Joceline Vanessa Finney
Visiting Predoctoral Fellow (Sep 2019-Jan 2020)
Doctoral Student, Sydney University
Vanessa Finney is a doctoral student at Sydney University and a Visiting Predoctoral Fellow in Department III, "Artifacts, Action, Knowledge." She is Head of Archives, Rare Books and Library Collections at the Australian Museum in Sydney, Australia. Her work focuses on the nineteenth-century history of Australian natural history, the establishment and growth of natural history museums in Australia, and visual cultures of natural history. She has curated exhibitions and published books on colonial natural history art and on the earliest uses of photography in Australian museums. Vanessa has degrees in English Literature and Archives from the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales. She is an investigator on the ARC project "Merchants and Museums: reconstructing museum specimen data through the pathways of global commerce." Her dissertation investigates the forms and practice of natural history in mid-nineteenth-century Australia. Publications include Capturing Nature: Early Scientific Photography at the Australian Museum (NewSouth, 2019), Transformations: Harriet and Helena Scott, colonial Sydney’s finest natural history painters (NewSouth, 2018), and Animating the hand of the scientist: women colourists at the Australian Museum in the early twentieth century, Early Popular Visual Culture, 2019. doi: 10.1080/17460654.2019.1649349.
Nature and Nation: Documentation and the Practice of Natural History at the Australian Museum, 1850-1890