MS 6481
Papers of Elizabeth Salter (1918-1981)



Scope and Content Note

  • Date range: 1922-80

  • Extent: 3.78 m. (27 boxes)

  • Access: Available for research. Not for loan.

The first instalment of the papers was purchased by the Library from Elizabeth Salter in London in 1981. The Library purchased the remainder of the papers in 1983 from Miss Lorna Coates, Salter's literary executor.

It should be noted that because the two consignments of papers overlap, they have been integrated.

Biographical Note

Elizabeth Salter was born in 1918 in Angaston, South Australia. She was educated at Adelaide University and Conservatorium, Adelaide. She left Australia for England in 1952.

Salter worked as secretary to Edith Sitwell from 1957 until her death in 1964. Salter published a biography of Sitwell, entitled The last years of rebel: a memoir of Edith Sitwell, in 1967.

In 1969 Salter received a Commonwealth Literary Fellowship to write a biography of Daisy Bates. Daisy Bates: Queen of the Never Never, was published by Angus & Robertson in 1971.

Her other publications include Helpmann: the authorised biography of Robert Helpmann (1978) and The lost impressionist: a biography of John Peter Russell (1976).

Reference: Who's who of Australian women, pp.393-4.

Series List


Series 1 Elizabeth Salter

Subseries 1 General correspondence, 1948-80
Subseries 2 Business correspondence and financial papers, 1940-80
Subseries 3 Lectures and talk, 1973-80
Subseries 4 Newspaper cuttings of book reviews, 1958-78
Subseries 5 Miscellaneous

Series 2 Daisy Bates: Queen of the Never Never


Subseries 1 Correspondence, 1966-80
Subseries 2 Notebooks drafts and typescripts
Subseries 3 Newspaper cuttings and printed material, 1967-77
Subseries 4 Photocopies of research material (mostly NLA MS 365)

Series 3 The last years of a rebel: a memoir of Edith Sitwell

Subseries 1 Correspondence, 1963-79
Subseries 2 Handwritten drafts and typescripts
Subseries 3 Miscellaneous, 1922-35


Series 4 Helpmann: the authorised biography of Robert Helpmann

Subseries 1 Correspondence, 1971-79
Subseries 2 Handwritten drafts and typescripts

Series 5 The lost impressionist: a biography of John Peter Russell

Subseries 1 Correspondence, 1972-76
Subseries 2 Notes, typescripts and other material

Series 6 'The pairing process'

Series 7 Other Writings

Series 8 Miscellaneous


Series Descriptions

Series 1: Elizabeth Salter

Subseries 1: Correspondence, 1948-80

This series contains letters from friends and family members, including William Salter, Jean Gilbert, Marie Herford and Freda Cullen.

Folders 1-6

Subseries 2: Business Correspondence and financial papers, 1940-80

Correspondence with Australian and Overseas publishers and literary agents. This series also includes personal documents, agreements, accounts, receipts, bank statements and copies of letters.

Folders 7-12

Subseries 3: Lectures and talks, 1973-80

Correspondence, mostly with various universities in England and Scotland, inviting Salter to give seminars and lectures on literature especially relating to Daisy Bates, Patrick White and Edith Sitwell

Folders 13

Subseries 4: Newspaper cuttings of book reviews, 1958-78

Folders 14-15

Subseries 5: Miscellaneous

Diary (kept during a trip to England in 1947), notebooks, biographical notes on Elizabeth Salter, poems by other people, passport and photographs.

Folders 16-19

1 folio item containing music scores and a portrait of Salter

Series 2: Daisy Bates: Queen of the Never Never

Sydney: Angus and Roberstson, [1971].

Subseries 1: Correspondence, 1966-80

Correspondence with Angus and Roberton and other publishing companies, various libraries and the ABC concerning Daisy Bates. The correspondents include Rodney Needham, Sir Grenfell Price, John Cleland and Dr John Mathew. This series also include letters received from the general public ( in response to Salter's letters, published in newspapers, requesting information on Daisy Bates), original Daisy Bates letters, official documents and a photograph album.

