Guide to the Papers of Ronald Albert Simpson

MS 5575 and MS Acc05.173

National Library of Australia

Collection Summary

Title
Papers of Ronald Albert Simpson
Date Range
1949-2004
Collection Number
MS 5575 and MS Acc05.173
Extent
4.02 metres (25 boxes)
Language of Materials
English
Repository
National Library of Australia

Introduction

Conditions Governing Access

Please refer to the collection's catalogue record for the access conditions (http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn2623876).

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Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions.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 Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The first instalment of papers was purchased from R.A. Simpson in 1977. Further instalments were added to MS 5575 in 1979, 1980, 1991, 1996 and 2000. The papers comprise draft of poems, notebooks, manuscripts of books, correspondence with writers and publishers, reviews, papers on seminars and other literary subjects, drawings and photographs.

A further consignment was received in 2005.

Other Finding Aids

All correspondence in the Original Consignments (MS 5575) has been name-indexed; please refer to the attached Correspondence Index (Appendix I) under the Related Documentation tab.

Collection Retreival Advice

Please note: there are two box number sequences (i.e. there are multiple Box 1's). Please cite the relevant Class number as well as the Box number when requesting retrieval of material from the collection.

Finding Aid Source(s)

Please note: This finding aid may comprise or contain descriptive information provided by donors, researchers and/or volunteers.

Biographical Note

Ronald Albert Simpson was born in Melbourne on 29 February 1929. He studied at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and taught at schools in England and Australia. In 1968 he was appointed lecturer in art at the Chisholm Institute of Technology. He retired in 1987.

Simpson was one of a group of Melbourne poets, including Chris Wallace-Crabbe, Vincent Buckley and Alexander Craig, who came to prominence in the 1950s. His first book of poetry Walk along the beach was published in 1960 and a further eight volumes appeared in the next 32 years. He was poetry editor of the Bulletin from 1963-65 and became poetry editor of the Age in 1969.

Simpson received the Christopher Brennan Award from the Fellowship of Australian Writers in 1992.

Simpson died in Melbourne in 2002.

Item Descriptions

Class MS 5575. Original Consignments Show allonly 1

Drafts of poems, notebooks, manuscripts of books, correspondence with writers and publishers, reviews, papers on seminars and other literary subjects, drawings and photographs. Correspondents include Alexander Craig, Thomas Shapcott, Rodney Hall, Kenneth Slessor, Michael Dransfield, Nancy Cato, Randolph Stow, John Wain, Chris Wallace-Crabbe, A.D. Hope and Douglas Stewart.

Comprises 19 boxes.

