Guide to the Papers of Alan Marshall


MS 2741

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Collection Summary

Alan Marshall
Papers of Alan Marshall
Date Range
Collection Number
MS 2741
3 metres (22 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Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions.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 Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.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 Alan Marshall, National Library of Australia, MS 2741, [box number and series and/or file number]'.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers of Alan Marshall (b. 1902 d 1984) were acquired by the Library in several consignments from 1970 and 1987, from Mr Marshall and his family. With no particular pattern, the consignments have been added to both MS 2741 and MS 3992, which have identical provenance. Readers are advised to scan the lists to both collections for material on their topic.

Marshall's secretary, Gwen Hardisty, organised his papers in filing cabinets and maintained an alphabetical index referring to file numbers. From time to time Mrs Hardisty would include in consignments to the Library the contents of the fastest-growing files. In 1982 the entire contents of the filing cabinets were consigned to the Library, together with the index. By this time many of the files had nothing in them but the empty files have been kept in numerical sequence to maintain continuity. The original notebook containing the index is at MS 3992, File 238.

There is no systematic chronological progression in the contents of consignments; very early material was sometimes acquired with the more recent consignments.

Some of the papers are charred, as a result of a fire which destroyed Marshall's Studio in Eltham in 1956.

MS 2741 summary of consignments: Original consignment, 1970 (19 boxes); Consignment added 1 August 1973 (2 Files); Consignment added September 1981 (3 boxes); Consignment added 21 June 1984 (2 boxes and 1 folio package).

MS 405 Typescript copy of Ourselves writ Strange, together with a selection of annotated photographs to be included in the published work.

MS 2222 Letters from Alan Marshall to his mother and sister, 1942, 1945-47, which form the basis of These are my people (See also MS 3992, Files 256-7). Letters to his mother and sister from China, 1956. Diary of a trip commencing May 1946. Manuscript copies of four works. This material was acquired from AM's sister Elsie McConnell.

MS 419 Letters from Marshall to Nellie Rogova Mitchell, 1965-1983 (3 files).

MS 1174 Material on Marshall in the papers of Vance and Nettie Palmer (Series 28). Also photograph of Marshall aged about 12, in Series 33, File 8.

MS 6043 Letters from Marshall to Marian Lofts, also clippings by and about Marshall, 1981-83 (2 Files). Restricted until 10 years after the death of Lofts.

MS 6831 Letters from Marshall to Jim Smith, 1974-82 (20 cm).

MS 7011 Letters from Marshall to Thelma Henry, 1981-84 (1 file).

MS 7320 Papers of Gwen Hardisty, who worked with Marshall for some twelve years, including as his secretary from 1975 to 1982. Date range 1981-83 (3 boxes).

The State Library of Victoria holds a small quantity of material of Marshall (2 metres). Contents are similar to NLA collections: drafts, children's letters, postcards.


MS 2741 is listed by box and file numbers but the file numbers begin at 1 within each box.

Item Descriptions

Class. Original Consignment (1970)

Papers (File) - Box 1-19

Class. Consignment added August 1973

Papers (File) - Box 19

Class. Consignment added September 1981

Invitations to talk or to judge competitions Letters Dragana Vujanovic (File 1) - Box 20

Original notes to story FileSinging to GodFile (handwritten) (File 2) - Box 20

Introduction to book on Noel Counihan by Max Dimmock (File 2) - Box 20

Old typescript draft of short story FileRetributionFile, written when 21 (File 2) - Box 20

Signed note says it was the first ever completed, was submitted to the Bulletin, who acknowledged it with the words FileCrude but strong. Keep at itFile.

Handwritten draft of short story FileThe Cripple and the CourtesanFile, written when 29. (File 2) - Box 20

Accompanied by signed note on how the story came to be written

Letters: Gareth Jones-Roberts, Bernard and Elsie Pearce, Mardeta Sagiova, George Morant (artist), Megan Venton, Mark Mollison (File 3) - Box 20

Letters: John Embling (File 4) - Box 20

Foreword to Alec Brierly's An illustrated history of the Kelly Gang Melbourne University Press, 1978 (File 5) - Box 20

First, second and third drafts, plus letters Judging of short story competition, Presbyterian Ladies College, Burwood, Victoria, 1978

Three handwritten and typed drafts of AM's comments on Senior and Intermediate Sections' entries, plus letters from teachers (File 5) - Box 20

Letters: Jim Smith (File 6) - Box 20

Letters: Penny and Eddie Harding, Frank Huelin (File 7) - Box 20

Letters: Katrina Holland, Jack Beasley (File 8) - Box 20

Letters from authors and artists (File 9-10) - Box 20

Including Susan Tomnay, Ailsa O'Connor, Bill Wannan, Judah and Hyrell Waten, Ray Parkin, Noel Counihan, Lance Loughrey, Judith Wright, Dal Stivens, Nancy Keesing, Manning Clark, Patsy Adam-Smith, Dymphna Cusack, Douglas Harris, Fairlie Taylor, Marcello Maestro, Betty Roland, Don Green, Gill Armstrong, Jim O'Connor, Joan Dixon

Letters: Anne Bechervaise, Lynelle Brown, Jane Caparella, Anne Cameron (File 11) - Box 20

Children's letters and contributions (File 1-5) - Box 21

Including 78 letters from Chilwell Primary School, others (203), illustrations by children for his novels (47) and stories by children (28)

Family letters. From daughters, sisters, nieces and their husbands (131) (File 6-8) - Box 21

Documents on campervan, children's drawings (File 9) - Box 21

Drafts of reviews for the Age 27 reviews commissioned by Stuart Sayers, plus three brief letters from Sayers (File 1-2) - Box 22

For each review there is an average of one handwritten or typewritten first draft and one final typed draft. Amongst the books reviewed are Nought to thirty-three by Randolph Bedford, Kangaroos by John Gould, Sidney Meyer by Ambrose Pratt, Bid time return by Fairlie Taylor and Bairnsdale: portrait of an Australian country town, by Hal Porter

General letters. Include invitations to talk, letters from admirers (236) (File 3-5) - Box 22

Reader's Digest Het beste boek. Condensed Dutch edition of 4 books, including Met Sprongen vooruit, by A.M. (File) - Box 22

Ondanks my krukke Kaapstad, Haum, 1972 (Autographed) (File) - Box 22

En is verysenyt futok a szellel Budapest, Mora Ferenc Konyvkiado, 1978 (Autographed) (File) - Box 22

Class. Consignment added 21 June 1984

Children's letters, 1982-83 (File 1) - Box 23

Marian Lofts, John Embling, Jim Smith and George Luke, 1983 (File 2) - Box 23

Blanche Fenn, 1983 (File 3) - Box 23

Hilda Gillies, 1983 (File 4) - Box 23

Thelma Henry (USA), 1983; letters from USSR, 1983 (File 5) - Box 23

Miscellaneous correspondence, 1983 (File 6-7) - Box 23

English and foreign language editions of Marshall's works (8) (File) - Box 24

Cuttings scrapbook, 1982-83 (Item) - Folio-Box FOLIO BOX No. ?