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Glimpses of Australian natural history

Identifier: Film Collection no. 203

Scope and Contents

Filmed during the AMNH Lerner Australia-New Zealand Expedition, 1939. Michael Lerner hired professional cinematographer James Barnes Shackelford to join him on an expedition to Australia arranged for the purpose of collecting zoological specimens for a proposed Australia-New Zealand hall at the museum. The film opens in Sidney Harbor with the arrival of the oceanliner carrying the expedition staff, which also included AMNH scientists William King Gregory, Henry Cushier Raven, and M. G. Miles Conrad, taxidermist Ludwig Ferraglio, and photographer Frank Ramsey. The staff lose no time in collecting coral from the Great Barrier Reef. Filmed on shore are soldier, fiddler, and hermit crabs. In Queensland, aborigines rapidly climb up and down tall trees and pose for photographs. Some of the many birds and mammals depicted in this film are cockatoos, swans, bushtail possums, kangaroos, wallabies, and koalas, the latter seen in their eucalyptus forest habitat. The film ends with the staff aboard the liner headed for home.


  • 1939

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Not available through interlibrary loan. Contact AMNH Library Special Collections for terms of access.


1 Film Reel (26 minutes) : silent, color ; 16 mm.

1 Videocassette (U-Matic (26 minutes)) : silent, color ; 3/4 in.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

3/4 in., U-Matic, viewing copy


Original format: 16 mm. print.



Michael Lerner, James B. Shackelford, and Frank Ramsey, photographers.

Glimpses of Australian natural history, 1939
Iris Lee
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
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Repository Details

Part of the Museum Archives at the Gottesman Research Library Repository

American Museum of Natural History
200 Central Park West
New York NY 10024 USA
(212) 769-5420