Guide to the Papers of Douglas Stewart

MS 4829

National Library of Australia

Collection Summary

Papers of Douglas Stewart
Date Range
Collection Number
MS 4829
0.96 metres (6 boxes)
Language of Materials
National Library of Australia
This finding aid was revised and published with the assistance of the Ray Mathew and Eva Kollsman Trust.


Scope and Contents

The papers comprise poems, reviews, essays, broadcasts, the original manuscript of The seven rivers, transcripts of interviews, the script of Stewart's adaptation of The cenci, inscribed copy of 'The garden of ships', drafts of poems by Roderic Quinn, Robert D. FitzGerald and others and a copy of R.D. FitzGerald's Heemskerck shoals, illustrated by G. Ingleton and published by the Mountainside Press. They also include: correspondence and photographs, some relating to his research on Kenneth Slessor; drafts of book reviews, manuscripts of poems, A man of Sydney, Norman Lindsay: a personal memoir, the script Ned Kelly, the script for the ABC TV adaptation of Hamlet and The broad stream and letters and manuscripts of David Campbell.

Major correspondents include Nancy Keesing, Ronald McQuaig, William Hart-Smith, Francis Webb, Eve Langley, Robert G. FitzGerald, Tyrone Guthrie, A.D. Hope, A.A. Stewart, A.A. Phillips, John Blight and Judith Wright.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is available for research.

Preferred Citation

Items from this collection should be cited as '[Title or description of manuscript item], Papers of Douglas Steward, National Library of Australia, MS 4829, [file number]'.


The Stewart Papers were purchased from Douglas Stewart in 1974. Additions were made to the collection by Stewart in 1976 and 1977 and by Meg Stewart in 1991.

Original drawings by Norman Lindsay for Sun orchids and Five bells are held in the Pictorial Collection (R7161, location 8991).

Four letters from Kenneth Slessor to Norman Lindsay (donated by Douglas Stewart) are held at MS 3098.

Biographical Note

Douglas Alexander Stewart was born in Eltham, New Zealand on 6 May 1913 and died in Sydney on 14 February 1985. He was educated at New Plymouth Boys' High School in New Zealand and Victoria University College, Wellington. Stewart married the artist Margaret Coen in 1946.

Stewart worked as a cadet journalist on newspapers in New Zealand before joining the Sydney Bulletin in 1938 as assistant editor of the Red Page. From 1940 to 1961 he was literary editor of the Bulletin and from 1961 to 1971 was poetry editor at Angus Robertson. He was a member of the advisory board of the Commonwealth Literary Fund from 1955 to 1970. His works included, plays, poetry, short stories, criticism and anthologies of Australian literature.

Date Event
1943 Ned Kelly (play)
1944 The fire on the snow (play)
1944 The golden lover (play)
1946 The dosser in springtime
1947 Shipwreck (play)
1947 Glencoe (poems)
1948 The flesh and the spirit (criticism)
1952 Sun orchids and other poems (poems)
1955 Australian bush ballads (editor, with Nancy Keesing)
1955 The Birdsville Track (poems)
1957 Old bush songs (edited with Nancy Keesing)
1960 Fisher's ghost (play)
1962 Rutherford (poems)
1964 Modern Australian verse (editor)
1966 The seven rivers (reminiscences)
1967 The Lawson tradition (short stories, editor)
1967 Collected poems
1973 Selected poems
1975 Norman Lindsy: a personal memoir
1975 The broad stream (criticism)
1977 A man of Sydney: an appreciation of Kenneth Slessor
1983 Springtime in Taranaki

Item Descriptions

Class. Original Consignment

File 1. Information collected for a book on Kenneth Slessor - Box 1

File 2. Radio interviews - Box 1

File 3. Original manuscripts of various essays and broadcasts, mainly on literary subjects - Box 1

File 4. Original illustrations by Stewart's wife, Margaret Coen. (See Pictorial Section for 36 original drawings by Norman Lindsay for Sun orchards and Five bells, R7161, location 8991) - Box 1

File 5-7. The seven rivers. Original manuscripts, revised final manuscripts. - Box 1

