Guide to the Papers of Vivian Smith

MS 4853

National Library of Australia

Collection Summary

Creator

Title
Papers of Vivian Smith
Date Range
c.1931-2003
Collection Number
MS 4853
Extent
5.4 metres (31 ms boxes + 1 medium folio box + 1 small phase box)
Language of Materials
English
Repository
NLA
Sponsor
This finding aid was revised and published with the assistance of the Ray Mathew and Eva Kollsman Trust.

Introduction

Scope and Contents

The content of this collection spans most of Dr Smith's career and consists of five different instalments between 1975 and 2004. It includes correspondence, manuscript poetry, transcripts of interviews, publications (including copies of Smith's published poems), articles by or about Smith, reviews, newspaper cuttings, works by other poets and writers, ephemera, notebooks, Smith's PhD thesis on Vance and Nettie Palmer, research notes relating to Smith's publications on the Palmers, (including original and photocopied letters of Vance and Nettie Palmer), notebooks and typescript drafts. Also included are papers relating to Smith's position in the English Department at the University of Sydney, and his role as literary editor of Quadrant. A major component of this collection is the correspondence which includes numerous letters from other poets, writers, academics and individuals involved or interested in Australian literature. Three appendices have been attached to highlight the range and names of principle correspondents.

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-vn1109700).

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Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions.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 Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.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 Dr Vivian Smith, National Library of Australia, MS 4853, [series and file number]'.

Provenance

The papers arrived to the Library in a number of different instalments. Three instalments relating to the Palmer material were donated to the Library in 1974, 1977 and 1979. In 1983 20 boxes were acquired from Dr Smith; and in 2004 a further instalment of three boxes was donated to the Library under the Cultural Gifts Program.

Arrangement

This collection has been arranged according to the order of each of the five instalments received from Dr Smith. The original list incorporated the 1974, 1977 and 1979 instalments, which make up the letters and papers relating to Vance and Nettie Palmer. The 1983 instalment was arranged and described by the donor into three series - Series 1 'Manuscripts, typesets and related correspondence'; Series 2 'Correspondence'; and Series 3 'Miscelleanous materials'. These series were added to the original boxlist.

In March 2009 the list was amended to incorporate the 2004 instalment. This instalment, arranged and described by Library staff, has been split. Parts have been added to the existing three series (Series 1-3); and a new series has been created for the audio cassette tapes (Series 5). At this time, the existing group of Palmer papers (received in the 1970s) was assigned a new series title. This is now Series 4.

As well as a number of Smith's published works highlighted below in the Biographical Note, the Library holds an interview with Vivian Smith, conducted by Hazel de Berg (1971), available at ORAL TRC 1/560.

A number of the Library's other Manuscript Collections contain correspondence and other material relating to Smith, including the Papers of Ray Mathew (MS 8264), Rosemary Dobson (MS 4955), Geoffrey Dutton (MS 7285) and A D Hope (MS 5836). The Papers of Vance and Nettie Palmer (MS 1174) are also held by the Library.

Further material relating to Vivian Smith is located in the Papers of Vivian Smith, at the Australian Defence Force Acadmey (ADFA), Canberra, at MS 41.

Biographical Note

Vivian Smith was born in Hobart in 1933. He graduated with an MA in French from the University of Tasmania, where he taught the language for 10 years. He moved to Sydney in the 1950, obtained a Ph.D in English and taught at the University of Sydney from 1967-1996, progressing to the position of Reader. From 1975 to 1990 he was the Literary Editor of Quadrant. Dr Smith has written, edited or co-edited numerous books on poetry and other subjects, such as Vance and Nettie Palmer. Some of his titles include The other meaning(1956), James McAuley's recent poetry(1964), An island south(1967), Vance Palmer (1971), Letters of Vance and Nettie Palmer (1977), Tide country(1982) (which won the New South Wales Premier's Prize for Poetry and the Grace Leven Prize), Quadrant, twenty-five years(1982, co-edited with Peter Coleman and Lee Shrubb), Selected poems (1985), Australian poetry(1986), Nettie Palmer: Her private journal "Fourteen Years", poems, reviews and literary essays (1988, edited by Smith), New selected poems(1995), Late news (2000), Patrick White: a Bibliography (2004, co-edited with Brian Huber), Windchimes: Asia in Australian poetry(1986, co-edited with Noel Rowe) and, most recently, Along the line (2007). Dr Smith also wrote the poetry section of The Oxford history of Australian literature and has contributed to many other reference works on Australian and world literature.

