The Alec Costin Collection

As a scientist, activist and government advisor, Dr Alec Costin was instrumental in the conservation of the Australian Alps over the course of eight decades from 1946 through to the 21st century.

“The Alec Costin collection comprises a broad set of records created and/or compiled by Alec Costin during the course of his life and work. The records span from 1770 to 2019 and include papers, reports, correspondence, publications, manuscripts, photographs, slides, data sheets, diagrams and graphs The collection constitutes an important resource for scientists and other researchers from a wide variety of disciplines, offering a unique insight into the study of ecology – and the history of conservation – in Australia, particularly as it relates to the changing vegetation and landscapes of the Australian Alps. This large and diverse collection, compiled by Costin himself, was systematically organised, stored, preserved and catalogued by the eScholarship Research Centre at The University of Melbourne.”

The Alec Costin Collection guide was produced as part of the project to archive the legacy of Alec Costin, an internationally respected Australian alpine ecologist. This guide provides a useful tool for such investigations by allowing researchers to easily identify and find the contents of records held in the collection.

The records are inventoried within 6 series:dr-alec-costin

◦ Series S001 – The life and work of Alec Costin

◦ Series S002 – Research data and related documents

◦ Series S003 – Policy development and lobbying

◦ Series S004 – Publications and reports

◦ Series S005 – Photographs: Transects, quadrats and plots

◦ Series S006 – Photographs – other

 Additional records may be added to this collection in the future.


Alec Costin demonstrating monitoring techniques to NSW Soil Conservation Service staff during the 1960s (Photograph Roger Good.)

“The Alec Costin Collection (as of December 2019) comprises 57 boxes. The collection was boxed, accessioned and transferred to the eScholarship Research Centre (The University of Melbourne) under the guidance of Gavan McCarthy between 2017 and 2019. The records were inventory processed by Jack Roberts (under the supervision of Winsome Adam and with assistance from Julie Fenley and Alannah Croom) at the eScholarship Research Centre. This first edition of this Guide to the Alec Costin Collection was completed in December 2019. The production of this guide was made possible with funding from the Australian Alps National Parks Co-operative Management Program and with the invaluable support of Alec Costin, Keith McDougall, Genevieve Wright, Elizabeth James, John McRae and Rob Gibbs.”

(Source: Roberts, Jack, 2019, Alec Costin: Guide to Records. The University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre: Melbourne. )