Of German origin Ferdinand von Mueller migrated to Australia in 1847. Government Botanist of Victoria for 43 years until his death in 1896, he was Australia's greatest scientist of the 19th century a major contributor to international science, an intrepid explorer of parts of Australia previously unknown to Europeans, and a dominant figure in the scientific and intellectual life of his adopted country.
Throughout his working life, Mueller kept up an enormous correspondence. Large numbers of letters by or to him have been located, scattered throughout the world, and edited for publication. These constitute a major new research tool for both Australian historians and historians of science. They are also of fundamental importance to Australian taxonomic botany, for Mueller introduced vast numbers of Australian plants to western science.
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