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Biographical entry Hector, James




(Sir) James Hector was sometime Director-General of the Geological Survey of Western Australia.



Career position - Director, New Zealand Institute
Career position - Founding member of the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science Founding Member, 1888. first Vice-President 1888

Related Corporate Bodies

Archival resources

Western Australian Museum

  • James Hector - Records, 1860 - 1891; Western Australian Museum. Details

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions


  • Burns, Rowan and Nathan, Simon, My Dear Hooker: Transcriptions of Letters From James Hector to Joseph Dalton Hooker Between 1860 and 1898, Geoscience Society of New Zealand, Lower Hutt, N.Z., 2012, 208 pp. Details
  • Burns, Rowan and Nathan, Simon, A Quick Run Home: Correspondence While James Hector was Overseas in 1875-1876, Geoscience Society of New Zealand, Lower Hutt, N.Z, 2012, 142 pp. Details
  • Mildenhall, Esme and Nathan, Simon, Letters From James Farmer to James Hector, 1876-1891, Geoscience Society of New Zealand, Wellington, 2013, 133 pp. Details
  • Nathan, Simon, James Hector: explorer, scientist, leader, Geoscience Society of New Zealand, Takaka, N.Z., 2015, 264 pp. Details
  • Nolden, Sascha, Burns, Rowan and Nathan, Simon, The Correspondence of Julius Haast and James Hector, 1862-1887, Geoscience Society of New Zealand, Lower Hutt (N.Z.), 2012, 315 pp. Details

Book Sections

  • Mason, Alan, 'Sir James Hector, 1834-1907', in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2004. Details

Edited Books

  • Nathan, Simon (ed.), The Amazing World of James Hector: Explorer, Geologist, Botanist, Natural Historian, Surgeon, Awa Press, Wellington, 2008, 185 pp. Details
  • Yaldwyn, John and Hobbs, Juliet (eds), My Dear Hector: Letters from Joseph Dalton Hooker to James Hector, 1862-1893, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, 1998, 292 pp. Details

Journal Articles

  • Darragh, Thomas A., 'Charles Sturtevant Wood, Analyst, his Work and his Correspondence with James Hector', Historical Records of Australian Science, vol. 7, no. 3, 1988, pp. 231-271. Also available at Details
  • Hocken, A. G., 'The establishment of James Hector in Otago', Historical Studies Group Newsletter (Geological Society of New Zealand), vol. 31, 2006, pp. 36-50. Details
  • Loosmore, Brian, 'James Hector (1834-1907): Doctor, Geologist, Explorer of Western Canada', Journal of Medical Biography, vol. 17, no. 3, 2009, pp. 174-176. Details
  • Nathan, Simon, 'James Hector and the First Geological Maps of New Zealand', Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, vol. 44, no. 2/3, 2014, pp. 88-100. Details
  • Thode, Simon, 'Bones and Words in 1870s New Zealand: the Moahunter Debate through Actor Networks ', British Journal for the History of Science , vol. 42, no. 2, 2009, pp. 225-244. Details


  • Burnett, R. I., 'The life and work of Sir James Hector, with special reference to the Hector collection', MA thesis, University of Otago, 1936, 174, lxxxvii pp. Details
  • Hocken, A. G., 'The early life of James Hector, 1834-1865: the first Otago Provincial Geologist', PhD thesis, University of Otago, 2007, 334 pp. Details
  • Reid, Francis Lucian, 'The Province of Science: James Hector and the New Zealand Institute 1867-1903', PhD thesis, 2007, 210 pp. Details

Online Resources

See also

  • Mildenhall, E., Burns, Rowan and Nathan, Simon, Transcriptions of Selected Letters From Frederick Wollaston Hutton to James Hector and Julius Haast, Geoscience Society of New Zealand, Lower Hutt (N.Z), 2012, 141 pp. Details
  • Miskelly, C. M., 'Colonial ornithology in New Zealand - the legacy of the New Zealand Institute', Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, vol. 47, no. 3, 2017, pp. 244-53. Details

McCarthy, G.J.