Guide to the Papers of Ethel Turner


MS 749

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Collection Summary

Ethel Turner
Papers of Ethel Turner
Date Range
1887 - 1935
Collection Number
MS 749
0.3 metres (2 archive boxes)
Language of Materials
Special Collections (Manuscripts)


Scope and Contents

Personal papers, photographs, newscuttings, drafts of writings, correspondence.

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Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions.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 Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.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 Ethel Turner, National Library of Australia, MS 749, [box number and series and/or file number]'.

Other Finding Aids

There is a card index to correspondence in this collection. Please consult staff for further information (MS 749, TW drawer 55).

Biographical Note

Ethel Sybil Turner was born at Balby, Yorkshire in 1870. Ethel migrated with her mother and sister to Australia in 1879 and she was educated at the Sydney Girls High School. She made her mark with her first book Seven Little Australians, 1894 and it remained her best achievement. In addition to publishing many childrens novels, she also published some verse for children, and a war poem Oh, Boys in Brown in 1914. With her husband and children she travelled through western Europe and her impressions are given in Ports and Happy Havens, 1912. When she was twenty-four, she married Mr. H.R. (later Judge) Curlewis, and had two children, one son Adrian, the present Judge Curlewis and a daughter Jean, also an authoress who died in 1931. Ethel Turner died in April, 1958.

Item Descriptions

Series 1. Various papers

Including personal papers and photographs and biographical newspaper cuttings, manuscripts, typed and drafts, of several works, Sunbeam letters, business letters and magazines, most of which contain articles and stories by author.

Also including school note book 1887, printed diagram of Battle of Waterloo, map of England with countries marked, with quotation of John Drinkwater, photographs with typed letter descriptions of World War I (mention of George Braund M.L.A. and Captain Bauge), photographs of Lady M. E. Jersey 1905, George Meredeth, a legal group, Ethel Turner April 1926, W.P. Turner, newspaper cuttings, including some biographical, several newspapers, two note books with poetry, newspaper cuttings and written copies, and miscellaneous personal articles.

Series 2. Various writings

Including Across the Creek, an Australian visits N.Z. Number VII Typ.D. why I wrote Seven Little Australians Adf. Psyche Adf. A Song of Sydney Adf.S The Orange Frock Typ.D. A woman in a Valley Typ.D. Plain or Spotted Typ.D. Seven Little Australians adapted for Radio by Wilson Withrington and Eva Wynne Typ.D. work notebook and miscellaneous published poems and newspaper cuttings.

Series 3. Letters, 1923-1925

Concerning the Sunbeams Club.

Series 4. Business letters, 1911-1920

Including one of advice, 8 January 1920, from C.J. Dennis.

Series 5. Printed material

Including the Australian Author, produced by the Fellowship of Australian Writers, Authors week 1935, Autographed. The Window Magazine, August 1907, July, August, September 1916. The Home Hand January 1910, April 1913. The Woman at Home, February 1898. The Home, February 1926, May 1927, January 1928. The Australian Women's Mirror, January 1925. The Bookfellow 25 March 1899, January 1907, November 1912, August, October, September, February, June 1914, April, August, May 1915. The Bookman, November 1914. Art in Australia December 1927. The Academy and Literature June 1904.