Guide to the Papers of Xavier Herbert

MS 758

National Library of Australia

Created: 1965, Revised 1987

Collection Summary

Xavier Herbert
Papers of Xavier Herbert
Date Range
1932-1938, 1951
Collection Number
MS 758
0.48 metres (3 boxes + 1 folder)
Language of Materials
National Library of Australia


Scope and Contents

Papers, including the manuscript of Capricornia and the unpublished 'The facts of the publication of Capricornia for the Historical Record' and letters, mostly addressed to Arthur Dibley written from February 1935 to August 1938 and covering the period in which Capricornia was published.

Conditions Governing Access

Please refer to the collection's catalogue record ( for the access conditions.

Conditions Governing Use

Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions. For such material, written permission to publish must be obtained from the copyright holder(s). Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.

Preferred Citation

Items from this collection should be cited as '[Title or description of manuscript item], Papers of Xavier Herbert, National Library of Australia, MS 758, [box number and series and/or file number]'.

Biographical Note

Author. His first published novel Capricornia won the Commonwealth 150th Anniversary Prize in 1938.

Item Descriptions

Series 1. Capricornia

Manuscript of Capricornia comprising 640 pages, partly handwritten in both ink and pencil and partly typed being the full text of the novel but not word for word as published. After Chapter I are handwritten and typed pages belonging to earlier drafts. After Chapter II is another version and title of that chapter. On verso of manuscript are typed and handwritten versions of other chapters, stories: The Beauty of Barbara, and Giants of Iron, and a scenerio The Skywriter.

Series 2. The Facts of the Publication of Capricornia

'The facts of the publication of Capricornia for the historical record' by Xavier Herbert. This is a draft typed on the back of old train notices. It resulted from the publication of articles in the Sydney Observer, 4 February 1961 by Olaf Ruhen and the Bulletin, 8 March, 1961 by Xavier Herbert and 15 March 1961 by P.R. Stephenson.

Series 3. Correspondence, 1934-1938

Correspondence and photographs including 139 letters and 8 telegrams to Arthur Dibley, a letter from Dibley to Herbert and a letter from J.J. Miles dated 31 August 1937. Six photographs taken during the period of the letters. Letters from Xavier Herbert and Sadie Herbert to the National Librarian relating to the Dibley correspondence and to go with the correspondence.

Series 4. Diary, 1951

Series 5. Material added to the collection

Letters from Xavier Herbert to "Philippa". Added January 1988.

Typescript copy of Poor fellow my country. Added March 1994.