MS 9582

Papers of Keast Burke (1896 - 1974)



Scope and Content Note

Creator: Keast Burke

Title: Papers

Date range: 1919-66

Reference number: MS 9582

Extent: 84 cm (6 boxes)

Administrative Information

Available for reference

Provenance: The papers were donated to the Library by Keast Burke in several instalments during 1964 and 1968. Further material (Folders 32-38) was received from Mrs Sandra Piggott (daughter) in 2001.

The collection comprises correspondence, draft articles and notes, circulars, newspaper clippings, brochures and miscellaneous printed material relating to Keast Burke’s career as a photographer and editor. There are also papers relating to The Story of the Camera in Australia.

Arrangement: The papers were formerly in MS 1053, MS 2226 and MS 1162. They have been amalgamated into one collection at MS 9582, but the original arrangement within the folders has been retained.


Biographical Note

Eric Keast Burke was born in 1896 in Christchurch, New Zealand. He came to Australia in 1904, attended the Sydney Church of England Grammar School and later graduated with a B.Ec from Sydney University.

Burke served in World War I and wrote the history of his unit With Horse and Morse in Mesopatamia, 1927. With his father he edited Kodak’s Australasian Photo-Review, later becoming its full editor and the advertising manager for Kodak. On his retirement he joined Globe Publishing as the first Australian editor of Australian Photography, (1961-69). He is known for his distinguished contributions to the technique and history of Australian photography and his avid interest in the preservation of photographic archives. Keast Burke was Photographic Consultant to the National Library from 1964 until his death in 1974. Burke is also widely known for persuading the Holtermann family to donate their historic photographs to the Mitchell Library. Gold and Silver : an album of Hill End and Gulgong photographs from the Holtermann collection by Keast Burke was published by Heinemann in 1973 and later by Penguin in 1974.

At the time of his death in 1974, Keast Burke was survived by his wife Iris, three sons, one daughter and nine grandchildren.

References: Australian Author, July, 1974

Australian Photography, May, 1974

Australian Photography, February, 1965

Remarkable Occurrences: the National Library of Australia's first 100 years 1901-2001, Chapter 12


Folders

1-10 Correspondence, 1952-63, concerning photography, mostly written to Keast Burke in his capacity as editor of Australian Photography, Australian Popular Photography and the Photo Publishing Company. Also copies of letters sent by him. The main correspondents are photographic clubs and societies including the Federation of Camera Clubs (NSW) and Kodak Australasia (previously MS 1053)

11-16 Correspondence concerning photography,1962-66, the main correspondents include Kodak Australasia, Documentary Film Productions and various photographic studios (previously MS 2226)

17-18 Newspaper clippings on photography and Monte Luke, 1919-60s (previously MS 1053)

19 Newspaper clippings on photography, 1963-66 (previously MS 2226)

20-28 Draft articles, notes, circulars, brochures, exhibition catalogues, entry forms for photographic competitions, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and other miscellaneous items, 1960s (previously MS 1053)

29 Draft articles and notes, 1963-65 (previously MS 2226)

30 Miscellaneous collection of printed material on photography (previously MS 1053)

31 Bound music score (previously MS 1162)

Addition 2001

This addition contains letters from Jack Cato to Keast Burke, together with carbon copies of replies. The correspondence documents Cato’s research into the history of Australian photography which resulted in the publication of The Story of the Camera in Australia (1955). The letters contain additional information and sources used for his research that were not included in the publication. Although this material has been taken out of binders for preservation reasons, the original sequence has been retained.

Folders

32-38 Correspondence between Keast Burke and Jack Cato, 1948-55, including correspondence index in folder 1. The correspondence documents Cato's research into the history of Australian photography which resulted in the publication of The Story of the Camera in Australia (1955). The letters contain additional information and sources used for his research that were not included in the publication. Although this material has been taken out of binders for preservation reasons, the original sequence has been retained.


Box List

Box Folder/Piece
1 1-6
2 7-12
3 13-19
4 20-27
5 28-31
6 32-38
February 2002