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Joseph Henry Maiden was born in London, England, on 25 April 1859 and arrived in New South Wales in 1880. He became the first curator of the Technological Museum, Sydney (1881-1896) where he established a herbarium from 1883. He was consulting botanist to the Department of Agriculture from 1890 and Superintendent of Technical Education from 1894. In 1896 he was appointed Government Botanist and Director of the Botanic Gardens in Sydney, a position he held until his retirement in 1924. He was instrumental in establishing the formal herbarium, with a purpose-built building, a botanical museum and lecture room, and established a network of collectors and correspondents. Maiden died in Turramurra, New South Wales, on 16 November 1925.

For a more detailed biography see the Australian Dictionary of Biography entry: Joseph Henry Maiden