Guide to the Papers of Diana Giese

MS 9274, MS Acc10.132

National Library of Australia

Collection Summary

Diana Giese
Papers of Diana Giese
Date Range
Collection Number
MS 9274, MS Acc10.132
2.35 metres (11 boxes, 1 folio item)
Language of Materials
National Library of Australia


Scope and Content

The collection relates mainly to the research for and publication of her book Astronauts, lost souls and dragons. Papers relating to her earlier book Beyond Chinatown, and four certificates issued by the Chinese Nationalist Party (the Kuomintang) are also included.

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Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions.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 Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.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


The papers of Diana Giese were purchased in October 1997.

Biographical Note

Diana Giese has worked in publishing in London and Sydney for various companies, including Macmillan, HarperCollins, Oxford University Press, Pandanus Books and Brandl & Schlesinger. She has written six books, including Astronauts, Lost Souls and Dragons (University of Queensland Press, 1997), Beyond Chinatown (National Library of Australia, 1995) and A better place to live (Freshwater Bay Press, 2009). Diana runs her own publishing consultancy, offering project management, editing, oral history, writing and publishing expertise. She has worked with many writers to help them develop their work, as a literary journalist for major newspapers and ABC Radio, and has also served on several writers' festivals and prize committees.

In her community history work, Diana has collaborated with libraries, museums and archives all over Australia. She organises public programs with diverse ethnic communities: Reclaiming the Past (1996-2001 at the Museum of Sydney), Living Library (2002-2004, Fairfield Libraries) and Travel at Home cultural tours (2004-present, Mosman Community College). Her oral and community history work for the National Library includes the country-wide overview, Post-War Chinese Australians and the Khmer Community in Australia interviews.

Source: Diana Giese, 2010

Item Descriptions

Class MS 9274. Original consignment

Comprises correspondence, drafts, photographs, proofs, scripts and illustrations. Most of the collection relates to Giese's books Astronauts, lost souls and dragons, Beyond Chinatown and to others on which she has collaborated with writers such as Stanley Hunt, on the first full-scale Chinese-Australian autobiography. There is also material relating to the National Library of Australia's Post-war Chinese Australians oral history project, notably on the Kwong Sue Duk family history video produced by members of the family as well as material on the Fong On family, the Hou Wang Temple at Atherton, Queensland, and four certificates issued by the Chinese Nationalist Party (the Kuomintang) relating to Liu Lung.

Contained in 9 boxes, 1 folio item.

Series 1. Astronauts, lost souls and dragons, 1992-97

This series comprises material relating to the book Astronauts, lost souls and dragons, published by University of Queensland Press, 1997 (328p). Much of the book was based on oral history interviews with a number of Chinese Australians, with the focus on the recent past, largely since World War II. Through these interviews, Giese explored the history of the Chinese in Australia, and sought to identify what it meant to be Chinese Australian in the 1990s.

File 1. Early correspondence and supporting material, 1992-94 - Box 1

Includes correspondence with Curtis Brown and University of Queensland Press.

File 2. Early structural notes - Box 1
File 3. Correspondence with University of Queensland Press, 1994-96 - Box 1

Includes correspondence with Laurie Muller, Judy McDonald, Felicity Shea (editor).

File 4. Notes, copies of artwork, and letters from University of Queensland Press relating to cover and design ideas - Box 1
File 5-15. Miscellaneous papers relating to contact with and comments from informants and readers, 1994-96 - Box 2

Includes correspondence, notes of phone conversations, biographical notes, copies of articles, transcripts of interviews, photographs, genealogical notes, drafts of chapters and other papers.

Correspondents include Billy Lee Long (Cairns), Judith Leong (Townsville), Bishop George Yep (Townsville), Russell Jack (Bendigo), King Fong (Sydney) and Mabel Lee. Drafts include corrections and suggestions by Yasmine Gooneratne, Warren Lee Long, William Fong, Judith Leong and Jim Bardon.

File 16. Correspondence, reviews, newsletter articles, photocopies from Chinese newspapers and flyers relating to publicity, (1996-97) - Box 3

Correspondents include Bill O'Chee, Judith Leong and University of Queensland Press.

File 17. Correspondence with University of Queensland Press and others concerning media related issues, 1996-97 - Box 3
File 18. Correspondence, notes and speeches relating to launch at Darwin, 1996 - Box 3
File 19. Correspondence, speeches and flyer relating to launch at Sydney, 1997 - Box 3
File 20. Correspondence, list of invitees, and photographs relating to launch at Cairns, 1997 - Box 3
File 21-23. Miscellaneous papers relating to the Kwong Sue Duk video - Box 3

Includes film documentary project brief, biographical notes, list of photographs, transcripts of interviews, draft scripts, list of images and final script, 1995-96.

File 24-28. Photographs - Box 4
File 29-51. Manuscripts - Box 4-9

Includes first draft (Sept. 1995), first paste-up (typescript, manuscript and photocopies), typescript read by Barbara Brookes (March 1996), drafts of each chapter with amendments, proofs with small editorial amendments, final clean proofs.

File 52. Photographs and the notebook of Billy Lee Long (1 packet; added 11 June 1999) - Box 9

Series 2. Beyond Chinatown, 1994-95

This series comprises material relating to the book Beyond Chinatown, published by the National Library of Australia, 1995 (58p). The book was based on oral history interviews, together with European documents, official reports, newspaper articles, Administrator's letters and contemporary theses, and explored the evolution of Darwin's Chinatown area.

File 1. Miscellaneous papers including correspondence with the National Library of Australia, informants and a few readers (1994-95), notes, possible questions, summaries of interviews, artwork, launch speech, press releases, flyer, reviews, photographs - Box 9

Series 3. Certificates awarded to Liu Lung, 1920-35, 1979

Liu Lung first visited Australia from China in 1902. He settled there in 1912.

In China in 1905, all previous revolutionary groups were merged into the revolutionary party called Tung Meng Hui, or Society of Common Cause. Lui Lung joined this party in his native village of Chungshan, Kwangtung. In 1919, Tung Meng Hui was renamed Kuomintang. In 1920, Lui Lung was appointed Secretary of the Sydney branch of the Kuomintang. He went on to be elected a member of the 8th and 9th Executive Committees of the Australian General Branch (1931, 1932), and elected to the 11th Supervisory Committee of the Kuomintang (1935).

Lui Lung died in Australia in 1978.

File 1. Four certificates, with translations, recording Liu Lung's appointments to positions within the Kuomintang, 1920-35, and a copy of Lui Lung's obituary, 1979

Series 4. Other papers, 1941-46

File 1. Photocopies of photographs, Tang Wei Family and Yu Family, 1941-46 - Box 9

Class MS Acc10.132. Consignment added 2010

Comprises correspondence and edited typescript drafts relating to Giese’s collaboration with a member of the Chinese community, Stanley Hunt, on his autobiography titled From Shekki to Sydney, and with a member of the Polish Jewish community, George Sternfeld, on his autobiography titled Chocolate to Anzac biscuits. Also included is the cover of Giese’s 1997 book, Astronauts, lost souls and dragons.

Contained in 2 boxes.