Papers of Jack Hibberd (1940- )
Scope and Content Note
Papers of Jack Hibberd
6.2m (46 boxes) + 2 folio items
Correspondence restricted: permission of the donor required during his
These papers have been acquired by the Library, by purchase and through
the Taxation Incentives for the Arts Scheme, in the period 1980-95.
The papers include correspondence, drafts of plays and novels, theatre
programs, reviews, newspaper cuttings, notebooks and other papers.
Correspondents include: J.D. Hainsworth, Graeme Blundell, Laurie Clancy, Helen
Garner, Patrick McCaughey, Martin Friedel, John Tittenson.
Playwright, poet and novelist. Born in Warracknabeal, Victoria, Hibberd
studied medicine at the University of Melbourne, and practised as a doctor in
Melbourne from 1964 until 1973. He was closely associated with the Australian
Performing Group until 1976. His plays include A stretch of the
imagination (1973) and Dimboola (1974). More recent works include
the novels Memoirs of an old bastard (1989), The life of
Riley (1991), and Perdita (1992). He has also published
translations of poems by Baudelaire, Le vin des amants (1977), and
with Garrie Hutchinson, The barrackers' bible: a dictionary of sporting
The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature, second edition,
John Hainsworth, ed., Hibberd, 1987.
Paul McGillick, Jack Hibberd, 1988.
Diary, 1967. There are a few typescript pages of diary entries for
A Wellington boot - This is Hibberd's first attempt at drama.
The original manuscript containing both annotations by Hibberd (biro) and
criticisms by David Kendall (pencil) is included. Also included is an annotated
typescript draft and a manuscript revision of Act 4.
White with wire wheels - The original title of the
first of Hibberd's plays to be performed as the spectacularly successful
White with wire wheels was The new girl. Includes:
original manuscript (according to Hibberd this was written, before revision, in
about a fortnight);
the first typescript draft with manuscript and
second draft containing manuscript revisions;
draft including revised and additional scene one;
folder of press cuttings,
reviews, programs, publicity material, contracts, etc.
Notebooks - 5 notebooks consisting predominantly of manuscript poems.
Some of these contain textual revision. Some of these poems were submitted to
and published in Meanjin, Twentieth Century, Quadrant, The Bulletin,
Southerly and The Australian. Also included are one or two short
stories, some prose, in particular, commentaries on the cinema plus handwritten
sections of A Wellington boot.
Typescript drafts - 6 folders of typescript drafts of poems. Most are
revisions of typescript versions of manuscript poems contained in the
notebooks. Some, however, appear only in typescript form. For some poems there
are as many as three separate drafts.
Addition 9 March 1981
Production copies of plays:
i) 'Brainrot : an evening of pathology and violence and love and
friendship'. Annotated, with directions for actors. (Includes 'Jack Juan');
i) White with wire wheels. Annotated, with directions for
i) 'No time like the present'. Unfinished novel, original manuscript
70p., together with a short dramatic sketch 'Foghorns and seagulls';
ii) Notebook (1967-68) containing sketches, jottings, etc.;
iii) Notebook (1968): Below the belt (Melbourne University
Review) by Jack Hibberd;
iv) 'Ideas for Jack's new and dirty theatre'. Extracts, sketches, drafts
v) Notebook of film criticism, short plays, sketches.
Correspondence - Correspondents include Graeme Blundell, Laurie Clancy,
Peter Carrigan, Kerry Dwyer, Helen Garner, Patrick McCaughey, Geoffrey Milne.
Addition 7 March 1983
a) Original manuscript of Dimboola, entitled 'The Reception',
written in London, 1968, exercise book containing extensive revisions, jottings
b) Exercise book containing revisions for Dimboola; also drafts
by Hibberd for some wine reviews;
c) Spring-back folder containing Dimboola typescript (part
Death-rattle or the last days of Epic J. Remorse, written in
London, 1968-69. Extensive 100p. manuscript with corrections. Also one folder
of notes and drafts for 'Freedom and all that', London, 1967-68.