Series. Material received 1977 Show allonly 1

File 1. Correspondence with Tim and Tom Bass - Box 1 Show allonly 1
File 2. Correspondence with publishers and editors. - Box 1 Show allonly 1
File 3-5. Correspondence including Alexander Craig (closed), Vincent Buckley, Nancy Cato, Les Murray, Kenneth Slessor, John Wain, and Chris Wallace-Crabbe - Box 1 Show allonly 1
File 6. Correspondence with Thomas Shapcott - Box 1 Show allonly 1
File 7. Correspondence while editor of The Bulletin 1963-1965. Writers' Retreat, Goolwa, 1974 including correspondence and poems. - Box 1 Show allonly 1
File 8. Poems by John Wain and others. Article by R.A. Simpson on Max Dunn in the Quadrant magazine. - Box 1 Show allonly 1
File 9-11. Correspondence with Alexander Craig. (Closed) - Box 1 Show allonly 1
File 12. Reviews by Simpson in The Age and The Bulletin. Reviews of Simpson's books as well as an interview in The Australian.Photographs. - Box 2 Show allonly 1
File 13-15. Working drafts of various poems. - Box 2 Show allonly 1
File 16. Copies of published and unpublished poems. - Box 2 Show allonly 1
File 17. Copies of poems by Chris Wallace-Crabbe. - Box 2 Show allonly 1
File 19. Early poems, mostly unpublished. - Box 2 Show allonly 1
File 19. Manuscript and notebook of The Walk Along the Beach, 1960, Edward's and Shaw. - Box 2 Show allonly 1
File 20. Announcements and reviews relating to The Walk Along the Beach; correspondence with Evan Pincus, Edward's and Shaw, and Angus Robertson - Box 2 Show allonly 1
File 21. Signed copy of The Real Pompeii, Jacaranda Press, 1964; correspondence with Jacaranda Press and Oxford University Press. - Box 3 Show allonly 1
File 22. Typescript draft and final draft of The Real Pompeii. - Box 3 Show allonly 1
File 23. Poems from Murrumbeena, University of Queensland Press, 1976, workbooks showing developments of poems from 1970-1976. - Box 3 Show allonly 1
File 24. Typescripts with annotations of Poems from Murrumbeena. - Box 3 Show allonly 1
File 25. Sea Variations, later changed to Poems from Murrumbeena, typescript draft with annotations. - Box 3 Show allonly 1
File 26. Typescript drafts of After the Assassination, Jacaranda Press 1968, formerly called The Dingo Trapper. - Box 3 Show allonly 1
File 27. Correspondence with Jacaranda Press and Melbourne University Press in relation to After the Assassination. - Box 3 Show allonly 1
File 28. Rough drafts of Diver, University of Queensland Press, 1972. Correspondence with University of Queensland Press - Box 3 Show allonly 1
File 29. Drafts and typescript draft of Diver. - Box 3 Show allonly 1

Series. Material received March 1979 Show allonly 1

File 30. Australian Literature Seminar Correspondence with University of Stirling, Scotland concerning the Herald 'C.J. Dennis Memorial Poetry Competition' - Box 4 Show allonly 1
File 31-32. Various hand-written and typed poems. - Box 4 Show allonly 1
File 33. Notebook of poems. - Box 4 Show allonly 1
File 34. Correspondence including Thomas Shapcott, Alexander Craig (closed), Chris Wallace-Crabbe, John Wain, and Vincent Buckley - Box 4 Show allonly 1
File 35. The Forbidden City, xerox copies of poems - Box 4 Show allonly 1

(These relate to drawings held in the Pictures Collection.)

File 36. Poems from Murrumbeena, typescripts and correspondence with the Australian Authors' Fund and the University of Queensland Press. - Box 4 Show allonly 1

Series. Material received 1980 Show allonly 1

File 37. Correspondence: Univ. of Queensland Press. - Box 5 Show allonly 1
File 38. Correspondence: Alexander Craig (closed). - Box 5 Show allonly 1
File 39. Correspondence: Chris Wallace-Crabbe, also some of his poems. - Box 5 Show allonly 1
File 40. Correspondence: Tom Shapcott. - Box 5 Show allonly 1
File 41. Correspondence: Waroma Festival. - Box 5 Show allonly 1
File 42-44. General Correspondence including some when Simpson was working for The Age. - Box 5 Show allonly 1
File 45. Diary kept when overseas, 1956-58 - Box 5 Show allonly 1
File 46. Diary of visit to China. - Box 5 Show allonly 1
File 47. The Bulletin 1963-64 poems both published and rejected. - Box 5 Show allonly 1
File 48. The Bulletin 1963-65 poems both published and rejected and some letters. - Box 6 Show allonly 1
File 49-50. Manuscripts of recent poems, 1979 - Box 6 Show allonly 1
File 51. The Forbidden City - 2 note books. - Box 6 Show allonly 1
File 52. The Forbidden City - manuscript early version. - Box 6 Show allonly 1
File 53-55. The Forbidden City - worksheets. - Box 6 Show allonly 1
File 56. The Forbidden City - extra manuscript. - Box 6 Show allonly 1
File 57. The Forbidden City - extra manuscript and final division of ms into Sections. - Box 6 Show allonly 1
File 58. The Forbidden City - almost final form, and one book. - Box 6 Show allonly 1
File 59. The Forbidden City - manuscript - Box 6 Show allonly 1
File 60. The Forbidden City. Criticisms and letters from publishers Edward's Shaw - Box 7 Show allonly 1
File 61-63. Poems from the Age proofs and layout - Box 7 Show allonly 1
File 64. Poems from the Age introduction, poems rejected and some correspondence - Box 7 Show allonly 1
File 65-67. Poems from the Age: manuscripts - Box 7 Show allonly 1
File 68. Poems from the Age published book, 1979 - Box 8 Show allonly 1
File 69. Poems from Murrumbeena and some revision - Box 8 Show allonly 1
File 70. The Walk along the Beach (1960) plus selected poems to be published in 1981 U.Q.P. - Box 8 Show allonly 1
File 71. After the Assassination - Box 8 Show allonly 1
File 72. Some early manuscripts - Box 8 Show allonly 1
File 73-74. Poems published in various Newspapers and reviews: 1 packet of 17 magazines of poems and reviews - Box 8 Show allonly 1