Biographical Reference(s)

AustLit - The Australian Literature Resource: http://www.austlit.edu.au, cited 3 March 2009

Australia - Poetry International Web: http://australia.poetryinternationalweb.org, cited 3 March 2009

Item Descriptions

Series 1. Manuscripts, typesets and related correspondence Show allonly 1

This series consists of manuscript poetry, typescript drafts of articles, some publications, a PhD thesis and correspondence. The correspondence includes a letter from Patrick White.

Files 21-25 contain papers on Vance and Nettie Palmer. Further papers on the Palmers are available in Series 4 'Research papers relating to Vance and Nettie Palmer'.

File 1. Edited manuscripts of the Tide Country Show allonly 1

File 2. The poetry of Robert Lowell Show allonly 1

File 3. Script of Kenneth Slessor cassette Show allonly 1

File 4. [Script for] Kenneth Slessor cassette Show allonly 1

File 5. Corrected typescript of V. Smith's poems Show allonly 1

File 6. Correspondence relating to V. Smith's poems Show allonly 1

File 7. Monograph on James McAuley and C.L.F. lecture; and letter from G. Dutton and reply Show allonly 1

File 8. James McAuley material [ in ] the possession of Vivian Smith and important McAuley manuscripts of autobiographical poems Show allonly 1

File 9. E. Morris Miller - manuscripts/essay on Thomas Lichard Show allonly 1

File 10. Poetry Australia (Special Tasmanian issue) Show allonly 1

File 11. Poetry Australia (Special Tasmanian issue) and correspondence relating to it Show allonly 1

File 12. Typescript fragments of The other meaning Show allonly 1

File 13. A.B.C. Scripts 1967, 1981 Show allonly 1

File 14. One of my first poems 1949, with comments by Douglas Stewart Show allonly 1

File 15. Typescript (with correction) of Oxford history Australian literature : Poetry Section Show allonly 1

File 16. Typescript (with corrections) of Oxford history of Australian literature : Poetry Section and related correspondence Show allonly 1

File 17. Typescript (with corrections) of Oxford history of Australian literature : Poetry Section Show allonly 1

File 18. Typescript (with corrections) of Oxford history of Australian literature : Poetry Section Show allonly 1

File 19. Typescript (photocopy - with corrections) of Oxford history of Australian literature: Poetry Section Show allonly 1

File 20. Correspondence relating to V. Smith's Ph.D. thesis; and miscellanous letters; includes letter from Christopher Koch and Ph.D. thesis "Vance and Nettie Palmer: a study of their contribution to a national literary culture" Show allonly 1

File 21. Typescripts on Vance and Nettie Palmer Show allonly 1

File 21A. Palmer note book and letter from Patrick White Show allonly 1

File 22. Typescript on Vance and Nettie Palmer Show allonly 1

File 23_24. Typescript on Vance and Nettie Palmer Show allonly 1

File 25. Correspondence relating to edition of Palmer letters (mostly from the Publication Section of the National Library of Australia) Show allonly 1

File 26. Typescript (with corrections) by Murray Bail and related correspondence Show allonly 1

Series 2. Correspondence Show allonly 1

This series consists of correspondence received by Smith. It contains correspondence from the 1983 instalment and the 2004 instalment of correspondence has been added to this series and comprises Folders 85-107.

