Victorian Gold and Mining Papers, volumes 1 and 2. Melbourne: Government Printing Office. 1851-1912. Folio, in two volumes. See below for details.
This very rare set of papers are bound in dark blue half calf over a lighter shade of blue calf with tooled edges, gilt spine titles and gilt ruled spine panel borders. The bindings are tight and exceptionally clean, text very clean with minor spotting to a few pages in both volumes, all maps and tables are very clean. The set was bound at some point for a Melbourne law office and well cared for over the years. The majority of the papers were printed on a pale blue to gray paper and copies of the papers are commonly referred to as the “blue papers”. This is a very rare set of those papers pertaining to the discovery of and management of the gold fields in Victoria, Australia. The papers begin with the first reports of gold production in the earliest mining areas in 1851. A partial list of the major papers follows.:
Volume 1, 1851-1861. Approximately 400 pages total. The papers below are but a few within the volume. A number of short notifications pertaining to newly imposed regulations on the gold fields are not listed, as are not notices of newly licensed mines, disputes over ownership of discoveries or pleadings.
1. Return Respecting the Gold Fields. Melbourne, 1851. pp. 24. With reports on the dates of the discovery of the gold fields, names of the places where the discoveries exist and their locations, and dates when the discoveries were first occupied. The number of government licenses issued and the quantity and value of the gold by locality, the number of persons residing at and employed in each locality, expenses incurred, and government regulations instituted. The data includes such noted mining localities as Ballarat, Mount Alexander, Anderson’s Creek and Broken River.
2. Gold Dispatch. Melbourne, 1852. pp. 5. Written by Lt. Governor C. J. La Trobe. Within this dispatch is the first reference to levying an export duty upon all gold from the newly discovered fields, the express views of the Queen to have a regiment of soldiers dispatched from England to Melbourne to help enforce order and new laws. Further concerns are expressed concerning the need for stronger controls on searching and mining gold deposits without permits and licenses nor the paying of fees. All mining must have the full approval of Her Majesty. Anyone taking gold, metals, or ores containing gold will be prosecuted both criminally and civilly. All gold shipments would be escorted by police or military units from the fields to the Melbourne Treasury.
3. Colonial Mineral Surveyor. Melbourne, 1852. pp. 1. Announcement of the appointment of the British geologist Alfred Selwyn (1824-1902) as the first mineral surveyor to the Colony of Victoria. Selwyn would soon become the First Director of the Geological Survey of Victoria and from 1869 to 1894 the Director of the Geological Survey of Canada.
4. Gold Specimen Presented to Her Majesty. Melbourne, 1852. pp. 2. The gold specimen was chosen for its beauty and came from workings in the vicinity of Bendigo Creek. The specimen was presented to Her Majesty and placed in Windsor Castle.
5. Gold Diggings, Melbourne, 1853. pp. 15 consisting of tables for each district.
6. Gold Fields, Melbourne, 1853. pp. 8 consisting of table of details on police employed, gold transports, distances between golf fields. Pertains to the Ballarat, mt. Alexander, Bendigo, May Day Hills, and McIvor Gold Fields.
7. Geological Surveyor’s Report. Melbourne, 1854. pp. 10, 1 text figure. Contains Alfred Selwyn’s report on the stratigraphy, ore deposits and potential for further exploitation of the rich gold deposits. He announces that his first set of plans and sections have been sent to and deposited for further review and publishing.
8. Gold Deposited in the Hands of the Government. Melbourne 1854-55. pp. 4. Consists of tables showing the number of ounces of gold at each receiving office in the gold fields.
9. Quartz Clain of Messrs. Some and Co. Melbourne, 1856. pp. 10, 1 full page claim plat.
10. Mining Resources of the Colony of Victoria. Melbourne, 1856. pp. 6.
11. Mining Resources of the Colony of Victoria, Second Progress Report. Melbourne, 1856-57. pp. 11.
12. Unclaimed Gold. Now Lying in the Treasury, specifying the dates each amount was deposited, the place of deposit, amount of escort fees due…up to the 30th of June, 1856. Melbourne, 1856-57. pp. 26 of tables.
13. Regulation of the Chinese on the Gold Fields. Melbourne 1856-57. pp. 4.
14. Report on the Gold Workings, Dandenong. Melbourne, 1858-59. pp. 5, folded map.
15. Gold Fields. Return of Gold Mining Leases to 1st October, 1859, showing names of leases, name of company, locality, capital, values, men employed. Melbourne, 1859. pp. 9 of charts.
16. Board of Science. Second Annual Report. Melbourne, 1859-60. pp. 40. Covers the geology, mineral deposits.
17. Gold Fields. 1859-60. pp. 4. Total amount of gold (in ounces) deposited in each year, total amount brought to Melbourne by escort, total amount of revenue derived from the gold fields, showing each gold field separately, total amount of export duty, etc.
Volume 2, 1860-1912. Approximately 400 pages total. The papers below are but a few within the volume. A number of short notifications pertaining to newly imposed regulations on the gold fields are not listed, as are not notices of newly licensed mines, disputes over ownership of discoveries or pleadings.
1. Population on the Gold Fields. Melbourne, 1860-61.pp. 4. Showing the total number of persons engaged in mining operations on the individual gold fields and the number description and value of machinery.
2. Geological Survey. Melbourne 1860-61. pp. 6. Report showing number of sq. miles mapped by the Geological Surveyor, area in square miles of which finished maps have been published, cost of the operations, number of maps published and sold.
3. Gold Field Common for Durham, Scotchman’s, Napoleon, Whim Holes, Black Leads, Raglan, Charlton,, Beaufort. Melbourne, 1860-61. pp. 4.
4. Gold Exported. Melbourne, 1860-61. pp. 2.
5. Gold Fields Acts. Orders in Council authorizing mining operations at Amherst, Forest Creek,Wendouree Swamp, Ballarat, Maldon Gold Fields, Mountain Creek Gold Fields. Melbourne 1860-61, pp. 12.
6. Mr. Wilkinson’s Patent for the extraction of gold from quartz. Melbourne 1860-61. pp. 8, 3 plates.
7. Numerous Gold Field acts for operations under towns, preserves, reservoirs. Melbourne, 1861, pp. 20.
8. Regulations for Mining Leases of Auriferous Land. Melbourne 1861. pp. 8.
9. Gold Field Statistics. Melbourne, 1861-62. pp. 20 of tables by district.
10. Yield of Gold from Quartz Reefs. Melbourne 1861-62. pp. 2.
11. Gold Fields Statistics. Melbourne 1862-63. pp. 18, mostly tables.
12. Gold and Silver Bearing Reefs of St. Arnaud. Melbourne, 1864. pp. 16.
13. Reports of the Mining Surveyors and Registrars. Melbourne, 1866. pp. large folded table, 82.
14. Report of the Board…Auriferous and Mineral Resources of the Colony. Melbourne, 1879-80. pp. xix, 48.
15. List of Nuggets Found in Victoria. Melbourne, Memoir 12, Geol. Survey Victoria., 1912. pp. 67.