Additions to collection, received 14.10.1981.

File 75-76. Selected poems. Typescript and photocopy drafts, bearing proof-reading annotations and author's amendments (140 pages) - Box 9 Show allonly 1
File 77-78. Selected poems. Typescripts and paste-ups of poems, bearing proof-reader's annotations. - Box 9 Show allonly 1
File 79-80. Photocopies of poems intended for inclusion in Selected poems. - Box 9 Show allonly 1
File 81-82. Copies of poems for Selected poems - Box 9 Show allonly 1

A small amount of copies bear author's corrections. Includes one letter to 'Chris"(presumably Wallace-Crabbe) about the poem The Escapee.

File 83. Correspondence 1981 with publisher Edward's Shaw about remainder of Forbidden City. (4 letters) - Box 9 Show allonly 1
File 84. Photocopies and typescript collection of poems entitled The Survivors by R.A. Simpson and Robin Wallace-Crabbe. (2 sets) (Wallace-Crabbe was to be the illustrator). - Box 10 Show allonly 1
File 84. Correspondence 1980 with Alex Bolton of Brindabella Press concerning proposed publication of The Survivors which did not eventuate (5 letters). - Box 10 Show allonly 1
File 85. Letters and postcards from Roger McDonald 1980 about Selected poems (4 items). Photocopy of Simpson reply (1 item) - Box 10 Show allonly 1
File 85. Letters 1980 to and from Vincent Buckley, Andrew Taylor and Neilma Gantner (4 items, 2 of which are copies) - Box 10 Show allonly 1
File 86. Selected poems Lists of selections for possible inclusion, made in 1979 and 1980. - Box 10 Show allonly 1
File 87. Selected poems. Final versions of some poems for inclusion in volume, some with author's corrections. - Box 10 Show allonly 1
File 88-92. Selected poems. Worksheets, many showing evolution of poem from early typed or hand-written draft to final version ready for publication. - Box 10 Show allonly 1
File 93-94. Correspondence from Thomas Shapcott, with copies of Simpson's replies, 1979-1981, concerning reviews, proposed publications, and other personal and literary matters. - Box 10 Show allonly 1
File 95. Correspondence 1980 to and from Thom Gunn about material proposed for Selected poems, together with revised contents lists based on Gunn's comments (5 letters, 2 contents lists, drafts of poems) - Box 11 Show allonly 1
File 96-97. Correspondence 1980 to and from Chris Wallace-Crabbe about Selected poems and personal and literary matters - Box 11 Show allonly 1
File 96-97. Typed drafts of some poems, showing author's corrections and some by Wallace-Crabbe. (6 letters approx. 60 drafts). - Box 11 Show allonly 1
File 98-99. Correspondence 1980 to and from Alex Craig about Selected poems, with material also about Craig's work, (11 items) - Box 11 Show allonly 1
File 98-99. Typescript drafts with annotations and alterations prompted by Craig (about 40 items). - Box 11 Show allonly 1
File 100-102. Photographs of Simpson's drawings and paintings (approx. 35 prints) - Box 11 Show allonly 1
File 100-102. Correspondence 1979-81 to and from University of Queensland Press concerning Selected poems. - Box 11 Show allonly 1
File. 3 notebooks of early manuscript drafts of poems showing the development of the poems (some have over a dozen versions) - Box 11 Show allonly 1
File. Copies of Simpson's published works, from which selections were made for Selected poems, showing annotations and extensive alterations to some pieces - Box 11 Show allonly 1