The 2004 instalment of correspondence arrived in 11 envelopes and plastic bags, with each bundle being placed into archival folders. The order of each bundle has been maintained and, where titles have been created by Smith, these too have been retained. Where correspondence is not titled, a title has been applied by the archivist. The folders have been arranged into alphabetical order.

The series contains correspondence from friends, colleagues, students as well as other general correspondence. Folders 85-107 cover a range of topics, from letters from Smith's children and other family members to correspondence to Smith as Quadrant editor. A large component of the correspondence consists of offers for Smith to contribute to anthologies, dictionaries, and other literary projects; or friends, colleagues and students asking him to read and comment on their poetry. Many of the letters are written to both Vivian and his wife, Sybille.

There is a list of principal correspondents found in this series (see attached Appendix - under 'Related Documentation tab). The first part of the appendix relates to correspondence of Smith's editorship of Quadrant (Files 31-33); the second part of the appendix is titled 'Partial listing of Smith correspondence' (Files 51-78) and the third part of the appendix lists the main correspondents from the 2004 instalment (Files 85-107).

File 27_30. Papers associated with V. Smith's literary editorship of Quadrant Show allonly 1

File 31_32. Papers associated with V. Smith's literary editorship of Quadrant Show allonly 1

File 33. Correspondence Show allonly 1

A list of the correspondents relating to Files 31-33 is attached (see the attached Appendix under the 'Related Documentation' tab).

File 34. Letters from Anne Matz (nee Popper) Show allonly 1

File 35. Letters from Ray Mathew Show allonly 1

File 36_37. Letters from Christopher Koch Show allonly 1

File 38. Christopher Koch: a very good caricature (c. 1958-60) Show allonly 1

File 39_40. Letters of Christopher Koch Show allonly 1

File 41_42. Letters from Gwen Harwood Show allonly 1

File 43. Letters from Gwen Harwood Show allonly 1

File 44. Letters from Edwin Tanner (painter) Show allonly 1

File 45. Letters and notes from James McAuley Show allonly 1

File 46. Letters from Margaret and Eric Irvin (Poet and theatre historian) Show allonly 1

File 47. Letters from Margery Sinclair (nee Mink) Show allonly 1

File 48. Letters from Les Murray Show allonly 1

File 49. Letters from Desmond O'Grady Show allonly 1

File 50. Letters from Charles Higham Show allonly 1

File 50A. Early letters from Lloyd Robinson (historian) Show allonly 1

File 51_55. General correspondence Show allonly 1

A partial listing of Smith's general correspondence folders (Files 51-78) is attached (under the 'Related Documentation' tab).

Each file also contains a handwritten list of correspondents created by Smith.

File 56_63. General correspondence Show allonly 1

File 64_70. General correspondence Show allonly 1

File 71_76. General correspondence Show allonly 1

File 77_78. General correspondence Show allonly 1

File 85_86. Personal and literary correspondence, c.1951-2003 Show allonly 1

These folders were originally one bag of correspondence. Corespondents include Alec Bolton, Robin Lucas and Michael Kluse. A list of other correspondents is available (see the attached Appendix under the 'Related Documentation' tab).

File 87_88. Personal and literary correspondence, c.1952, 1989-2003 Show allonly 1

These folders were originally one bag of correspondence. Correspondents include Gavin Souter, Rosemay Dobson, Murray Bail, Michael Ackland and Thomas Shapcott. A list of other correspondents is available (see the attached Appendix under the 'Related Documentation' tab).

File 89. Personal and literary correspondence, c.1954, 1960, 1985-2003 Show allonly 1

File 90_91. Letters from R J Brain, c.1955-1979 Show allonly 1

These folders were originally one bag of correspondence. Richard Brain and Vivian Smith first met in 1959 and have remained friends. Richard Brain is a former publishers' editor, reader and literary advisor and worked for a number of different publishers: Hamish Hamilton, Faber and Oxford University Press. He also worked as an editorial assistant at the Times Literary Supplement.