The Great Dividing Range - manuscript in two exercise books of
a play based on Ned Kelly, written in London in 1968; extensive revisions. Also
notebook containing drafts for articles, reviews, etc.
Baudelaire: Le Vin des Amants. Poems from Baudelaire by Jack
Hibberd. Notebook containing articles in draft form and versions of poems by
Hibberd, based on Baudelaire for the publication of Gryphon Books, 1977,
entitled Le Vin des Amants, a copy of which is also included (the book
appeared in an edition of 600 numbered copies signed by both author and
Original synopsis or plan for White with wire wheels and cinema
projection slide used to advertise Brain Rot at Union Theatre and
Carlton Cinema, 1968: two pieces of ephemera which have a symbolic
Addition 4 November 1983 and 5 October
A toast to Melba - Includes first and second draft, the final
copy and production script and notes.
Three popular plays - Includes draft and typescript.
One of nature's gentlemen - Includes typescript.
The overcoat - Includes Typescript.
A stretch of the imagination - Includes manuscript and
production copy typescript.
The Les Darcy Show - Includes manuscript and typescript.
Peggy Sue - Includes first draft manuscript, 1981 revision
typescript and 1982 revision typescript.
Klag - Includes two manuscripts and a typescript.
Captain Midnight V.C. - Includes two manuscripts (original and
full revision) and two typescripts.
Customs and Excise - Includes manuscript, typescript and a
typescript of Proud flesh (a later version of Customs and
Addition 6 February 1987
Folder 1 'No time like the present'
Folder 2 Sin
Folder 3 'A toast to Melba'
Folder 4 'A man of many parts'
Folder 5 The barracker's bible - book reviews
Folder 6 The barracker's bible - book reviews, notes, etc.
Folder 7 The barracker's bible - press cuttings, notes, royalty
statement June 1983
Folder 8 Photographs - The barracker's bible ; The three
Folder 9 Notebook, posters, quotes, etc.
Folder 10 The barracker's bible by Jack Hibberd and Garrie
The Overcoat Sin by Jack Hibberd, 1981;
Photographs - The barracker's bible;
Scrapbook, including posters.
'A toast to Melba'
The barracker's bible
Addition 4 April 1989
'Memoirs of a Carlton bohemian'
Programme notes, 1967
Early poems, 1965-67, manuscript and typescript
The umbilical cord, 1968, manuscript and typescript
Poetry, songs, etc., 1968, including 'Long time no see : a sketch'
Political review, 1972, typescript
Women, 1972, spiral-bound typescript
Peggy Sue, corrected typescript/production copy, 1974
Poetry manuscripts, 1975
Baudelaire, manuscript and typescript of poetry and
Theatre poems and songs, 1979, manuscript and typescript drafts
Squirts, drafts, correspondence, notes and clippings, 1981
Typescript drafts of 'The common touch'
Liquid amber, manuscript and typescript drafts, 1982
'Jack Hibberd: a critical survey', B.A. thesis by David McLean, 1982
'The old school tie', manuscript, 1983
Squibs, correspondence and promotional material, 1984
'Twenty-one tomorrow' - manuscript and typescript of autobiographical
introduction to Paul McGillick's book, 1987
Notes for talk to Guild Theatre Society, 1981
Correspondence re performances of Hibberd's plays, 1979-84
Aspect: art and literature, No. 25, 1982
Inscribed copies of Hibberd by J.D. Hainsworth (Methuen, 1987)
and Jack Hibberd by Paul McGillick (Rodopi, 1988)
Addition 31 May 1990
Cuttingbook containing film reviews by Jack Hibberd for
Typescripts and drafts of Marvellous Melbourne
Copy of Mum '67
Copy of Aspect: art and literature No. 25, 1982
Drafts and typescript of 'Odyssey of a prostitute'
Thesis BA (Hons) by C.J. Shine entitled 'Jack Hibberd and non naturalism
in Australian drama: 1967-1977', Canberra, ADFA, 1986
