Guide to the Papers of Mem Fox
MS 9190, MS Acc07.011
National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record
- Fox, Mem, 1946-
- Papers of Mem Fox
- Date Range
- Collection Number
- MS 9190, MS Acc07.011
- 6 metres (34 boxes and 1 carton + 1 folio box)
- Language of Materials
- National Library of Australia
Scope and Contents
The papers include correspondence, drafts of published, unpublished and juvenile writings, speeches and talks, scrapbooks, photographs, papers relating to Fox's academic career, cuttings, printed material and family papers.
The major correspondents are Terry Denton, Lorraine Ellis, Morris Gleitzman, Andrea Goldsmith, Vivienne Goodman, Kilmeny Niland, Pamela Lofts, Patricia Mullins, Craig Smith, Barbara Wels, Paul Jennings, Julie Vivas, Nancy and Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge (parents), Jan Delacourt (sister), Caroline Lurie (Australian Literary Management), Omnibus (Publisher) and Harcourt Publisher. Copies of many of Fox's letters are included.
Conditions Governing Access
Access conditions may apply to this collection, please refer to the collection's catalogue record for further information (http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn2761).
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Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions.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 Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.
Items from this collection should be cited as '[Title or description of manuscript item], Papers of Mem Fox, National Library of Australia, [class number, series and file number]'.
Mem Fox donated, under the Taxation Incentives for the Arts Scheme, the bulk of MS 9190 to the Library in 1997. Papers in MS 9190, Boxes 19-30 and Folio Box 2 were donated under the Cultural Gifts Program in October 2002. Further papers were added in 2007.
Mem Fox has kept her papers in very good order. Wherever possible, the Library has preserved the original order and the file titles.
Papers of Mem Fox are also held at the Lu Rees Archives at the University of Canberra.
Finding Aid Source(s)
Please note: This finding aid may comprise or contain descriptive information provided by donors, researchers and/or volunteers.
Collection Retrieval Advice
Please note: each consignment in this collection has a separate box number sequence (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.
Mem (Merrion) Partridge, daughter of Nancy and Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge, was born in Melbourne in 1946. In the same year, Fox's parents moved to Rhodesia to work as missionaries. Fox spent her childhood in the Hope Fountain mission near Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia. She went to school in Bulawayo.
In 1965 Fox went to London to study drama at the Rose Bruford College. She graduated from the College in 1968. Between 1968 and 1969 she taught in Zimbabwe and Rwanda.
In 1969 she married Malcolm Fox, whom she had met at Rose Bruford College. The following year they left Africa and emigrated to Adelaide, where Fox taught drama at Cabra Dominican College, Adelaide. Later she taught at the South Australia Institute of Technology (1973 and 1979), Sturt College of Advanced Education (1973-79) and Flinders University (1973-1996).
Her first book, Possum magic, was published in 1983. It was to become her best selling book and has sold more copies than any other Australian children's book. Possum magic won the New South Wales State Literary Award.
Fox has published numerous children's books, an autobiography and three textbooks. Her books have been translated into many languages, including Indonesian, Japanese, Chinese, German and Hebrew. She has won numerous awards and was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1993.
Comprises correspondence with Australian and overseas writers and illustrators, children, literary agents and publishers; papers relating to the Wombat Book Club; drafts of 17 books, including Possum magic and other writings; scrapbooks, photographs and cuttings; and, papers relating to Mem Fox's academic career. The major correspondents are Terry Denton, Lorraine Ellis, Morris Gleitzman, Andrea Goldsmith, Vivienne Goodman, Kilmeny Niland, Pamela Lofts, Patricia Mullins, Craig Smith, Barbara Wels, Paul Jennings, Julie Vivas, Nancy and Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge (parents), Jan Delacourt (sister), Caroline Lurie of Australian Literary Management, Omnibus (publisher) and Harcourt Publisher. Copies of many of Fox's letters are included.
Contained in 30 boxes + 1 carton.
The series comprises correspondence concerning Fox's writings, the publication of her books, personal news and her work as an Associate Professor of Literacy Education at Flinders University (1994-1996). In some cases the letters are in the form of printouts of email messages she received.
The correspondents include other academics at Flinders University, Fox's students, Jan Delacourt (sister), Chloë Fox (daughter), Nancy and Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge (parents), Barbara Aldworth, Phillip Adams, Phyllis Hohnen, Mark Woodforde (one card), Lucy Calkins (Teachers College, Columbia University), American fans, Harcourt Publisher, Mondo Publishing and The Trumpet Club (School Book Club based in New York). Copies of some of Fox's letters are also included.
Papers in Files 8-14 were added in October 2002.
The series includes correspondence with illustrators who have worked with Fox on some of her books, as well as other Australian writers, including children's writers. They discuss their writings and reviews of their books, as well as personal news. Copies of some of Fox's letters are also included.
The major correspondents include Terry Denton (Night noises and an untitled forthcoming book), Lorraine Ellis (Feathers and fools), Morris Gleitzman, Andrea Goldsmith, Vivienne Goodman (Guess what?), Kilmeny Niland (Just like that), Pamela Lofts (Koala Lou and Sail away), Patricia Mullins (Shoes for grandpa and Hattie and the fox), Craig Smith (Sophie), Barbara Wels, Paul Jennings and Julie Vivas (Possum magic and Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge).