File 92. Personal and literary correspondence, c.1961, 1983-2003 Show allonly 1

Correspondents include Christopher Koch, Nicolas Jose and Anne Fairbairn. A list of other correspondents is available (see the attached Appendix under the 'Related Documentation' tab).

File 93_94. Personal and literary correspondence, c. 1962, 1983-1996 Show allonly 1

These folders were originally one bag of correspondence. Correspondents include Les Murray, Michael Brain, David Malouf, Kevin Hart and Rosemay Dobson. A list of other correspondents is available (see the attached Appendix under the 'Related Documentation' tab).

File 95_96. Various letters: Literary, 1963, 1983-1996 Show allonly 1

These folders were originally in one large envelope. Correspondents include Michael Sharkey, Laurie Hergenahan and Paul Hetherington. A list of other correspondents is available (see the attached Appendix under the 'Related Documentation' tab).

File 97. Personal and literary correspondence, c.1963-1996 Show allonly 1

A list of other correspondents is available (see the attached Appendix under the 'Related Documentation' tab).

File 97A. Literary correspondence, c.1966-1986 Show allonly 1

A list of correspondents prepared by Smith is included in this folder. A list of other correspondents is available (see the attached Appendix under the 'Related Documentation' tab).

File 98_100. Mixed letters, c.1975-1999 Show allonly 1

These folders were originally in one large envelope. A list of correspondents is available (see the attached Appendix under the 'Related Documentation' tab).

File 101_102. Personal and literary correspondence, c.1977-1996 Show allonly 1

These folders were originally in one plastic bag. Includes family correspondence. Correspondents include Bruce Dawe and Michael Thwaites. A list of other correspondents is available (see the attached Appendix under the 'Related Documentation' tab).

File 103. Miscellaneous literary correspondence, c.1978-1995 Show allonly 1

A list of correspondents is available (see the attached Appendix under the 'Related Documentation' tab).

File 104_105. Personal and literary correspondence, c.1985-2001 Show allonly 1

The archivist has created these folders of correspondence which arrived as loose papers in the 2004 instalment. A list of correspondents is available (see the attached Appendix under the 'Related Documentation' tab).

File 106_107. Various letters: Literary, c. 1986-1996 Show allonly 1

Letters were originally in one large envelope. Correspondents include Alec Bolton, Dorothy Green, Christopher Koch, Michael Thwaites and Kevin Hart. A list of other correspondents is available (see the attached Appendix under the 'Related Documentation' tab).

Series 3. Miscellaneous materials Show allonly 1

This series consists of an array of materials such as poems, reviews, articles and publications. The series came to the Library in 1983. The 2004 instalment has been added to the end of the series as folders 108-127 and has been arranged in chronological order.

Given that most of the 2004 instalment of miscellaneous material arrived with no apparent order, the archivist sorted the papers into various groups. Where files and titles already existed, the order of these were maintained. For loose papers, the Archivist imposed order and assigned titles.

File 79_81. Various literary matters Show allonly 1

File 82. Poems set to music by James Penberthy, Barrie de Jersey, ael Jones, F.R. Nieman, Simon Wade Show allonly 1

File 83. Various University matters Show allonly 1

File 84. Rosamond McCulloch papers Show allonly 1

File Folder 84a. Printed matter, 1958-1975 Show allonly 1

Consists of copies of Nation, Blacksmith and an article from the Australian.

File 84b. Printed matter, 1950-1951 Show allonly 1

Includes a complete set of The Austrovert.

File 84c. Printed matter, 1959-1966 Show allonly 1

Includes copies of Biblionews.

File Folder 84d. Printed matter, c.1956-1978 Show allonly 1

Includes copies of works by Smith including An Island South(1967), The poetry of Robert Lowell (1974), Poetry magazine (1969), Les Vigé en Australie(1967), The other meaning(1956), Vance Palmer(1971). Also included are newspaper cuttings (c. 1967-1978), mostly reviews of Smith's works.

