MS 9552

Papers of Arthur Groom (1904 - 1953)



Scope and Content Note

Creator: Arthur Groom

Title: Papers

Date range: c. 1930-1953

Reference number: MS 9552

Extent: 28 cm (2 boxes)

Administrative Information

Access: Available for reference

Provenance: The collection was donated to the Library by Groom’s children, Linda, Donn, Tony and Richard Groom.

The collection comprises the manuscript of an unpublished novel, ‘Flood waters’, a 1932 confidential diary kept while Groom was working at O’Reilly’s Guesthouse on the Lamington Plateau in southeast Queensland, a diary of a 1952 trip taken in preparation for writing Wealth in the wilderness (1955) and correspondence relating to the trip. There are also newspaper cuttings, a manuscript for an article ‘Beef will be scarce and dear’ (1952?), Groom’s honorary ranger badge and an 1897 petition by Susan Grace Lambert regarding land in Tasmania held by the Groom family.

Arrangement: The papers have been retained in the order in which they were received.

Related Material: Photographs received with the collection have been transferred to the Pictorial Section.

Apart from Groom’s published works, the Library also holds his Album of photographs of Central Australia (1947) in the Pictorial Collection at PIC Album 284a and a hand-drawn map of walking tracks near Binna Burra Lodge, Lamington National Park in the Map Collection.


Biographical Note

Arthur Groom was born in Caulfield, Victoria, on 11 December 1904, the son of Arthur Champion Groom, the Member for Flinders in the first Federal Parliament. Raised on the cattle station Rosabelle Downs , Queensland, he worked as a jackaroo and journalist.

He published a novel Merry Christmas (1930), set in Queensland in the late 1920s.

In 1930 he became the first honorary secretary of the National Parks Association of Queensland and was active in the promotion of national parks and environmental protection until his death. With Romeo Lahey, he established Binna Burra Lodge, on the edge of the Lamington National Park, in southeast Queensland, in 1933.

Though found medically unfit for service in World War II, he trained soldiers from the Canungra Army base in jungle warfare.

After visiting Central Australia and the Hermannsburg Mission in 1946 and 1947, he wrote I saw a strange land (1950). He published One mountain after another, on the history of the Lamington National Park and the 'Scenic Rim' region in 1949. His last book, on the cattle industry of the Northern Territory and Western Australia, was Wealth in the wilderness (1955).

He was known for his almost legendary ability to walk long distances, and his sense of humour. His published works reveal a great love for the Australian landscape.

Arthur Groom died in Melbourne in 1953.

References

Biography supplied by Linda Groom.

P.A. Scherer. Camel treks in the outback, 1994, p.69+


Series List

Series/Title

1 ‘Flood waters’

2 Diary, 1932

3 Wealth in the wilderness, 1952

4 Correspondence, 1944-53

5 Newspaper cuttings, 1951-54

6 Other papers, 1897-1952


Series Description

Series 1 ‘Flood waters’

This series contains the typed manuscript of an unpublished novel ‘Flood waters’, a romantic adventure set on a cattle station near the Northern Territory and Queensland border. It was written in the late 1920s or 1930s. There is also a typed transcript of the manuscript.

Folder

1 ‘Flood waters’ manuscript

2-3 Typed transcript of the manuscript

Series 2 Diary, 1932

A confidential diary, kept during the period Groom worked at O'Reilly's Guesthouse, is held in this series. The O'Reilly family pioneered tourism on the Lamington Plateau, southeast Queensland. There is also a typed transcript of the diary.

1 folder

Series 3 Wealth in the wilderness, 1952

In this series is the diary of a 1952 trip to Northern Territory and Western Australia in preparation for writing Wealth in the wilderness (1955). The diary contains information on the cattle industry and reports comments by station managers on the future of the cattle industry and the place of Aborigines. There is also correspondence relating to the trip.

Folder

1 Diary, 1952

2 Typed transcript of diary

3 Correspondence relating to the trip, 1952

Series 4 Correspondence, 1944-53

In this series is correspondence, including a copy of a typescript letter from Rev. F. A. Scherer, written on the 23rd November 1953, describing the circumstances of Arthur Groom's death. The original letter is held by Richard Groom, Arthur’s youngest son.

1 folder

Series 5 Newspaper cuttings, 1951-54

Newspaper cuttings and book reviews, including reviews of I saw a strange land (1950).

1 folder

Series 6 Other papers, 1897-1952

The series contains a typescript manuscript for an article ‘Beef will be scarce and dear’ (1952?), Groom’s honorary ranger badge and an 1897 petition by Susan Grace Lambert regarding land in Tasmania held by the Groom family.

1 folder


Box List

Box Series Folder/Piece
1 1 1-3
  2 1
  3 1
2 3 2-3
  4 1
  5 1
  6 1
25 June 2001