Drafts of 'Silver threads among the gold'
Final draft of Dimboola
Captain Midnight V.C. - drafts, notes and other material
Typescript of Liquid amber
Drafts of 'Memoirs of a Carlton bohemian'
Addition 10 December 1990
Correspondence with The Age, 1988
Correspondence and performing rights re Dimboola, 1975-89 and
A strtech of the imagination
Correspondence with Martin Friedel, 1980-86
Correspondence with John Hainsworth, 1984-88
Correspondence re Klag, 1970
Correspondence with John Milson, 1982-83
Correspondence with Len Radic, 1984
Correspondence with John Tittenson, 1983-88
Correspondence with Volk and Welt, 1988-90
Correspondence re Yarra Bend
Miscellaneous correspondence, 1970-90
Drafts, typescripts and cuttings of Australian theatre, including
'Melbourne - Sydney', 1980
Baudelaire's 'Le vindesamants' poems
Drafts, typescripts and cuttings including
A stretch of the imagination
Drafts, typescripts, and cuttings including
'The three sisters'
Files containing drafts and cuttings of book reviews
- Australian drama 1970-75 by Leslie Rees
- Australian national dictionary
- Breakfast in hell by Myles Harris
- Bertolt Brecht in America, by James K. Lyon
- Charivari by Martin Buzacott
- Collected poems and prose by Harold Pinter
- Death in Brunswick by Boyd Oxlade
- The golden age of Australian opera
- Liberté, Libertés by John Tittenson
- The Macquarie dictionary
- Melba: the voice of Australia by Terese Radic
- Nightmarkets by Alan Wearne
- No laughing matter by Joseph Heller and Speed Vogel
- On the nature of things erotic by F. Gonzalez-Crussi
- The Oxford book of marriage
- The Penguin book Australian Satirical verse
- The shooting party by Anton Chekov
- VN: the life an art of Vladimir Nabokov by Andrew Field
- Miscellaneous reviews
Miscellaneous files, including:
- Files on Community Theatre
- Rejection and acceptance slips, 1966-71
- Registration of copyright
- Miscellaneous drafts sent to Hibberd
- Address book and pocket diaries, 1965 and 1974
- Australian Mythologies Conference: Hibberd 1981
1 photo album
Miscellaneous cuttings and printed material, 1970-84
Addition 21 June 1991
Memoirs of an old bastard
Drafts and typescripts
10 vols of scrapbooks containing typescripts
Copies of the book - published by McPhee Gribble, 1989
Drafts and cuttings for his wine and food article 'Grapeshots' written
for the Age, 1986-87
Addition 26 June 1992
Published copy, manuscript and typescripts of The life of Riley
Papers relating to Sin and Smash hit!
Addition 28 January 1993
Drafts and typescripts of Perdita (1992), a sequel to
Memoirs of an old bastard
Copy of bound typescript
Copy of the book
Addition 30 April 1993
Drafts and typescripts of 'The genius of human imperfection' (not
Addition 14 May 1993
Typescripts and letters (from Martin Flanagan and Chris Wallace-Crabbe,
1992) relating to 'The genius of human imperfection'
Correspondence, 1992-93. The correspondents are David Williamson and
Drafts and typescripts of Ginger: a musical diversion
Addition 6 June 1994
'Un effort de l'imagination', translation by Patricia Clancy.
Perdita: copy-edited typescript and corrected galleys.
Death rattle or the last days of Epic J. Remorse: page proofs,
'Where have all the critics gone?': manuscript reply to Leonard Radic's
article 'Where have all the good writers gone?' (Age, 8 Oct 1988).
'Malarky barks' (male sonata for 'Musical Parts'): manuscript,
'The genius of human imperfection': two spiral-bound typescripts, 1993,
1994; one loose-leaf typescript.
The illustrated history of medicine: review, 1994.
Accidental death of an anarchist: review, 1994.
Australian Football League Grand Final 1993: article.
Melba column, The Australian: article, 1993.
