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Interesting Facts about Mary Ellinor Archer; Google Doodle celebrates Australian CSIRO’s first woman scientist’s 129th birthday



Mary Ellinor Archer 129th Birthday Google Doodle

Google Doodle celebrates the 129th birthday of Mary Ellinor Lucy Archer, the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’s first woman scientist and its Chief Librarian from 1923–1954, on November 13, 2022. Here are some interesting and fun facts about Mary Ellinor Archer.

Here is a look at the life and work of Mary Ellinor Lucy Archer.

Who was Mary Ellinor Archer?


Birth date: 13 November 1893
Birthplace: Malvern, Australia
Died on: 3 May 1979 (aged 85)
Death place: Toorak, Australia
Nationality: Australian
Citizenship: Australian
Alma mater: Melbourne University
Known for: CSIRO’s first woman scientist
Awards: Member of British Empire (MBE)

Interesting Facts about Mary Ellinor Lucy Archer

Mary Ellinor Lucy Archer was born on 13 November 1893 in Malvern, Victoria, Australia, and spent her childhood in Malaya.

She was an Australian botanist and librarian Mary Ellinor Archer.

Mary Ellinor Lucy Archer attended Melbourne Girls Grammar School and Melbourne University (B.Sc. 1916; M.Sc. 1918).

She added Lucy Ellinor to her name becoming known professionally as Ellinor Archer.

Mary Ellinor Archer received a Master’s of Science at the University of Melbourne. In the wake of graduating, she became a government research scholar and lectured on the biology of plants at Trinity College.

As a secretary to a committee on further developing crops, Archer wrote informative bulletins on barley, oats, and wheat.

Mary Ellinor Archer likewise accumulated agricultural research for a citrus preservation committee — as represented on her blouse on Google Doodle artwork on Mary Ellinor Archer’s 129th Birthday!

In November 1918, Mary Ellinor Archer was selected to the Seed Improvement Committee of the Advisory Council of Science and Industry (Commonwealth Institute of Science and Industry from 1920) as secretary and investigator.

In May 1923, Mary Ellinor Lucy Archer was given charge of the Institute’s library and then following the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research inauguration (1926) was reclassified (1929) as a librarian and scientific assistant.

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Mary Ellinor Archer gathered her scientific discoveries and visited Great Britain, where she started to study a library organisation system called the universal decimal classification.

She encouraged the introduction of universal decimal classification to the CSIRO. This move made a lasting contribution to the library profession.

Studying the universal decimal classification while visiting British scientific libraries in 1936 Mary Ellinor Archer empowered its utilization by C.S.I.R. libraries (later CSIRO).

Mary Ellinor Lucy Archer made a union catalogue – an incredible unifying force for CSIRO Libraries, the basis of the National Union Catalogue of Monographs (1960). Archer was named Chief Librarian in January 1946.

Mary Ellinor Archer made a lasting contribution to the Library profession as a foundation member of the Australian Institute of Librarians in 1937 and its first female president (1948-49) after 11 years.

Mary Ellinor Archer’s keen interest in information exchange was reflected in her support of Inter-Library Loans and promotion of uniform codes and standard forms.

Mary Ellinor Lucy Archer pioneered the concept of “inter-library exchanges,” which made it feasible for libraries to circulate their collections to more readers.

She achieved this by building a smooth-running system that cataloged literature across in excess of 40 libraries — resulting in a national library system.

In a rare article, Mary Ellinor Lucy Archer wrote about Inter-Library Loans in the Australian Library Journal and spoke at L.A.A.’s 8th Conference (1955).

Later in her career, Mary Ellinor Archer advocated for librarians to access education and a membership to the Library Association.

As a noticeable Australian Special Librarian running a national library system, she travelled generally, advocating membership in the Library Association and promoting the education of librarians.

While establishing CSIRO’s Perth library (1954) Mary Ellinor Archer visited other special libraries offering advice.

Mary Ellinor Lucy Archer was the first female scientist at the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

She additionally revolutionised library management and made it simpler for individuals to access books on specialised topics like botany and agriculture.

Mary Ellinor Archer was a successful librarian and senior administrator in an organization with few women in senior positions.

Retiring on 17 December 1954 Mary Ellinor Archer proceeded with botanical studies, painting, walking, and supporting Save the Children Fund by collecting and selling books.

Mary Ellinor Lucy Archer died at Toorak, Melbourne on 3 May 1979.

The Ellinor Archer Pioneer Award was named in her honor. The Ellinor Archer Pioneer Award is one of the Australian Library and Information Association’s highest awards and is introduced to a person or institution pioneering new areas of library and information science (one-off product, new service or program, or development of an existing service), integrating a future-oriented approach.

On November 13th, 2022, Mary Ellinor Archer was memorialized with a Google Doodle to celebrate Mary Ellinor Archer’s 129th Birthday and her lifetime achievements.

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