Folders 1-15

Subseries 2: Notebooks, handwritten drafts and typescripts

Four notebooks containing handwritten drafts, typescripts and galley proofs for the biography.

Folders 16-33

Subseries 3: Newspaper cutting and printed material, 1967-77

Folders 34-36

Subseries 4: Photocopies of research material

Photocopies, mostly of original Daisy Bates material held at National Library (MS 365).

Folders 37-55

Series 3: The last year of a rebel: a memoir of Edith Sitwell

London: Bodley Head, 1967

Subseries 1: Correspondence, 1963-79

This series contains correspondence with friends and publishers, agreements, accounts and receipts. Some of the correspondents are Roy A. Roberts, Mark Hamilton, Alan Brooke, and Christian Roberson.

Folders 1-5

Subseries 2: Handwritten drafts and typescripts

Notebooks, drafts and typescripts of miscellaneous chapters and complete original draft.

Folders 6-23

Subseries 3: Miscellaneous, 1922-35

Newspaper cuttings, one scrapbook, typescripts of articles and poems by Edith Sitwell, photographs and miscellaneous notes.

Folders 24-31

Series 4: Helpmann: the authorised biography of Robert Helpmann

Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1978

Subseries 1: Correspondence, 1971-79

This series includes original letters and copies of letters of Sir Robert Helpmann and Katharine Hepburn (who wrote the foreword of the biography).

Folder 1

Subseries 2: Handwritten drafts and typescripts

Handwritten drafts and typescripts.

Folders 2-7

Series 5: The lost impressionist: a biography of John Peter Russell

London: Angus and Robertson, 1978

Subseries 1: Correspondence, 1972-76

Correspondence with publishers, art galleries in Australia and overseas concerning the biography. This series also include copies of correspondence between A. Rodin and John Peter Russell, copies of family letters and letters from friends containing information on Russell.

Folders 1-3

Subseries 2: Notes, typescripts and other material

This series contains notes and research material (4 folders). Complete typescripts, proofs and photographs (12 folders). Newspaper clippings, book reviews and printed material (1 folder).

Folders 4-20

Series 6: 'The pairing process'

Notes and typescripts written in collaboration with Gillian Younger, psycho-sex-analyst. This manuscript was never published.

Folders 1-2

Series 7. Other writings

Death in a mist: Two complete typescripts. London: Geoffrey Bles, 1957. Folders 1-3

Once upon a tombstone: Complete typescript. Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1965. Folders 4-5

There was a witness: Complete typescripts. London: Geoffrey Bles, 1960. Folders 6-7

The voice of a peacock: Complete typescripts. London: Geoffrey Bles, 1962. Folder 8

'Will to survive': Complete typescript. Unpublished. Folders 9-11

Other complete typescripts of short stories and plays are:

Tails she dies. Folders 12-14
Call me bluff. Folders 15-16
Echo of death. Folders 17-18
The girl from down under. Folders 19-20
High stepping a musical play. Folder 21

Incomplete typescripts of radio and television plays, and short stories:

'Highlights from abroad'. Folders 22-24
Miscellaneous typescripts of short stories, some are incomplete. Folders 22-47


Series 8. Miscellaneous

This series contains copies of various women magazines and illustrations. Many of these publications contain short stories written by Salter.

Folders 1-3 and loose papers.

Box List

Box

Series

Folder

1

1

1-8

2

1

9-15
(n.b. 16-18 missing)

3

1

19-22

3

2

1-4

4

2

5-11

5

2

12-14

6

2

15-21

7

2

22-28

8

2

29-36

9

2

37-42

10

2

43-48

11

2

49-55

12

3

1-8

13

3

9-15

14

3

16-21

15

3

22-25

16

3

26-32

17

4

1-7

18

5

1-7

19

5

8-13

20

5

14-19

20

6

1-2

21

7

1-6

22

7

7-11

23

7

12-17

24

7

18-26

25

7

27-34

26

7

35-41

27

7

42-47

27 8 1-3

28

8

Various loose magazines

29

8

Loose correspondence