File 84e. Printed matter, 1965-1967 Show allonly 1

The journals, English, includes poems by Smith.

File 84f. Exhibition catalogue: Homage to Roy de Maistre,, 1971 Show allonly 1

File 84g. Typescript of Vance and Nettie Palmer, New York: Twyane, c.1974 Show allonly 1

File 84h. Poem of the month club Show allonly 1

File 108. Article: 'Australian modernism: the case of Kenneth Slessor' Show allonly 1

File 109. Poetry Show allonly 1

Four manuscript typescript poems, as well as 7 pages of biographical information for Contemporary authors new revision series.

File 110. Reviews Show allonly 1

Includes a list of articles on Smith, as well as a 1997 letter from Smith to the Literature Board, Australia Council.

File 111. Works by other poets and writers Show allonly 1

File 112. Programs, art and theatre catalogues and other published material, c.1951-1966 Show allonly 1

File 113. Various literary papers, c.1963-2001 Show allonly 1

Includes newspaper cuttings, an article by Sybille Smith and a 1983 program of the Instrumental and Poetry Ensemble held in Hobart.

File 114. Poetry, 1975, 2000-2002 Show allonly 1

File 115. Articles by Smith, c.1979-1993 Show allonly 1

File 116. Works by other poets and writers, c.1981-1993 Show allonly 1

File 117. Writings, talks and reviews, c.1981-1999 Show allonly 1

File 118. Southerly, Translation edition: papers, c.1986-2003 Show allonly 1

Correspondence and drafts of poems.

File 119. Various working papers, c.1988-1997 Show allonly 1

An array of papers from writings, reviews, correspondence and talks to papers relating to Smith's 1996 retirement from the University of Sydney. Several papers also relate to Smith's role in Rosemary Dobson receiving a 1996 honorary degree from the University.

File 120. Writings and reviews, c.1990-1994 Show allonly 1

File 121. Articles by Smith, c.1990-2000 Show allonly 1

File 122. Writings about Vivian Smith, c.1994-1999 Show allonly 1

Inlcudes a typescript of an interview with Smith.

File 123. Reviews by Smith, c.1995-1999 Show allonly 1

File 124. Publications, c.1995-2001 Show allonly 1

Three publications relating to Smith.

File 125. Works by other poets and writers, c.1996-2001 Show allonly 1

File 126. Festival Franco-Anglais de poésiè, 1997 Show allonly 1

In 1997, Smith attended the 20th Festival Franco-Anglais de Poésièin Paris. This folder contains correspondence, brochures and programs relating to this event.

File 127. Vance Palmer, 2001-2002 Show allonly 1

Papers relating to Smith's writings on Vance Palmer for the Dictionary of literary biography in the USA and includes typescript drafts of the article with editorial amendments.

Series 4. Research papers relating to Vance and Nettie Palmer Show allonly 1

This series consits of correspondence, drafts and other research papers used by Smith in his research on Vance and Nettie Palmer. Smith published a number of publications on the Palmers including Vance Palmer(1971), Letters of Vance and Nettie Palmer (1977) and edited Nettie Palmer: her private journal 'Fourteen years', poems, reviews and literary essays(1988).

This series of 4 archive boxes were donated to the Library over three instalments in the 1970s. Since that time, the four boxes have been described at the box level, with no series titles. In updating the collection with the 2004 insalment, Library staff decided to assign a series title to the four boxes. While the titles and box numbers for these group of papers remain the same, each folder has been assigned a new number. Details of the changes to this series, including the numbering, is available on request.

File 1_3. Copies of letters by V.and N. Palmer (mostly typescripts) Show allonly 1

File 4_7. Copies of letters from Nettie Palmer (mostly typescripts) Show allonly 1

File 8. Letters from Nettie Palmer Show allonly 1

File 1. Copies of letters by Vance and Nettie Palmer Show allonly 1

These papers are located in Folio Box 1.