Includes The walk along the beach (1960), This real Pompeii (1964), After the assassination (1968), Diver (1972), Poems from Murrumbeena (1976), and The Forbidden city (1979)

Series. Material received December 1991 Show allonly 1

File 103. Photocopy of typescript draft of Words for a journey and some correspondence with Queensland University Press, 1984 - Box 12 Show allonly 1
File 104. Photocopy of typescript draft, with few ms. amendments of Words for a journey and a letter of Alexander Craig. - Box 12 Show allonly 1
File 105. Photocopy late typescript draft, with few ms. amendments, and gallery proofs of Words for a journey. - Box 12 Show allonly 1
File 106. Final draft, part typescript and part photocopy, of Words for a journey, with annotations by editor. - Box 12 Show allonly 1
File 107. Gallery proofs of Words for a journey. - Box 12 Show allonly 1
File 108. Photocopies of reviews of Words for a journey. - Box 12 Show allonly 1
File 109. Carbon typescript of Forbidden city. - Box 12 Show allonly 1
File 110. Typescript of ABC broadcast, 'A first hearing', in series 'The Poet's Tongue', selected by Simpson, and some correspondence with ABC, 1983 - Box 12 Show allonly 1

Series. Material received March 1996 Show allonly 1

File 111. Typescript draft with annotations of Dancing Table and signed copy of the published book. - Box 13 Show allonly 1
File 112. Typescript draft with annotations of Dancing Table. - Box 13 Show allonly 1
File 113. Sketches, original pen drawings, and changes to contents of Dancing Table. - Box 13 Show allonly 1
File 113. Correspondence from Penguin Books Australia, (June 1991) - Box 13 Show allonly 1
File 114. Reviews, awards, and correspondence relating to nomination of Judith Wright for the Nobel Prize (1994) and with Tom Shapcott concerning the Australia Council's Fellowship, (1986-1988) - Box 13 Show allonly 1
File 114. Papers relating to the launch of Dancing Table - Box 13 Show allonly 1
File 114. Article by Gary Catalano - Box 13 Show allonly 1

