Fellows of Senate

Henry Charles Lennox Anderson

An early graduate of the University of Sydney (BA 1873, MA 1878), Henry Charles Lennox Anderson was a Fellow of Senate from 1895 to 1919.


MA Sydney
Fellow of Senate: 1895-1919

His early days

Henry Charles Lennox Anderson was born at sea on 10 May 1853, son of Robert Anderson, later a police inspector, and his wife Margaret, née Hewson. The family reached Sydney in the 'Empire' on 27 July 1853.

Anderson was educated at Sydney Grammar School.

His student days at the University of Sydney

When he matriculated, he gained a special bursary by which he obtained his University education free. He took honours in classics, mathematics, and natural science and won the Deas-Thomson scholarship for natural science and the University Prize (1872).

He graduated BA in 1873 with the University gold medal for natural science, and the Belmore gold medal for agricultural and practical chemistry.

In 1878 Anderson was successful in gaining his MA degree with the Hercules Robinson gold medal for Shakespearian scholarship and literature.

His career

From 1873 Anderson taught at Sydney Grammar School.

In 1882 he became an examiner in the Department of Public Instruction and helped to reorganise its curricula and examinations; in 1889 he was vice-chairman of the Board of Examiners.

On 10 February 1890 he was appointed New South Wales's first Director of Agriculture. In 1891 he established Hawkesbury Agricultural College and next year the Wagga Wagga Experiment Farm.

In August 1893 Anderson's department was virtually closed down and on 1 September he was appointed principal librarian of the Free Public Library. He later became internationally known for 101 rules of cataloguing with the use of subject headings. In 1895 the library's name was changed at his instigation to the Public Library of New South Wales.

In October 1898 David Mitchell (another early graduate of the University) told him to notify the trustees of his intended bequest of his unrivalled collection. Anderson voluntarily moved out of his house attached to the library to accommodate the 10,000 volumes that Mitchell transferred. In 1905 work started on the Mitchell wing of the Library.


Photo published when Anderson was elected to Senate in 1895, photo, Australian Town and Country Journal, 11 May 1895, Natioanl Library of Australia.

Henry Charles Lennox Anderson

Photo from Mitchell Pictures, State Library of NSW, call number: P1/2096, digital order number a1528163.

In 1905 Anderson became director of the State's new Intelligence Department and from January 1907 government statistician as well. Anderson was then appointed acting under-secretary and director of the new, independent and stronger Department of Agriculture in January 1908.


Anderson in the early 1920s, photo, The Sydney Morning Herald, 19 March 1924, National library of Australia.

He died of heart failure on 17 March 1924.

From the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

His membership of Senate

Charles Lennox Anderson was an elected Fellow of Senate from 1895 to 1919.

He was also a trustee of St Andrew's College in 1896-1924 and helped to establish the faculties of agriculture and veterinary science in 1910.

Senate passed the following resolution at its meeting in April 1924: 'The Senate desires to place on record its sense of the loss sustained by the death of Mr H C L Anderson, MA, who was a Fellow of the Senate for a period of twenty-four years from 1895 to 1919, and who, by his invariable interest in higher education and especially in the development of Agricultural Science, contributed so much to the progress of this State.'