, it did allow the collection of a significant amount of data and the establishment of a database system to handle the information A grant from the Helen M. Schutt Trust in late 1988 allowed for the further collation of data and its entry into the database. Then, in late 1989, the National Centre for Research and Development in Australian Studies (now the National Centre for Australian Studies) at Monash University provided sufficient funds to see the remaining data processed and the output prepared for publication.
More recently, the National Library of Australia has provided funds to allow work to continue on the database, specifically the collation and assemblage of data in a format suitable for use on the OZLINE network.
The Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Melbourne, by housing the Australian Science Archives Project from its inception in 1985, has contributed significantly to the production of this guide. Access to the departmental library and the ready availability of staff and students with specialist knowledge have been greatly appreciated.
I should particularly like to thank Kim Humphery, who worked as a research assistant under the initial CRASTE grant. He collected a huge quantity of data and began the process of entering it into the nascent database. Subsequently he had to live through the early, clumsy stages as we learned how to operate our computer and the database management system. Other Australian Science Archives Project staff who have worked on the guide include Bill King and Tim Sherratt, to whom I am most grateful. Professor R.W. Home, Director of the Australian Science Archives Project, was constantly on call for advice and was particularly helpful in the latter stages of the production of the guide.
I should especially like to thank Professor H.C. Bolton, Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Australian Science Archives Project, who has been a constant source of encouragement and fine counsel over a number of years. He willingly and speedily completed all tasks put before him, including editorial advice and proofreading. Naturally I take full responsibility for the final product, but without the help of all those mentioned this guide would not have been produced.
Lastly, I should like to thank the staff of the archives and libraries that hold the records referred to in this guide. The help and information provided by the archivist and librarians, some of whom we were able to meet in person and others with whom we corresponded, made the whole project possible. In this regard, I should especially like to thank Rosanne Clayton [now Walker] of the Basser Library, Sara Maroske of the Ferdinand von Mueller Correspondence Project, National Herbarium of Victoria, and Colin Smith of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, formerly the CSIRO Archivist.
Australian Science Archives Project, 1991
Major published sources used in the compilation of the Guide to the Archives of Science in Australia: records of individuals include:
- Buddin, M., M. Organ and L. Trott, A Guide to the Australian Museum Archives. Sydney, Australian Museum 1988.
- Burmester, C.A., National Library of Australia. Guide to the Collections. Volumes 1-4. Canberra, National Library of Australia 1974-1982.
- Gibbney, H.J. and A.G. Smith, A Biographical Register 1788-1939. Notes from the Name Index of the Australian Dictionary of Biography. Volumes I and II. Canberra, Australian Dictionary of Biography in association with the Australian National University 1987.
- Mozley, A., A Guide to the Manuscript Records of Australian Science. Canberra, Australian Academy of Science in association with Australian National University Press 1966.
- Australian Dictionary of Biography Volumes 1-12. Melbourne University Press 1966-1990.
- Catalogue of Manuscripts of Australasia and the Pacific in the Mitchell Library, Sydney. Series A: Manuscripts Catalogued between 1945 and 1963. Sydney, Trustees of the Public Library of New South Wales 1967.
- Catalogue of Manuscripts of Australasia and the Pacific in the Mitchell Library, Sydney. Series B: Manuscripts Catalogued between 1963 and 1967. Sydney, Trustees of the Public Library of New South Wales 1969.
- Guide to the Collections of Manuscripts relating to Australia. Series A-C. Canberra, National Library of Australia 1965-.
- List of Holdings 1985. Melbourne, Public Record Office of Victoria 1985.
- University of Melbourne Archives, Guide to Collections. Melbourne, Archives Board of Management, University of Melbourne 1983.