Further Sources

Further Reading

  • Burnett, R.I. 1936: The life and work of Sir James Hector, with special reference to the Hector collection. MA thesis, University of Otago.
  • Coombs, D.S. 2007: Hector's missing geological map of Otago, 1864. Geological Society of New Zealand newsletter 143, pp 42-44.
  • Hocken, A.G. 2008: The early life of James Hector, 1834-1865: the first Otago Provincial Geologist. PhD thesis, University of Otago, 333 pp.
  • Hocken, A.G. 2006: The establishment of James Hector in Otago. Historical Studies Newsletter [Geological Society of New Zealand] 31: pp 36-50.
  • Nathan, S.; Varnham, M. (editors) 2008: The amazing world of James Hector. Awa Press, Wellington, 183 pp.
  • Taylor, Douglass W. 1979: The Monro collection in the Medical Library of the University of Otago. University of Otago Press, Dunedin.

Manuscripts and archives

The Hocken Collections in the University of Otago Library contain the Hector family papers, presented in 1934 as well as some other material from Hector's geological survey of Otago (1862-64).

The archives of Te Papa Tongarewa, the Museum of New Zealand, contain the records of the Colonial Museum, which James Hector headed from 1865-1903, as well as other organisations such as the New Zealand Geological Survey. Other material relating to Hector is held at the Alexander Turnbull Library and Archives New Zealand.


Two significant collections related to the Hector family are held in the University of Otago Library due to an association with Charles Monro Hector, second son of James Hector, who studied medicine and later held a research position at the University of Otago.

Munro medical collection

James Hector was the son-in-law of Sir David Monro, speaker of the House of Representatives. Sir David's father, grandfather and great-grandfather had been successive professors of anatomy at the University of Edinburgh, and together amassed a fine collection of medical textbooks. On the death of Sir David Monro in 1877 the books passed to James Hector, and on his death to his second son, Charles Monro Hector. In 1928 Charles Hector arranged for them to be given to the library of Otago Medical School.

Personal papers of James Hector

Charles Hector planned to write a biography of his father, James Hector, and collected together all the surviving family papers in the 1920s. Unfortunately he died before this was completed, but his widow donated all the collected papers to the Hocken Library in 1934. This material formed the basis for an MA thesis by R.I. Burnett in 1936.

Other large collections of papers related to James Hector are held in the archives of the Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa, and at the Alexander Turnbull Library.