Guide to the Papers of Rodney Milgate

MS 5185

National Library of Australia

Collection Summary

Rodney Milgate
Papers of Rodney Milgate
Date Range
Collection Number
MS 5185
0.98 metres (8 boxes)
Language of Materials
National Library of Australia


Scope and Contents

The first material received from Rodney Milgate was a typescript of his play A Refined Look at Existence in 1967. In 1976 he donated the bulk of his collection, which comprised correspondence, newspaper clippings, catalogues, programs and manuscripts of plays and novels. Further donations were made in 1981, 1987 and 1990.

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Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions.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 Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.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 Rodney Milgate, National Library of Australia, MS 5185, [box number and series and/or file number]'.

Biographical Note

Rodney Milgate was born in Sydney in 1934 and educated at East Sydney Technical College and Sydney Teachers College. He was a school teacher for several years and later an actor, painter and writer.

In 1964 Milgate won the Fairfax Human Image Prize and in 1966 the Blake Prize for Religious Art. His poetry has appeared in a number of journals. He is the author of several plays, one of which, A refined look at existence, was first produced in Sydney in 1966.

Rodney Milgate is married to the actress and former singer Dinah Shearing, whose papers are also held in the Library (MS 5186).

Item Descriptions

Class. Original Consignment

File 1. Correspondence and personal documents, 1971-74 - Box 1

Personal documents include birth certificate, school certificate, photocopies of teachers certificate and diploma in art, notebook, certificate of entry in register of marriage.

Correspondents include: Blunt, M.J. Prof; Bonython, Kym; Coburn, John; Cull, Wendy; Nicholson, Michael; Pressley, Alison; Provost, J.F.

File 2. Manuscript of 'A Golden Pathway to Europe' play, uncut version, 1978 - Box 1

File 3-4. Manuscript of A Refined Look at Existence stage play in 3 acts, 1966 - Box 1

File 5. Manuscript of 'At Least You Get Something Out of That' play in 2 acts, 1976 - Box 1

File 6. Manuscripts of 'Appointment' (television play), 'Something Real' (television play) and 'A Short Film Without Words' (play), 'House of Strangers' (play) - Box 1

File 7. Manuscripts of 'Buckets With Holes in Them' (stage play, see also box 6, File 41) and 'Grass Up Your Ears' (stage play, duplicate, see also box 6 File 43) - Box 1

File 8. Manuscripts of 'Vonny' (page 1 missing, novel) 'A Value for Expression' and 'The Nature of Expression' - Box 1

File 9. Manuscript of 'The Room, or Incident at Nolava Beach' (novel, original draft) - Box 1

File 10. Manuscript of 'An Unfortunate Incident at Vence' (novel, 1978) - Box 2

File 11. Manuscript of 'Incident at Nolava Beach' (novel, original re-edited version, 1978) - Box 2

File 12. Manuscripts of 'Inside Out or Fifteen Poems Etcetera' (poems, 1965), 'Eleven Poems' (poems, 1963) and 'A Refined Look at Existence: A Selection of Poetry', (1957-67) - Box 2

File 13. Photographs - Box 2

File 14. Newspaper clipping (articles and review by and about Rodney Milgate) - Box 2

File 15. Programs - Box 2

File 16-17. Newspaper clippings (some photographs included- Arts and Theatre (amateur 1955-58) and Theatre and Television (professional 1959-60) - Box 2

File 18-19. Newspaper clippings (some photographs included) - Art reviews (1962-67) and Theatre and Television, (1962-67) - Box 3

File 20-22. Miscellaneous (1957-67) Catalogues, programs and correspondence - Box 3

Correspondents include: Dutton, Geoffrey; Scougall, Stuart, Dr; Thomas, Daniel.

Class. Consignment added 22/1/81

File 23-27. Miscellaneous printed material - Box 4

Includes professional biography, school certificate, teachers certificate, diploma of arts certificate, programs, newspaper clippings.

