Isabella Jane Mead, nee Thomson, was born at Longford on 1 Feb 1911, the only daughter of David Thomson (c.1862-1937) and Bertha Angeline Fullbrook (1881-1966), who married on 1 Dec 1909. A younger brother David Alexander was born on 11 Sep 1913 and died on 22 Jul 1935 aged 21. The family lived in Westbury Road, Launceston. Isabella attended the Glen Dhu Primary School and Methodist Ladies College. She gained a BA, majoring in philosophy, at the University of Tasmania and won the Phillip Smith Prize in 1935. Isabella taught at Broadland House for a short time. During World War Two she worked at Paton and Baldwins Woollen Mills and taught English and mathematics to RAAF recruits. In 1947 she became the Assistant to the Director of the Queen Victoria Museum. By 1951 she was the Director; the first woman in Australia to hold such a position. In 1953 she resigned her post, married Ernest Mead and moved to Melbourne. They returned to Tasmania in 1956 and restored their rented home, 'Woolmers Cottage', Longford. Isabella Mead was passionate about early Tasmanian history. She read and researched intensively. Several of her articles have been published. She was a member of the National Trust, Royal Society of Tasmania and Launceston Horticultual Society, and was a keen gardener and traveller. She died from cancer at her home at 11 Union Street, Launceston, on 21 Aug 1969.