File 1a_3a. Miscellaneous correspondence. Copies of Palmer letters (mostly typescripts). Some original letters from Nettie to Bertram Higgins, 1931-63 Show allonly 1

File 4a. Miscellaneous letters from Nettie Palmer and to V. Smith, 1932-67 (mostly typescripts) Show allonly 1

File 6a_7a. Photocopy of draft of Letters of Vance and Nettie Palmer, 1915-63 Show allonly 1

File 8a_9a. Copies of Palmer letters (typescript) Show allonly 1

File 1b_2b. Copies of Palmer letters (typescript) Show allonly 1

File 3b_5b. Copies of Palmer Letters (typescript). "Added 1979" Show allonly 1

File 6b_10b. Copies of Palmer letters and draft of book (all typescript) "Added 1979" Show allonly 1

File 11b. Various copies of Palmer letters (some handwritten) Show allonly 1

File 1c_4c. Letters to V. Smith Show allonly 1

File 5c. Accounts, receipts, notebook, miscellaneous Show allonly 1

File 6c_7c. Letters to V. Smith Show allonly 1

File 8c_9c. Letters to V. Smith from Nettie, Aileen and Helen Palmer Show allonly 1

Series 5. Audio cassettes, c.1995-1998 Show allonly 1

A series of 9 audio cassette tapes relating to Australian poetry, including an interview with Gwen Harwood; a concert of poetry and music to celebrate Michael Thwaites' 80th Birthday; and a copy of the ABC Radio National program, Hindsight, which focused on Quadrant magazine.

Item NLA.MS-SAV000052. [Gwen Harwood interview] [cassette tape], c.1995-1998 - Cassette Box 3 Show allonly 1

Item NLA.MS-SAV000053. Poetry Gwen Harwood [cassette tape], c.1995-1998 - Cassette Box 5 Show allonly 1

Item NLA.MS-SAV000054. Ern Malley [cassette tape], c.1995-1998 - Cassette Box 5 Show allonly 1

Item NLA.MS-SAV000055. A Concert of Poetry and Music, Michael Thwaites, poetry; Penelope Thwaites, piano [cassette tape], 1995 - Cassette Box 5 Show allonly 1

Recorded and produced by Colin Lougheed, Canberra Stereo Public Radio, Curtin Place, Curtin, FM 103.1

Item NLA.MS-SAV000056. Music from The Pathfinder [cassette tape], 1987 - Cassette Box 5 Show allonly 1

Music Darryl Emmerson, Lyrics Estate J. Shaw Neilson

Item NLA.MS-SAV000057. Autobiography [cassette tape], c.1995-1998 - Cassette Box 5 Show allonly 1

Item NLA.MS-SAV000058. A: V - Interview on Max Harris, A + B: James McAuley play [cassette tape], c.1995-1998 - Cassette Box 5 Show allonly 1

Item NLA.MS-SAV000059. Georg Trakl Parts 1 and 2 B [cassette tape], c.1995-1998 - Cassette Box 5 Show allonly 1

Item NLA.MS-SAV000060. Radio National Hindsight Quadrant 18/10/98 [cassette tape], 1998 - Cassette Box 5 Show allonly 1

Container List

Series File/Item Box
1 1-6 5
1 7-14 6
1 15-20 7
1 21-26 8
2 27-30 9
2 31-35 10
2 36-38 11
2 41-42 12
2 43-45 13
2 46-48 14
2 49-55 15
2 56-63 16
2 64-70 17
2 71-76 18
2 77-78 19
2 85-89 21
2 90-93 22
2 94-97a 23
2 98-102 24
2 103-107 25
3 79-83 19
3 84-84f 20
3 84g Folio 84g
3 84h Folio Box 1
3 108-114 26
3 115-120 27
3 121-125 28
3 126-127 29
4 1-8 1
4 Folio 9 Folio Box 1
4 1a-9a 2
4 1b-11b 3
4 1c-9c 4
5 128 29