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Last updated: 30 September 2010

Thomson, George Malcolm

Collection | Ref # ARC-0465 | Held by Hocken Collections - Uare Taoka o Hakena

What is it?


Thomson, George Malcolm


Thomson, George Malcolm, 1848-1933

Level of description:



1.91 linear metres

Reference number:



George Malcolm Thomson was born in Calcutta, educated at Edinburgh High School and University, and after some business experience in London arrived in New Zealand in 1868. In 1871 he joined the staff of Otago Boys' High School and became Science Master from 1877 to 1903. In 1876 he represented Otago in rugby. He was founder of the Otago Technical School in 1889, and for several years was Superintendent; a promoter of the Dunedin City Mission (1896); and President of the Y.M.C.A. for 20 years.
From 1908 to 1914 Thomson was the Reform Member for Dunedin North in the House of Representatives, and sat on the Legislative Council from 1918-1932.

As a scientist he was a prolific writer, publishing works on plants, crustaceans, fish and fisheries. In 1872 he was elected a member of the New Zealand Institute, which published many of his papers. He was secretary and later president of the Otago branch. He was elected a fellow of the Linnean Society, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Royal Society of Tasmania, and was for many years New Zealand secretary of the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science.

Thomson was a founder and chairman of the Marine Hatchery Board, a member of the Acclimatisation Society, and a founder of the Dunedin Naturalist Field Club. In 1928 he was awarded the Hector medal by the New Zealand Institute.

Thomson married his first wife Emma Allan in 1873 and his wife Alice Craig in 1910. He died on the 25 August 1933.

Scope and contents:

The collection includes diaries (1882, 1886-1892, 1895-1933), scientific notebooks (1873-1917), an outward letter book (1889-1898) and ten newspaper clipping books (1893-1932).

Dates covered:

1805 - 1933


French, German, Russian

Archival history:

Provenance: The diaries in this collection (AG-839 and AG-926) were borrowed, with the donor's permission, by Mr Ross Galbreath in late 1996, for his work on G.M. Thomson's biography. The diaries in AG-839 were retrieved by the Hocken Librarian, Stuart Strachan, in Wellington on 24 May 2001 and those in AG-926 were returned on 22 May 2002. The material comprising this collection was donated by various members of G.M. Thomson's family, those being A.P. Thomson, J.G. Thomson and E.A. Kingston (G.M. Thomson's grand-daughter).

Access conditions:

Not restricted

Finding aids:

Listed on ‘Hakena’ the Hocken Collections online archives and manuscripts catalogue

Related links:

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Associated with:





Naturalists · Natural history - New Zealand · Taieri

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