Guide to the Papers of Alan Marshall

MS 2741

National Library of Australia

Collection Summary

Papers of Alan Marshall
Date Range
Collection Number
MS 2741
3 metres (22 boxes)
Language of Materials
National Library of Australia


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Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions.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 Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.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 Alan Marshall, National Library of Australia, MS 2741, [box number and series and/or file number]'.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers of Alan Marshall (b. 1902 d 1984) were acquired by the Library in several consignments from 1970 and 1987, from Mr Marshall and his family. With no particular pattern, the consignments have been added to both MS 2741 and MS 3992, which have identical provenance. Readers are advised to scan the lists to both collections for material on their topic.

Marshall's secretary, Gwen Hardisty, organised his papers in filing cabinets and maintained an alphabetical index referring to file numbers. From time to time Mrs Hardisty would include in consignments to the Library the contents of the fastest-growing files. In 1982 the entire contents of the filing cabinets were consigned to the Library, together with the index. By this time many of the files had nothing in them but the empty files have been kept in numerical sequence to maintain continuity. The original notebook containing the index is at MS 3992, File 238.

There is no systematic chronological progression in the contents of consignments; very early material was sometimes acquired with the more recent consignments.

Some of the papers are charred, as a result of a fire which destroyed Marshall's Studio in Eltham in 1956.

MS 2741 summary of consignments: Original consignment, 1970 (19 boxes); Consignment added 1 August 1973 (2 Files); Consignment added September 1981 (3 boxes); Consignment added 21 June 1984 (2 boxes and 1 folio package).


MS 2741 is listed by box and file numbers but the file numbers begin at 1 within each box.

MS 405 Typescript copy of Ourselves writ Strange, together with a selection of annotated photographs to be included in the published work.

MS 2222 Letters from Alan Marshall to his mother and sister, 1942, 1945-47, which form the basis of These are my people (See also MS 3992, Files 256-7). Letters to his mother and sister from China, 1956. Diary of a trip commencing May 1946. Manuscript copies of four works. This material was acquired from AM's sister Elsie McConnell.

MS 419 Letters from Marshall to Nellie Rogova Mitchell, 1965-1983 (3 files).

MS 1174 Material on Marshall in the papers of Vance and Nettie Palmer (Series 28). Also photograph of Marshall aged about 12, in Series 33, File 8.

MS 6043 Letters from Marshall to Marian Lofts, also clippings by and about Marshall, 1981-83 (2 Files). Restricted until 10 years after the death of Lofts.

MS 6831 Letters from Marshall to Jim Smith, 1974-82 (20 cm).

MS 7011 Letters from Marshall to Thelma Henry, 1981-84 (1 file).

MS 7320 Papers of Gwen Hardisty, who worked with Marshall for some twelve years, including as his secretary from 1975 to 1982. Date range 1981-83 (3 boxes).

The State Library of Victoria holds a small quantity of material of Marshall (2 metres). Contents are similar to NLA collections: drafts, children's letters, postcards.

Item Descriptions

Class. Original Consignment (1970) Show allonly 1

File. Papers - Box 1-19 Show allonly 1

Class. Consignment added August 1973 Show allonly 1

File. Papers - Box 19 Show allonly 1

Class. Consignment added September 1981 Show allonly 1

File 1. Invitations to talk or to judge competitions Letters Dragana Vujanovic - Box 20 Show allonly 1

File 2. Original notes to story FileSinging to GodFile (handwritten) - Box 20 Show allonly 1

File 2. Introduction to book on Noel Counihan by Max Dimmock - Box 20 Show allonly 1

File 2. Old typescript draft of short story FileRetributionFile, written when 21 - Box 20 Show allonly 1

Signed note says it was the first ever completed, was submitted to the Bulletin, who acknowledged it with the words FileCrude but strong. Keep at itFile.

