- 1936-10-18 - 2000-10-07
Bill Volum's lifelong interest in shipping stemmed from his early days at Geelong Grammar when his sailing master Mr. John Brazier encouraged him to not only identify the shipping line a ship belonged to, but to find out and memorise the ship’s vital statistics. Bill became renowned for being able to recall, from memory, details of most ships he saw when in harbour. Over the years, Bill took a number of overseas trips and thus established contacts with many like-minded shipping enthusiasts around the world. He was recognised by his peers as an authority on shipping matters. He eventually collected an extensive reference library of over 1,700 books on all types of shipping, from 19th century sailing vessels to naval ships, cargo vessels, tugboats and modern passenger liners, and the shipping companies which operated them. In addition, he gathered some 16,000 photographs of ships from many countries. These were meticulously mounted and labelled with information as to name, year of construction, where built, tonnage, owners/managers, later names, incidents, etc. His entire collection of reference books and annotated photographs, together with numerous issues of shipping periodicals, was donated to the Geelong Historical Records Centre (now the Geelong Heritage Centre) by his sister and brother for public reference following Bill’s death in 2000. The W. G. Volum Collection is considered to be of national significance as one of the best collections of shipping information in Australia.