The mystery of the K. Prendergast manuscript

Squires, D, Clarke, MJ and Freshney, S 2015 , 'The mystery of the K. Prendergast manuscript' , Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania, vol. 149 , pp. 7-12 , doi: https://doi.org/10.26749/rstpp.149.7.

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In the 1930s a rising star in the constellation of Australian palaeontologists had been born. Hard working, attentive to detail and very bright, Kathleen Laura Prendergast seemed destined to attain a solid place in the high ranks of Australian geology. Winner of many awards and scholarships, she carried her academic career through to a PhD at Cambridge University. Then, abruptly her course changed and in a relatively brief time she gained an MD and served as a medical officer in the British Army. Left behind as a consequence of that career change were a manuscript and her research collections, the former seemingly important, possibly even critical to an evolving understanding of Permian brachiopods. That manuscript was thought to have been commenced, possibly finished, but then lost through misadventure. The star collapsed, but a myth remained. This paper is the result of an exploration of the trajectory of the career of Kathleen Prendergast. It attempts to resolve the story of the “lost” manuscript and an analysis of what might have been. This investigation involved The Royal Society of Tasmania and the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, Cambridge University, the Royal Society of Western Australia and the University of Western Australia amongst others.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Squires, D and Clarke, MJ and Freshney, S
Keywords: Permian brachiopods, Prendergast, Western Australia, Tasmania, Cambridge, England, Taeniothaerus subquadratus.
Journal or Publication Title: Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
ISSN: 0080-4703
DOI / ID Number: https://doi.org/10.26749/rstpp.149.7
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Collections: Royal Society Collection > Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
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