File 28. Miscellaneous (some correspondence included) - Box 4

Correspondents include: Harvey, G.G.; Houler, Karen; McCallum, John; Neuwald, Ellen; Page, Roger; Warren, D.J.

Class. Consignment added 28/1/87

File 29. Manuscript of 'Figures or Landscape with Driver or Favourites' (play in 2 acts, 1980) - Box 5

File 30. Manuscript of 'The Story of Larry Foley' ( unedited version screenplay, 1982) - Box 5

File 31. Manuscript of 'Destiny's Mill' (third draft, stage play, 1982) - Box 5

File 32. Plot for ABC Radio Segment Commonality in the Arts (a process of creativity) - Box 5

File 33. Manuscript of 'An Unfortunate Incident at Vence' (novel, 1978) - Box 5

File 34. Pictures at an Exhibition: Poems and Other Thoughts (1979) Elizabethan Press, Sydney - Box 5

File 34. 'Wordscapes', (1983) - Box 5

File 35. Manuscript of 'Triage, or The Fortunates' (stage play, 1984)'TV Documentary' (films x 2, 1960) - Box 5

File 36. Manuscript of 'Intruders' (play, 1983) - Box 6

File 37. Manuscript of 'Grass Up Your Ears' (play adapted for radio) - Box 6

File 38. Manuscript of 'Anniversary Waltz or Reet or Rita' (stage play, 1985, see also File 40) - Box 6

File 39. Manuscript of 'Archibald Prize or Wild Justice' (stage play, 1985) - Box 6

Class. Consignment added 6/11/90

File 40. Manuscript of 'Anniversary Waltz' (stage play, 1985, duplicate, see also File 38) - Box 6

File 41. Manuscript of 'Buckets With Holes in Them' (1981 play, duplicate see File 7, Box 1) - Box 6

File 42. Manuscripts of 'Favourites' (1980 play) - Box 6

File 43. Manuscript of 'Grass Up Your Ears' (play, duplicate, see also box 1, File 7) - Box 6

File 44. Manuscript of 'Intruders' (play, 1983, duplicate, see also box 6, File 36) - Box 7

File 45. Manuscript of 'Incident at Nolava Beach', (1989) - Box 7

File 46. Manuscripts of 'Appointment' and 'Something Real' (typescript of television plays, see also box 1, File 6) - Box 7

File 47. Collected poems, (1947-1989) - Box 7

File 48. Catalogues, programs and photographs - Box 7

File 49. Photocopies of catalogues - Box 7

File 50. Newspaper clippings and miscellaneous, (1960-1990) - Box 7

Class. Consignment added 27/7/94

File 51. Program entitled 'An Interpretation of a Sacred Myth' exhibition at David Jones Art Gallery (1991) 'Fourteen Stations of the Cross: a sequence of poems accompanying fourteen paintings', (1991) - Box 8

File 52. 'A Golden Pathway Through Europe' (cut version deriving from playwright conference workshop, ANU 1979) - Box 8

File 53. 'Triage or the Fortunates' (radio play, working titles, 1988) - Box 8

File 54. 'Anniversary Waltz or Reet or Rita' (a stage play in two acts, working titles, 1991) - Box 8

File 55. Curriculum Vitae (March 1994 and Oct. 1998 revision); press releases (1990-4); 1 page list of paintings (1994); photographs (1959-1993), miscellaneous articles, programs, catalogues, (1990-4) - Box 8

File 56. 'A Refined Look at Existence' London: Methuen and Co. Ltd. (1968); 'Incident at Nolava Beach or the Nagual' NSW: Desktop Publishing Unit in the College of Fine Arts (1993 - limited edition copy, signed by Milgate). - Box 8

File 57. Five audio cassettes: 'Fourteen Stations of the Cross 1991' (poems to accompany an exhibition of artwork), 'Interview of Solo Exhibition 1992' (Blaxland Gallery), 'The Sounds of Poetry' 'Milgate, Rodney 1-2' (recorded for AMPA oral history program interviewed by James Mellen, State Library of Victoria) - Box 8