Frederick Smithies (1885 - 1979) conservationist, bush-walker, wilderness explorer and photographer was born at Ulverstone on the 16 August 1885, but lived most of his life in Launceston where he was the manager of the Launceston branch of the Atlas Assurance Company from April 1912 until his retirement fifty years later in April 1962. In middle age he became an enthusiastic bushwalker, exploring the natural environment of his own state. He travelled the rugged West coast on his 'Indian' motor cycle and later his 'A' model Ford purchased in April 1929; climbed Frenchman's Cap with his friend Cliff Bradshaw; back-packed into the Florentine and Rasselas valley area around Adamsfield and walked from Queenstown to Cradle Mountain. He became friends with Gustav Weindorfer (1874 - 1932) of Waldheim Chalet and became very involved with the Cradle Mountain area as a consequence of this relationship. He was a talented wilderness photographer. He developed and printed his own photographs and hand-coloured lantern slides and was a member of an international stereoscopic photographic club. He took 16mm movie film and often carried equipment weighing 70lb (32k) into remote and difficult areas. He used his wilderness images to promote Tasmania's natural beauty to tourists and to raise awareness about visiting and protecting these areas by giving lectures around Tasmania and in other states on behalf of the Tasmanian government. In 1934 he organised the Tasmanian display at the Melbourne Centenary Exhibition on these themes. He was also actively involved in the Northern Tasmanian Camera Club, the Lapidary Club of Northern Tasmania, the Northern Tasmanian Alpine Club, the Launceston Walking Club, the Launceston Art Society and was Chairman of the Tasmanian Scenery Preservation Board from 1941 - 1971, as well as a member of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair, Mt Barrow and Northern Scenery Boards. In 1946 he wa awarded the Order of the British Empire. He died at Launceston on 13 October 1979, survived by his second wife Jean (nee Perrin) and their two sons and two daughters. His historic home 'The Grange' at St Leonard's, still a semi-rural suburb of Launceston at the time, was well-known to his friends and associates and the Launceston Lapidary Club met regularly in one of the out-buildings and another housed his dark-room and photographic material. Mr Smithies made a decision to donate much of his collection to the Archives Office of Tasmania in 1975. This was done gradually until 1977 with the assistance of archivist Margaret Bryant, who also made some tape-recorded interviews with Fred during that period. His negative collection was borrowed for copying by the Office at that time, and after his death in 1979 the originals were donated to the Office by his widow, along with some original prints and further lantern slides.