Newspaper cuttings, 1970-73, 1986-87, 1994
Addition 8 May 1995
Mona, Gertrude and Mary Lou: manuscript, 1993; typescript,
1994; spiral-bound typescript, 1994.
Peggy Sue: typescript, 1981.
A man of many parts: manuscript and typescripts, 1977-79.
Mothballs: manuscripts and typescripts, 1980-81.
Glycerine tears: manuscripts and typescripts, 1981-82.
Lavender bags: manuscript and typescript, 1981.
Smash hit: manuscripts and typescript, 1979-80 (two
'Australian dictionary of Australians': selected quotations,
New poems, 1993.
William Trevor, The news from Ireland: review, ca. 1986.
Diana Crumpler, Chemical crisis : one woman's story, humanity's
future?: review, ca. 1994.
'Das Hochzeits-Essen' (Dimboola), trans. Walter Brandin:
'Uno sforzo d'immaginazione', trans. Adriana Donizetti: typescript,
R I P A T O S T H S F A N T A S I A S ' (A stretch of the imagination), trans. George
A stretch of the imagination on television: newspaper cuttings,
Interview with Lyn Hard, Australian Defence Force Academy, 1992: video
Addition 27 March 1996
Correspondence, 1977-95. Correspondents include Len Radic, Carillo
Gantner, John Willett and Jean-Paul Delamotte. Copies of some of Hibberd's own
letters are included.(Restricted)
Applications for performing rights, royalty fees, 1977-80
Addition 6 December 1996
Manuscripts of 'Odyssey of a prostitute' (incomplete play, 1975),
typescript of 'Baudelaire poems' (nd), manuscript and typescript of Slam
Correspondence, programs, cuttings, flyers, and synopses relating to
Hibberd's plays, Liquid amber (1983), A stretch of the
imagination, German translation (1988), The old school tie and
Glycerine tears (1989).
Manuscript, typescript and cutting of reviews by Hibberd of plays and
The Granta book of the family
The Passion...and its deep connection with Lemon Delicious Pudding
Summer of the seventeenth doll
Rethinking life and death
Program notes for Romeo and Juliet in the Botanical Gardens
(1994) (not sighted 2010)
Report on the manuscript book on multiple chemical sensitivity (not sighted 2010)
Programs, flyers, cuttings and a newsletter for the 21st anniversary of
La Mama (1988)
Addition 10 March 1997
The great allergy detective book
Manuscript, Jan-April 1995
Typescript, April-Sept 1995
Research material and notes
Copy of publication
Plays by Hibberd
Captain Midnight. Two typed drafts and published play by
A man of many parts. Manuscript and typed drafts
A stretch of the imagination. Cuttings, letters and scripts,
Hotel Paradiso, 1956. Manuscript draft and production
Medical follies: a comic treatment. Manuscript and typed
'No time like the present', 'This great gap of time', 'Three old
friends', 'O', 'Just before the honeymoon', 'See you tomorrow at Maxims', 'The
common touch', and 'Breakfast at the Windsor'.
