Guide to the Papers of Ralph and Dorothy Gibson

MS 7844

National Library of Australia

Collection Summary

Title
Papers of Ralph and Dorothy Gibson
Date Range
1912-1989
Collection Number
MS 7844
Extent
1.65 metres (7 ms boxes + 1 phase box)
Language of Materials
English
Repository
National Library of Australia

Introduction

Conditions Governing Access

Please refer to the collection's catalogue record (http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn552272) 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Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions.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 Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.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 Ralph and Dorothy Gibson, National Library of Australia, MS 7844, [box number and series and/or file number]'.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

These papers were acquired by the National Library between 1983 and 1989.

There are also Ralph Gibson papers held by the University of Melbourne Archives.

Biographical Note

Dorothy Gibson (nee Alexander) was born in 1899, the daughter of a businessman. She graduated from the University of Melbourne and spent time teaching in Cambridge and Moscow. On her return to Australia in the 1930s she joined the Communist Party of Australia and married Ralph Gibson.

Ralph Gibson (1906-1989) was born in England, and was the son of a Professor of Philosophy who later taught at Melbourne University. In 1932 Ralph gave up his academic career to work full time for the Communist Party.

After their marriage Ralph and Dorothy devoted the rest of their lives to the CPA, remaining loyal to it through all its splits and upheavals. They were also active in the peace movement through all this time. Ralph wrote a number of books and pamphlets on communism and the couple visited the Soviet Union on a number of occasions. In the 1940s Dorothy organised the Australia-Soviet Friendship League. After Dorothy's death in 1978 Ralph wrote One woman's life: a memoir of Dorothy Gibson, published in 1980.

Item Descriptions

Series 1. Personal papers of R. Gibson

File 1. Early papers, 1927-1943 - Box 1

File 1. Letters of Gibson (Manchester, Geneva, Devonport) to his mother, describing voyage to England, research at Manchester University, career ambitions, British politics, course at Geneva in 1930, lecturing in Tasmania, Australian politics (c. 60 letters), 1927-1931 - Box 1

File 1. Letters of Gibson (Sydney, Mackay, Cairns, Melbourne) to Dorothy Gibson, referring to party meetings. (14 letters), 1936-1939 - Box 1

File 1. Letter of Gibson (Pentridge Gaol) to Colin, 4 July 1933 - Box 1

File 1. Leaflets and cuttings on Gibsons's lectures in Tasmania, 1931 - Box 1

File 1. How to vote card, 1943 - Box 1

File 2. Peace Movement in 1930s - Box 1

Including: Pamphlets, cuttings, articles on E. Kisch, program of 1936 Brussels Congress of International Peace Plan, notes for speakers at Congress, photographs.

File 3. Australian-Soviet Friendship League, 1942-1946 - Box 1

Including: Pamphlets, leaflets, circulars, lists of office-bearers, constitution, cuttings, minutes of special meeting (12 November 1945), correspondence, notes.

File 4. Australia Soviet House, 1946 - Box 1

Including: Programs, circulars, minutes, lists of speakers.

File 5. Papers on overseas trips, 1936-1967 - Box 1

Including: Notes by Gibson of visit to Brussels Peace Congress (1936), Europe and Russia (1953), China and Russia (1960), India (1964), Russia and India (1967).

File 6. Papers on party splits, 1956-1972 - Box 1

Including: Draft articles by Gibson, correspondence with E. Ross and W. Brown.

File 7-8. Speeches - Box 2

Including: Manuscripts of speeches by Gibson, 1960s-1980s, on Soviet policy, policies of Communist Party of Australia, Labor Party and United Front, Czechoslovakia, Vietnam War, Bangladesh and other subjects.

File 9-10. Struggle of ideas in the 1960s. - Box 2

Including: Slips containing cuttings or notes for a projected work on struggle of ideas in the 1960s. Headings include Brown-Aarons struggle, Czechoslovakia debate, French communist policy, Sartre, Frankfurt School, Yugoslav line, Vietnam Moratorium, trade unions, student movement, international differences.