The series also include correspondence, usually only one letter or card, with Colin Thiele, Gillian Rubenstein, Leslie Rees, Christobel Mattingley, Robin Klein, Carmel Bird, James Bradley, Duncan Ball, Pam Gilbert, Hazel Edwards, Janine Baker, Tim Winton, Nadia Wheatley, Eleanor Nilsson, Sophie Masson, Sally Morgan, Thomas Keneally, Max Harris, Marion Halligan and Phil Cummings.
Papers in Files 10-12 were added in October 2002.
Kilmeny Niland, 1989
Pamela Lofts, 1986-1992
Patricia Mullins, 1985-1995
Craig Smith, n.d.
The correspondence is mostly with British and American writers, illustrators and educators, including Natalie Babbitt, Nick Bantock, Jim Gurney, Shelley Harwayne, Charlotte Huck, Pat Hutchins, Lois Lowry, Margaret Mahy, Daniel Pennac, Marc Rosenthal, Elivia Savadier, Barbara Trapido, Jim Trelease. The subjects include comments on Fox's books, their own writings, books they have read and personal news.
Papers in File 5 were added in October 2002.
The series comprises children's letters from primary schools in Australia and America and Fox's transcripts of some of the letters.
The bulk of the series comprises business and personal correspondence with Caroline Lurie of Australian Literary Management and Jenny Darling (Fox's literary agent). Other correspondents include Goodman Associates (literary agent), Rigby Heinemann, Harcourt Publisher, Penguin Group, Curtis Brown (literary agent), Writers House and V.R. Dye and Co. (accountants).
Papers in Files 6 and 7 were added in October 2002.
Omnibus, an Adelaide publisher, was the first publisher to accept Possum magic for publication and subsequently published four of Fox's other books. The series comprises correspondence with the directors (Sue Williams, Jane Coverton and Pam Evers), as well as copies of Fox's letters, cuttings and a photocopy of illustrations for Possum magic.
Fox kept copies of her own letters, including those written to Caroline Lurie, Frank Hodge, Jan Delacourt (sister), Chloë Fox (daughter), Malcolm Fox (husband), Nancy and Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge (parents), Louise Howton and Allyn Johnston. Among the subjects she describes were her writings, teaching, staff appointments at Flinders University and personal news.
Papers in File 4 were added in October 2002.
Fox contributed monthly letters to the Wombat, a book club journal for school children. The file contains copies of the journal, draft of some of Fox's letters and cuttings.
Handwritten drafts, typescripts, correspondence with the publishers, drawings, cuttings, mock-ups, signed copies of the books and other papers relating to the books listed.
Papers in Files 31-72 were added in October 2002.
The Award, established by the Hammond Care Group, recognises schools that offer special curriculum activities focussing on building bridges between children and senior citizens in their community.
Correspondence with Maureen Sullivan, Louise May, Diane Snowball and Mark Vineis of Mondo Publishing, New York, 1995-1996 (File 12) - Box 6
The corrected drafts are often included.
The book was on Oprah's list of the '20 all time best books for children' and Fox's biggest seller in America.
The book was originally published as Just like that in 1986.
While in Uganda and Tanzania in January/February 2000, to run writing workshops under the auspices of UNESCO, Fox was invited to write a booklet that can be used worldwide by the organization.
Pan Macmillan in Australia and Harcourt Publisher in America published the book.
Papers in Files 2-7 were added in October 2002.
Fox was one of the founding members and President of the South Australia Story Telling Guild. The papers include notes and drafts for story telling and talks of speeches and talks given at various conferences and lectures.
The series includes financial records, employment records (South Australia College of Advanced Education and Flinders University), letter of application and supporting documents used when Fox applied for the position of Associate Professor/Reader at Flinders University in 1995, essays and other papers.
The series comprises personal and family photographs, including photographs of Fox's wedding.
The series includes papers relating to Fox's teaching career at the South Australian College of Advanced Education and the School of Education, Flinders University.
Papers in Files 13 and 14 were added in October 2002.
'Memories are made of this', 1990
'Putting on the brakes: avoiding the wrecks in whole language', 1996
'The weighty compendium', 1996
'The Noarlunga Basin Schools: Literacy and Poverty Project', 1995-1996
'Making language come alive!' n.d.
'The metamorphosis of a teenage non-writer: a study in overcoming writing reluctance', 1981
The series contains cuttings, bestseller lists, book reviews and photocopies of articles concerning Fox and her books.
Papers in File 3 were added in October 2002.
Copies of Fox's books and miscellaneous journals.
This series comprises cuttings and photocopies of articles from the Advertiser written by Chloë Fox.
Fox's father, Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge, worked as a missionary in Southern Rhodesia/Zimbabwe between 1946 and 1992. The papers include photocopies and cuttings of articles written by and about Partridge, a copy of United College of Education: Bulawayo 1967-1981 (1985) and a card from Mem Fox from London (1979).
The papers in this series were added in October 2002.
Comprises drafts and correspondence relating to various projects, including: The green sheep (2004), 2002-2006, Hunswick's egg (2005), 1996-2006, A particular cow (2006), 1995-2006, The magic hat, 1995-2002, The hungary giant/Horatio the hungry, 2003-2005, and, the new edition of Possum magic (2004). There is also an expanding file of letters to and from Fox, 2001-2006, a letter from Tim Winton (1995), press clippings, an artwork by Nicholas Wilton, an expired passport, handwritten financial records, 1995-1998, papers relating to Fox's Flinders University Convocation medal, publications, including audio books, and promotional material such as photographs, articles, stickers and a toy.
Contained in 4 boxes + 1 folio box.