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94/23/1 Archive, aeronautics and exploration, Lawrence Hargrave, Australia/Papua New Guinea, 1872-1900. Click to enlarge.

Lawrence Hargrave archive

The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences holds the largest collection of material internationally of the aviation pioneer, Lawrence Hargrave. While no single individual can be attributed to the invention of the aeroplane, Hargrave belonged to an elite body of scientists and researchers (along with Octave Chanute, Otto Lilienthal and Percy Sinclair Pilcher) whose experiments and inventions paved the way for the first powered, controlled flight achieved by the Wright Brothers on December 17, …


Object No.


Object Statement

Archive, aeronautics and exploration, Lawrence Hargrave, Australia/Papua New Guinea, 1872-1900

Physical Description

Papers of Lawrence Hargrave, mainly relating to his expeditions in New Guinea, including diaries, 1872-1877, 'Narrative of the Voyage of the Steam Launch Neva', 1876, notes re Fly River expedition, 1876, 'Fly River Expedition from May 18th to Sept 30th 1876', map of Fly River, 1876, publications re New Guinea, photographs of flying machine models, 1884-1889 and drawings of sailing boats, 1897.




These papers were donated to the Museum by Hargrave's eldest daughter Mrs Helen "Nellie" Gray (1879-1966) on 6 November 1962 with William Hudson Shaw acting as intermediary. Shaw, aviation historian, Qantas airlines executive and Honorary Associate of the Museum from 1977, had met Mrs Gray during his research for his biography of Lawrence Hargrave.

The papers previously had the following registration numbers:
P2756-3A Now 94/23/1-1/5
P2756-4A Now 94/23/1-1/4
P2756-5A Now 94/23/1-1/2
P2756-6A Now 94/23/1-6/2
P2756-7A Now 94/23/1-1/6
P2756-8A Now 94/23/1-4
P2756-9A Now 94/23/1-6/6
P2756-10A Now 94/23/1-1/1
P2756-11A Now 94/23/1-6/3/1
P2756-12A Now 94/23/1-6/4
(& P3321-196) Now 94/23/1-5
P2756-14A Now 94/23/1-3
P2756-14B Now 94/23/1-1/3
P2756-15A Now 94/23/1-6/5
P2756-16A Now 94/23/1-6/7
P2756-17A Now 94/23/1-2
P2756-18A Now 94/23/1-6/1
P2756-25A Now 94/23/1-8

It is assumed that the Charles Bayliss photographs at 94/23/1-7/1:24 were donated by Mrs Gray. Letters from Museum Director, Jack Willis, on file 74/M56/6033 mention Mrs Gray's donation of "some previously unknown photographs" and "further photographs of some of his experiments" but as these photographs were not registered nor listed on receipt it cannot be said with certainty.


Credit Line

Gift of Mr William Hudson Shaw, 1994

Acquisition Date

24 January 1994

Cite this Object


Lawrence Hargrave archive 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 17 October 2021, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Lawrence Hargrave archive |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=17 October 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}