The Butterfly Men of Kuranda: natural history dealers in the 'deep north'

Kuranda Butterfly Santuary Male Cairns Birdwing Butterfly in flight

Summary

This project forms part of a social history of Australian entomology in the period 1880-1914, when professionalisation was rapidly increasing. It begins with the archives of Frederick Parkhurst Dodd, a pioneering insect breeder and dealer who not only sold thousands of specimens (mainly lepidoptera) to some of the world's wealthiest collectors but introduced far north Queensland's entomology to the attention of south-east Australia. His home-based business in Kuranda, in which he was helped by his sons, was coupled with a worldwide network of correspondence and trade. His Kuranda home was also a semi-public commercial site for the natural history traditions in which he worked, such as those of the curiosity cabinet and the mingling of science, wonder, and magic.

Investigator

Professor Deirdre Coleman (The University of Melbourne)

Image: Lepidlizard. Kuranda Butterfly Santuary Male Cairns Birdwing Butterfly in flight 2007 (detail) Public domain