Series. Material received April 2000 Show allonly 1

File 115. Miscellaneous correspondence (including a letter from Stuart Sayers of The Age), 1955-1969 - Box 13 Show allonly 1
File 116. Correspondence with Laurence Collinson (1957-1958) and George Bell, (1958) - Box 13 Show allonly 1
File 117. Correspondence with Max Dunn, 1957-1958 - Box 13 Show allonly 1
File 118. Correspondence with the University of Queensland Press, the ABC and Australian Society of Authors, 1976-1996 - Box 13 Show allonly 1
File 119. Correspondence with Bernard Hickey, Brian McFarlane, Donald Hannah and John Blight, 1979-1986 - Box 14 Show allonly 1
File 120. Correspondence (including a letter from Vincent Buckley), 1982-1986 - Box 14 Show allonly 1
File 121. Correspondence with Stephen Murray-Smith concerning Laurence Collinson, 1978, 1986 - Box 14 Show allonly 1
File 122. Correspondence with Tom Shapcott and Judith Rodriguez, 1986-1992 - Box 14 Show allonly 1
File 123. Correspondence with Tom Shapcott, 1997-1999 - Box 14 Show allonly 1
File 124. Cards from Robert Adamson, Tim and Fran Bass, Graeme Kinross-Smith, Peter Mathers and Stuart Sayers, 1988-1994 - Box 14 Show allonly 1
File 125. Chris Wallace-Crabbe: correspondence and other papers, 1987-1996 - Box 14 Show allonly 1
File 126. The Age: correspondence, reviews and typescripts of poems, 1988-1997 - Box 14 Show allonly 1
File 127-128. Miscellaneous correspondence, including requests from publishers to use poems written by Simpson, 1989-1999 - Box 15 Show allonly 1
File 129. Correspondence with Peter Porter, Peter Rose and Gary Catalano, 1996-1999 - Box 15 Show allonly 1
File 130. Correspondence with Ron Petty of Five Islands Press (including a copy of the agreement), 1997-1998 - Box 15 Show allonly 1
File 131. Papers re The Impossible and other poems (1998): Correspondence with the publisher and friends (including comments from Gary Catalano), 1997 - Box 15 Show allonly 1
File 132. The Impossible and other poems (1998): Typescript, early version - Box 15 Show allonly 1
File 133-134. The Impossible and other poems (1998): Typescripts with corrections - Box 16 Show allonly 1
File 135. The Impossible and other poems (1998): Cuttings 1991-1997 - Box 16 Show allonly 1
File 136. The Impossible and other poems (1998): Signed copy of the book - Box 16 Show allonly 1
File 137. The Impossible and other poems (1998): papers concerning the 'The Age Book of the Year Award for Poetry' award 1999 - Box 16 Show allonly 1
File 138. Papers re The midday clock: selected poems and drawings (1999): correspondence with the publisher and other papers, 1997-1999 - Box 16 Show allonly 1
File 139. The midday clock: Pen and ink drawings by Simpson - Box 16 Show allonly 1
File 140. The midday clock Corrected typescript, 1999 - Box 16 Show allonly 1
File 141. The midday clock Corrected typescript, 1999 - Box 17 Show allonly 1
File 142. The midday clock Typescript from Macmillan Australia, Feb. 2000 - Box 17 Show allonly 1
File 143. The midday clock Signed copy of the book - Box 17 Show allonly 1
File 144. Three notebooks containing handwritten drafts of early poems, 1945-1951 - Box 17 Show allonly 1
File 145. Miscellaneous handwritten drafts and two photographs by Alex Skuvron, n.d. - Box 17 Show allonly 1
File 146. Cuttings of various poems, which have been published in newspapers and journals (including The Bulletin), 1955-1963 - Box 17 Show allonly 1
File 147. Miscellaneous papers, including reviews, 1957-1964 - Box 18 Show allonly 1
File 148. Copy of The Bulletin (containing Gwen Harwood's poem 'Eloisa and Abelard'), 5 Aug. 1961 and a note from Vincent Buckley - Box 18 Show allonly 1
File 149. Cuttings of poems and an interview with Simpson, 1980-1984 - Box 18 Show allonly 1
File 150. Papers concerning the poem 'Particles of light', which was published under the pseudonym 'Gillian Bianchini' in Island, no. 77, Summer, 1999 - Box 18 Show allonly 1
File 151. Typescript of 'The living sky: a selection of poems' by Alexander Craig - Box 18 Show allonly 1
File 152. Typescript of 'Sea change: selected poems' by Alexander Craig - Box 18 Show allonly 1
File 153. Papers relating to 'Save Albert Park Exhibition', 1995 - Box 18 Show allonly 1

Class MS Acc05.173. Consignment Added 2005 Show allonly 1

working notebooks containing drafts of poems, drawings and notes (7 v.); literary manuscripts and related papers; reviews for The Age, ca. 1970-2002; and, correspondence with other poets (many with copies of their poems), including Gary Catalano, Tim Bass, Evan Jones, Graeme Kinross-Smith, Peter Steele, Colin Shingleton, Chris Wallace-Crabbe and Thomas Shapcott. The instalment also includes six cassette tapes of interviews by Simpson with Norman Hidden, Arthur Boyd, Alan Seymour, M. Bardos, Peter Porter, F. Gore, Peter Redgrove, Chris Wallace-Crabbe, Bernard Hickey and Robin Rennie.

Comprises 6 boxes.