George Parker Bidder: Papers regarding the Great Barrier Reef Expedition

Scope and Content

The papers include committee minutes and agenda, original correspondence between members of the committee, and original letters, reports and statements of accounts, mostly from the expedition leader.

Bundle, 1927, c. 130 pages.

Bundle, 1928, c. 115 pages.

Bundle, 1929, c. 98 pages.

Bundle, 1930, c. 32 pages.

C.M. Yonge, 'British Association Expedition to the Great Barrier Reef', Nature, 11 Feb. 1928, 4 pages.

'The Great Barrier Reef', Nature, 11 Feb. 1928, 7 pages.

C.M. Yonge, 'Progress of the Great Barrier Reef Expedition', Nature, 19 Jan. 1929.

C.M. Yonge, 'Final Report on the Great Barrier Reef Expedition', Nature, 2 Nov. 1929.

C.M. Yonge, 'The Great Barrier Reef Expedition, 1928-1929', Reports of the Great Barrier Reef Committee, Vol. III, with plates, 25 pages.

Administrative / Biographical History

George Parker Bidder (1863-1953), marine biologist, attended Trinity College, Cambridge, 1882-84. He settled in the city in 1902 and lectured in the university on sponges during the 1920s. Bidder gave financial support to marine biological research and was President of the Marine Biological Association in 1939. On the death of his father, George Parker Bidder (1836-1896), he inherited managerial responsibilities in Cannock Chase Colliery and the Danish Gas Company.

Bidder was a member of the provisional committee, and also the later committee of the British Association, which organised a scientific expedition to examine a sector of the Great Barrier Reef off Cairns, Queensland. The expedition was led by Dr C.M. Yonge, physiologist, and left in May 1928. It established a base on the Low Isles in July 1928 and remained there until July 1929. The expedition enjoyed strong co-operation from Australian personnel and a large number of eminent Australian visitors visited the site. F.W. Moorhouse remained as Director of the government Marine Station which was established there in 1930.


The papers have been sorted into four annual bundles, with 5 loose printed pieces at the end.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Presented by Dr Anna M. Bidder, 1984.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue.

Related Material

Cambridge University Library holds other papers relating to George Bidder, MS.Add.9227, and to the Bidder family, MS.Add.8970.

Geographical Names