Newspaper cuttings on Louis Nowra, 1980-85
Letter to Age re Literature Board, 1993
Score for Sin (folio item)
Reviews by Hibberd
Honour by Joanna Murray-Smith and Scenes from a
separation by Andrew Bovell and Hannie Rayson (November 1995). Included
are the published
plays and a response from Rayson
Pacific Union by Alex Buzo (September 1995). Includes a letter
and the published play
Dead white males by David Williamson (August 1995)
Bad boy bubby. Review of screenplay for the film
The incorruptible by Louis Nowra
Companion to theatre in Australia by Currency Press (books and book reviews)
The woman who walked into doors by Roddy Doyle
Cosi by Louis Nowra
Romance of the Sydney stage by Humphrey Hall and Alfred
Australian Drama Studies Vol 1. (publications)
Addition 24 June 1999
Reviews and articles by Hibberd
Free association: an autobiography by Stephen Berkoff
The story of the night by Colm Toibin
Down by the river by Edna OBrien
Reading in the dark by Seamus Deane
The heretic by David Williamson
Come to dazzle by Corille Fraser
The bend for home by Dermot Healy
The La Mama collection edited by Liz Jones
Oxford companion to Irish history edited by S.J. Connolly
The call by Martin Flanagan
Ulysses by Denis Rose
This side of brightness by Colum McCann
The star factory by Ciaran Carson
Greatest benefit to mankind
Anna Bishop by Richard Davis
Anton Chekov by Donald Mayfield
Mr Darwins shooter by Roger McDonald
Melvilles at the Continental: a restaurant review
Hibberds reaction to reviews of the film The sound of one hand
Alienation in literature: A. Samuel Beckett, B. Jack
The theatre of Louis Nowra by Veronica Kelly, with drafts of review by
Issue of Eureka Street May 1999, with page of poems by
Jay-walking Blues poems by Kevin Murray, includes note from
Drafts of works by Hibberd
A history of the western world in ninety minutes A Man of
Many Parts spiral bound 1998
A history of the western world in ninety minutes A Man of
Many Parts Proof read by David Kendall, Nov 1998
A man of many parts A history of the western world in
ninety minutes 1998 early drafts
Dimboola the Musical! spiral bound, proof read by David
Dimboola the Musical! drafts, July-September 1998
Captain Midnight: a screenplay, corrected by David Kendall
Captain Midnight: a screenplay, drafts September 1998
Following Rilke: poems
The genius of human imperfection
Four poems and a blurb for the launch of The genius of human
Photographs of Hibberd and family
Miscellaneous cuttings, letters, cards and poetry by Hibberd, 1996-99.
Correspondents include Kevin Murray, John Clark and family members, incudes
copies of Hibberds letters.
Letters, cuttings and blurbs, 1993-98, concerning The genius of
Notes, clippings and letters concerning the production of A stretch
of the imagination, March 1997
Miscellaneous letters, postcards, souvenirs and facsimiles, 1974-May
1999. Correspondents include family members, Kevin Murray and Les Murray and
includes copies of Hibberds letters.
Correspondence and cuttings relating to the 'Performing arts in
Australia' which was published in Meanjin 1/84 (letters restricted)
Correspondence 1980-89 (letters restricted)
Typescript of Smash hit and a letter from Dennis Olsen
(1980) (letters restricted)
Correspondence 1988-91 (letters restricted)
Correspondence, 1990 re The life of Riley (letters restricted)
Folder marked 'miscellaneous papers and theatre correspondence'
including reviews of The life of Riley, 1991, correspondence 1972-92,
clippings, notes and an article 'Jack Hibberd's anti-naturalism' by Paul
McGillick, 1978 (letters restricted)
Clippings, manuscript music, correspondence, programs and photographs
relating to The overcoat, 1978-82 (letters restricted)
Papers relating to Odyssey of a prostitute, 1984-87
Correspondence relating to the 1981 publication of The overcoat and Sin by Currency Press (letters restricted)
Papers relating to Man of many parts, 1980-84
Papers relating to Hibberd's tour of New Zealand with the Australian
Performing Group, 1975 (letters restricted)
Papers relating to Mothballs, 1981-82
Correspondence with Nimrod Theatre, 1981-84
Liquid amber, revision for A country quinella:
typescript and letters, 1993-94 (letters restricted)
'I.M. Australia': manuscript, typescript and letters, 1990 (letters restricted)
'The prodigal son' and 'The dutiful daughter' ('Trios' for 'Musical
parts'): manuscript, typescript and letters, spiral-bound typescript, 1993-94
General correspondence, 1993-94 (letters restricted)
Squibs: typescript and letters, 1983-84 (letters restricted)
Memoirs of an old bastard and Perdita: correspondence,
1988-91 (letters restricted)
Correspondence, newspaper cuttings, 1982-83 (letters restricted)
Litigation correspondence, 1995-Oct 1996 (letters restricted)
Miscellaneous correspondence on medical and literary issues, 1995-96
Updated April 2010