File 2. Handwritten draft of short story FileThe Cripple and the CourtesanFile, written when 29. - Box 20 Show allonly 1

Accompanied by signed note on how the story came to be written

File 3. Letters: Gareth Jones-Roberts, Bernard and Elsie Pearce, Mardeta Sagiova, George Morant (artist), Megan Venton, Mark Mollison - Box 20 Show allonly 1

File 4. Letters: John Embling - Box 20 Show allonly 1

File 5. Foreword to Alec Brierly's An illustrated history of the Kelly Gang Melbourne University Press, 1978 - Box 20 Show allonly 1

First, second and third drafts, plus letters Judging of short story competition, Presbyterian Ladies College, Burwood, Victoria, 1978

File 5. Three handwritten and typed drafts of AM's comments on Senior and Intermediate Sections' entries, plus letters from teachers - Box 20 Show allonly 1

File 6. Letters: Jim Smith - Box 20 Show allonly 1

File 7. Letters: Penny and Eddie Harding, Frank Huelin - Box 20 Show allonly 1

File 8. Letters: Katrina Holland, Jack Beasley - Box 20 Show allonly 1

File 9-10. Letters from authors and artists - Box 20 Show allonly 1

Including Susan Tomnay, Ailsa O'Connor, Bill Wannan, Judah and Hyrell Waten, Ray Parkin, Noel Counihan, Lance Loughrey, Judith Wright, Dal Stivens, Nancy Keesing, Manning Clark, Patsy Adam-Smith, Dymphna Cusack, Douglas Harris, Fairlie Taylor, Marcello Maestro, Betty Roland, Don Green, Gill Armstrong, Jim O'Connor, Joan Dixon

File 11. Letters: Anne Bechervaise, Lynelle Brown, Jane Caparella, Anne Cameron - Box 20 Show allonly 1

File 1-5. Children's letters and contributions - Box 21 Show allonly 1

Including 78 letters from Chilwell Primary School, others (203), illustrations by children for his novels (47) and stories by children (28)

File 6-8. Family letters. From daughters, sisters, nieces and their husbands (131) - Box 21 Show allonly 1

File 9. Documents on campervan, children's drawings - Box 21 Show allonly 1

File 1-2. Drafts of reviews for the Age 27 reviews commissioned by Stuart Sayers, plus three brief letters from Sayers - Box 22 Show allonly 1

For each review there is an average of one handwritten or typewritten first draft and one final typed draft. Amongst the books reviewed are Nought to thirty-three by Randolph Bedford, Kangaroos by John Gould, Sidney Meyer by Ambrose Pratt, Bid time return by Fairlie Taylor and Bairnsdale: portrait of an Australian country town, by Hal Porter

File 3-5. General letters. Include invitations to talk, letters from admirers (236) - Box 22 Show allonly 1

File. Reader's Digest Het beste boek. Condensed Dutch edition of 4 books, including Met Sprongen vooruit, by A.M. - Box 22 Show allonly 1

File. Ondanks my krukke Kaapstad, Haum, 1972 (Autographed) - Box 22 Show allonly 1

File. En is verysenyt futok a szellel Budapest, Mora Ferenc Konyvkiado, 1978 (Autographed) - Box 22 Show allonly 1

Class. Consignment added 21 June 1984 Show allonly 1

File 1. Children's letters, 1982-83 - Box 23 Show allonly 1

File 2. Marian Lofts, John Embling, Jim Smith and George Luke, 1983 - Box 23 Show allonly 1

File 3. Blanche Fenn, 1983 - Box 23 Show allonly 1

File 4. Hilda Gillies, 1983 - Box 23 Show allonly 1

File 5. Thelma Henry (USA), 1983; letters from USSR, 1983 - Box 23 Show allonly 1

File 6-7. Miscellaneous correspondence, 1983 - Box 23 Show allonly 1

File. English and foreign language editions of Marshall's works (8) - Box 24 Show allonly 1

Item. Cuttings scrapbook, 1982-83 - Folio-Box FOLIO BOX No. ? Show allonly 1