HistoryOn Thursday 3 July 2008 Ron Coleman the former Curator of Maritime History and Archaeology at the Queensland Museum in Brisbane and the former State Maritime Archaeologist for Queensland died. Besides being the first State appointed maritime archaeologist he was also instrumental in the establishment of the Maritime Archaeological Association of Queensland in July 1982.
Ron Coleman was a very well known, well published and highly respected archaeologist who worked on and had a serious professional interest in early colonial maritime history, maritime archaeology, Pacific exploration and ship technology. He was especially noted for his work on Jean François de Galaup, comte de La Pérouse, HMAV BOUNTY, HMS PANDORA and the British Royal Navy. He oversaw several seasons' excavation work on the wreck site of HMS Pandora, led the first of two Australian expeditions to Vanikoro to exam the sites of
La Pérouse and carried out extensive survey and excavation work on the Great Barrier Reef and in the Coral Sea.
Ron Coleman left behind an archive of more than 150 books, photographs, field notes and 150 manila document folders which provide a snapshot of one of the pioneers of maritime archaeology in Australia.
Subjects covered in the archive include HMS PANDORA, the BOUNTY, BOUNTY Mutineers, Pitcairn Island, site excavation reports, Canadian built vessels lost in Australian waters, the wrecks of the SAPHIRE, WOODLARK, YONGALA, CORINGA PACKET, HMS SIRIUS, HMS FOWEY, the SWIFT, CERBERUS, the HOLLANDIA, Europeans in the Pacific, Manila Galleons, Dutch and Spanish ships in Australian waters, whalers in American waters, indigenous watercraft, anchors, chains, winches, cables, dripstones, arms and armour, ship's pumps, ballast, blocks and rigging, stores, olive jars and his survey work on Wreck and Saumerez Reefs.