File 11-13. Gibsons's Books. - Box 2

Including: Reviews and correspondence on My years in the Communist Party (1966), Soviet foreign policy 1917-1974 (1976), One woman's life; a memoir of Dorothy Gibson (1980) and The people stand up (1984). Correspondents include W. Gollan, W. Brown, L. Aarons, L. Churchward, W. Stone, Myra Roper, H. Anderson, Marjorie Pizer, J. Blake, L. Fox, R. Lockwood, A. Marshall, S. Murray-Smith.

File 14. Obituaries - Box 3

Including: Cuttings of obituaries of many figures of the Left, including P. Clancy, W. McMahon Ball, N. Counihan, J. Waten, Helen Palmer, L. Sharkey, E. Elliot, Jessie Street, R. Mortimer, P. Troy. Also few replies to letters of condolence and manuscript of oration at funeral of Sally Barker.

File 15. Typescript account of trip to Europe and India, 1978 - Box 3

File 16. Clippings and ephemera on the peace movement, 1980s - Box 3

File 17. "A Marxist looks at history", typescript, [1988-1989] - Box 3

File 18. Memoirs, 1978, typescript; Left Book Project, 1988; Diary, 1989 - Box 3

File 19. Oakleigh Branch of the Communist Party of Australia, notes, clippings and reports, 1957-1988 - Box 3

File 20. Oakleigh Branch of the CPA, peace and friendship papers, 1958-1978 - Box 3

Series 2. Papers of Dorothy Gibson

File 21. Autobiographical - Box 4

Including: Autobiographical manuscripts, certificate of registration as teacher (1924), St. Andrew's Collegian (1927), photographs of Inverness, testimonials (1930-1932), proposal for activity school (c. 1932), D. Gibson. How I came to work for peace (1973).

File 22. Papers on Soviet education, 1933-1935 - Box 4

Including: Letters of Dorothy Alexander to her family describing conditions in Russia (11 letters), cuttings.

File 23. Malvern branch, Communist Party of Australia. Leaflets, 1946-1952 - Box 4

File 24. Earlier campaigns, 1946-1976 - Box 4

Including: Letters, cuttings, photographs on peace campaigns.

File 25. Visit to Europe and Soviet Union, 1953-1954 - Box 4

Including: Detailed diaries, notebooks, copy of letter to friends in Melbourne.

File 26. Notes of meetings and conferences - Box 4

Including: Note of National Congress of C.P.A., Australian Assembly for Peace and other bodies, mainly 1960s.

File 27-28. Political writings and talks - Box 5

Including: Manuscripts and cuttings on philosophy, Vietnam, Soviet Union, civil liberties, South Africa, and other subjects, mostly 1960s and 1970s.

File 29. Letters of Ralph Gibson, 1960 - Box 5

Including: Letters of R. Gibson to Dorothy Gibson (May-December. 1960) from China and Russia (24 letters).

File 30. World Peace Congress, Moscow, 1962 - Box 5

Including: Notes, programs, cuttings

File 31-32. Visits to Soviet Union, 1967, 1971 - Box 5

Including: Detailed diaries, notebooks, talks.

File 32. C.I.C.D. Tribute to Dorothy Gibson, 9 December, 1973 - Box 5

Including: Letters, telegrams, photograph.

File 33. Miscellaneous notes and papers, including typescript and photographs on the plight of Polish children (1949?) by Maria Zebrowska - Box 5

Series 3. Photographs

File 34-35. Various photographs - Box 6

Item 1-4. Four albums of photographs and postcards covering such things as overseas trips and book launches, 1928-1987 - Box 6

Item 5. Album of photographs including family photos; USSR, 1953-1971; peace movement, 1937-1970; India, 1964; and Oakleigh home, 1980s, 1930s-1980s - Folio 1

Series 4. Correspondence

File 36. Personal correspondence of Dorothy Gibson, 1929-1970 - Box 7

Approx. 80 letters. Mostly 1960s and 1970s. Correspondents include A. Marshall, S. Murray-Smith and Aileen Palmer.

File 37. Cards received by Dorothy Gibson, 1937-1976 - Box 7

File 38. Letters of condolence and tribute for Dorothy Gibson, 1978 - Box 7

File 39. Cards and letters received by Ralph and Dorothy Gibson, 1943-1988 - Box 7

File 40. Cards received by Ralph Gibson, 1988-1989 - Box 7