File 8-9. Manuscripts of poems, including original manuscripts, working or rough drafts, and final manuscripts with revisions and annotations. - Box 1

File 10. Original manuscripts of a short story 'The people were different', published in A girl with red hair. Published poem 'The garden of ships', with pen drawings by Norman Lindsay. - Box 1

File 11. Original manuscripts of poems by Roderic Quinn, Robert Fitzgerald and others, mainly contributions to The bulletin. Other material including original Norman Lindsay manuscripts. - Box 2

File 12. Original manuscripts of various essays and broadcasts, mainly on literary subjects - Box 2

File 13. The broad stream; aspects of Australian literature, manuscript. - Box 2

File 14. Norman Lindsay: a personal memoir, manuscript. - Box 2

File 15. Manuscripts of poems, book reviews, etc. - Box 2

File 16. A man of Sydney: an appreciation of Kenneth Slessor. Original manuscript - Box 2

File 17. Ned Kelly, Script Hamlet, adaptation for A.B.C. - Box 2

File 18. Arthur A. Phillips. Letters (22) and manuscripts (3), 1943-71. (From the September 1977 Addition). - Box 2

Class. Addition 16 August 1991

File 19A. Manuscript of The fire on the snow (1 volume) - Box 2

Class. Addition September 1977

The correspondence is in Boxes 2-6 (Files 19-56). The total (a few manuscripts included as letters) is about 1664 sub-files. Figures given for the various boxes and files are approximate only, apart from possible mistakes in counting, there has been some reshuffling from one box or files to another when files were discovered to be out of place.

File 19. Letter from George Finey. - Box 2

File 20. Letters mainly from English writers (Edmund Blunden, John Cowper Powys, Sylvia Townsend Warner, John Betjeman, etc) ca. 22 sub-files. - Box 3

File 21. Nancy Keesing (10) - Box 3

File 22. Ronald McQuaig (15) - Box 3

File 23. William Hart-Smith (18), (includes 1ms) - Box 3

File 24. Francis Webb (29) - Box 3

File 25. Eve Langley (20) (includes 4 mss plus Bulletin clipping) - Box 3

File 26. Sundry manuscripts, mainly contributions to The Bulletin, some unpublished, (45) - Box 3

File 27. Robert D. FitzGerald (79) - Box 3

File 28. Tyrone Guthrie (12) - Box 3

File 29. Mary Gilmore (6) plus copy of photograph - Box 3

File 30. Kenneth Slessor (4) - Box 3

File 31. A.D. Hope (19) - Box 3

File 32. Early letters to and from Stewart, mainly relating to visit to England 1937 (24) - Box 4

File 33. John Tierney (Brian James) (27) - Box 4

File 34. A.A. Stewart (father) (53) - Box 4

File 35. Britannica Award (62) - Box 4

File 36. H. Drake-Brockman (12) A.A. Phillips (22, including 3 mss, see Box 2, File 18) - Box 4

File 37. John Blight (21, including 2 mss) - Box 4

File 38. Judith Wright (36, including 13 mss) - Box 4

File 39. Letters mainly to do with productions of plays, from BBC, ABC, etc. (130) - Box 4

File 40. Letters from Stewart to parents during visit to England, 1937 (35) - Box 4

File 41. Publishing, magazine and broadcasting business letters (35) - Box 5

File 42. Letters from family (96) - Box 5

File 43. Melbourne University Press, Curtis Brown Ltd (agent), etc. (29) - Box 5

File 44. Rosemary Dobson (7) - Box 5

File 45. Geoffrey Cahill (1) - Box 5

File 46-47. Letters (ca. 166 sub-files), 1942-1977 - Box 5

Refer to the attached Correspondence Index (see Related Documentation tab) for an indication of the contents.

File 5. Letters (ca. 204 sub-files), 1939-1977 - Box 5

Refer to the attached Correspondence Index (see Related Documentation tab) for an indication of the contents.

File 51-53. Letters (ca. 189 sub-files), 1935-1977 - Box 6

Refer to the attached Correspondence Index (see Related Documentation tab) for an indication of the contents.

File 54-56. Letters (ca. 172) and manuscripts (ca. 17) from David Campbell - Box 6