Guide to the Papers of Ralph de Boissiere


MS 8402 and MS Acc08.030

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Collection Summary

Ralph de Boissiere
Papers of Ralph de Boissiere
Date Range
Collection Number
MS 8402 and MS Acc08.030
1.65 metres (11 ms boxes)
Language of Materials
National Library of Australia


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Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions.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 Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.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

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.

Finding Aid Source(s)

Please note: This finding aid may comprise or contain descriptive information provided by donors, researchers and/or volunteers.

Item Descriptions

Class MS 8402. Original Consignment

Manuscript and typescript drafts of published and unpublished works including No saddles for kangaroos, Rum and Coca-Cola, Homeless in paradise, An exceptional Australian (tribute to Alan Marshall), Tales of a visionary: an autobiography; correspondence, including letters from Alan Marshall, David Martin, Mary Gilmore and Katharine Susannah Prichard; letters from Jack Beasley, 1959-1960 and 1979-1995; and photograph of a group of realist writers, Melbourne, 1950.

Comprises 2 boxes.

Class MS Acc08.030. Consignment Added 2008

Annotated typescripts for various of de Boissiè€re's novels and screenplays; diaries; correspondence; reviews; and, photographic prints and negatives.

Comprises 11 boxes.

Series. Manuscripts

Annotated typescript for No Saddles for Kangaroos, published 1964, 1958-1964 (File) - Box 1
Annotated typescript for 'Waiting on dawnlight' (unpublished revised version of No Saddles for Kangaroos) (File) - Box 1
Annotated typscript for 'Tales of a visionary' (unpublished autobiography) (File) - Box 1
Annotated typescripts for 'Homeless in paradise' (unpublished novel), c.1980 (File) - Box 2
Homeless in paradise' - including note 'completed 1980', 1980 (File) - Box 2
Two black springback folders containing manuscript [?] changes to No Saddles for Kangaroos, and 1981 manuscript for 'Homeless in paradise' (File) - Box 2

Note that manuscript appears to be mixed and in non-consecutive parts.

Typescript for screenplay of 'Crown jewel' (File) - Box 4
Typescripts for screenplay of 'Homeless in paradise' (File) - Box 4
Typescript for screenplay of 'Rum coca-cola' (File) - Box 4
Some rambling thoughts on literature' - manuscript (File) - Box 6
Manuscripts for various works including 'Call of the rainbow', 'Autobiography'; includes research material from Rafique Shah (File) - Box 9
Typescript for screenplay of 'Waiting on dawnlight' (later version of No saddles for Kangaroos) (File) - Box 8
Typescript for Call of the Rainbow plus pages of typed alterations (File) - Box 11
Manuscript and final version of 'Calypso Isle' (File) - Box 11
Copy of last short story written, 'Voices Near and Far' - don't think there is a copy in other boxes (File) - Box 11
The original, hand-written manuscript of Call of the Rainbow (File) - Box 11
Copy of Masquerade and Obstacle by Anushka (nom de plume of De Boissiere's wife) (File) - Box 11

Series. Diaries

Diary, 11 November 1956-12 June 1960 (File) - Box 3
Diary, 17 June 1960-6 February 1966 (File) - Box 3
Diary, 13 February 1966-24 April 1973 (File) - Box 3
Diary, 19 May 1973-13 April 1980 (File) - Box 3
Diary, 31 May 1980-25 November 1984 (File) - Box 3
Diary, May 1976-22 February 1988 (File) - Box 3

First few pages are by Ivy de Boissiere, Ralph de Boissiere's first wife.

Diary, 4 March 1988-30 June 2004 (File) - Box 3

Series. Correspondence and other material

Australian Society of Authors (File) - Box 5
Professor D.R. Ewen (File) - Box 5
Deborah Lloyd (James Cook University) and Allan Gardiner (Queensland University) (File) - Box 5
Literature Board (File) - Box 5
Literary criticism (File) - Box 5
Reinhard and Rhonda Sander (File) - Box 5
Lecture tour to Trinidad and England (File) - Box 5
Score, typescripts and correspondence relating to music 'Calypso Isle', produced in the 1950s (File) - Box 6
Short stories for adults and children, together with clippings (File) - Box 6
China tour, letters written to Ivy de Boissiere, 1957 (File) - Box 6
General correspondence A-D (File) - Box 7
General correspondence E-K (File) - Box 7
General correspondence L-R (File) - Box 7
General correspondence S-Z (File) - Box 7
Folders of correspondence with Allison and Busby, W.H. Allen, Australasian Book Society, Herald and Weekly Times Ltd, Hodder Stoughton, Narodna Kultura (Bulgaria), Soviet Union publishers (File) - Box 8
Two packs of handwritten letters from Ralph de Boissiere to Ivy de Boissiere in Trinidad, sent from Chicago and Australia, 1947-1948 (File) - Box 11

Mainly personal, but containing much discussion on Australia's reputation as racist, possible problems with colour, Ralph's explosion of ideas for and development of the first novel, etc

Copy of speech 'The Writer' delivered in various places as invited speaker (File) - Box 11
CV prepared for ceremony awarding Hon. Doctorate, UTrinidad and Tobago; copy of the Oration (File) - Box 11

Series. Reviews

Folders of reviews (File) - Box 7
Reviews of Crown jewel, published 1952 (File) - Box 7
Reviews of Rum and coca-cola, published 1952 (File) - Box 7
Calypso isle (File) - Box 7

Series. Research material

Folders of clippings and other research material from Trinidad (File) - Box 8
Envelope of clippings and other research material from Trinidad (File) - Box 9
Folders of clippings and other research material from Trinidad, Guyana and other West Indies locations (File) - Box 9
Trinidadian newspaper articles - background for novels, plus Trinidad paper article on inspiration for 'Cassie' in 'Crown Jewel' (File) - Box 11

Series. Photographs

Slides from 1957 China trip, 1957 (File) - Box 10
Photos of Ralph de Boissiere from age 40 to 90s (File) - Box 10
Australian and New Zealand Congress for Cooperation and Disarmament (File) - Box 10
More from the peace conference (File) - Box 10
Packages of photographs and postcards from China trip 1957, 1957 (File) - Box 10
Package of photographs and postcards from Trinidad Carnival in the 1950s, 1950s (File) - Box 10
Negatives of production of 'Calypso Isle' (File) - Box 10
Various photographs of other realist writers and early Australian friendships (File) - Box 10
Folder of descriptions of China slides [?] (File) - Box 10
Two albums - photographs taken on China trip (File) - Box 11
Assorted photographs of Realist Writers, mostly annotated (File) - Box 11