Guide to the Papers of Ronald Albert Simpson

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MS 5575 and MS Acc05.173

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Collection Summary

Creator
Ronald Albert Simpson
Title
Papers of Ronald Albert Simpson.
Date Range
1949 - 2004
Collection Number
MS 5575 and MS Acc05.173
Extent
3.15 metres (10 MS Boxes + 8 Archive Boxes + 7 Folders)
Language of Materials
English
Repository
Special Collections (Manuscripts)

Introduction

Scope and Contents

MS 5575 comprises drafts of poems, notebooks, manuscripts of books, correspondence with writers and publishers, reviews, papers on seminars and other literary subjects, drawings and photographs. Correspondents include Alexander Craig, Thomas Shapcott, Rodney Hall, Kenneth Slessor, Michael Dransfield, Nancy Cato, Randolph Stow, John Wain, Chris Wallace-Crabbe, A.D. Hope and Douglas Stewart (19 boxes).

Conditions Governing Access

Please refer to the collection's catalogue record for the access conditions (http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn2623876).

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Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions.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 Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The first instalment of papers was purchased from R.A. Simpson in 1977. Further instalments were added to MS 5575 in 1979, 1980, 1991, 1996 and 2000. The papers comprise draft of poems, notebooks, manuscripts of books, correspondence with writers and publishers, reviews, papers on seminars and other literary subjects, drawings and photographs.

A further consignment was received in 2005.

Other Finding Aids

All correspondence in the Original Consignments (MS 5575) has been name-indexed; please refer to the attached Correspondence Index (Appendix I) under the Related Documentation tab.

Collection Retreival Advice

Please note: there are two box number sequences (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.

Biographical Note

Ronald Albert Simpson was born in Melbourne on 29 February 1929. He studied at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and taught at schools in England and Australia. In 1968 he was appointed lecturer in art at the Chisholm Institute of Technology. He retired in 1987.

Simpson was one of a group of Melbourne poets, including Chris Wallace-Crabbe, Vincent Buckley and Alexander Craig, who came to prominence in the 1950s. His first book of poetry Walk along the beach was published in 1960 and a further eight volumes appeared in the next 32 years. He was poetry editor of the Bulletin from 1963-65 and became poetry editor of the Age in 1969.

Simpson received the Christopher Brennan Award from the Fellowship of Australian Writers in 1992.

Simpson died in Melbourne in 2002.

Item Descriptions

Class MS 5575. Original Consignments

Drafts of poems, notebooks, manuscripts of books, correspondence with writers and publishers, reviews, papers on seminars and other literary subjects, drawings and photographs. Correspondents include Alexander Craig, Thomas Shapcott, Rodney Hall, Kenneth Slessor, Michael Dransfield, Nancy Cato, Randolph Stow, John Wain, Chris Wallace-Crabbe, A.D. Hope and Douglas Stewart.

Comprises 19 boxes.

Series. Material received 1977

Correspondence with Tim and Tom Bass (File 1) - Box 1
Correspondence with publishers and editors. (File 2) - Box 1
Correspondence including Alexander Craig (closed), Vincent Buckley, Nancy Cato, Les Murray, Kenneth Slessor, John Wain, and Chris Wallace-Crabbe (File 3_5) - Box 1
Correspondence with Thomas Shapcott (File 6) - Box 1
Correspondence while editor of The Bulletin 1963-1965. Writers' Retreat, Goolwa, 1974 including correspondence and poems. (File 7) - Box 1
Poems by John Wain and others. Article by R.A. Simpson on Max Dunn in the Quadrant magazine. (File 8) - Box 1
Correspondence with Alexander Craig. (Closed) (File 9_11) - Box 1
Reviews by Simpson in The Age and The Bulletin. Reviews of Simpson's books as well as an interview in The Australian.Photographs. (File 12) - Box 2
Working drafts of various poems. (File 13_15) - Box 2
Copies of published and unpublished poems. (File 16) - Box 2
Copies of poems by Chris Wallace-Crabbe. (File 17) - Box 2
Early poems, mostly unpublished. (File 19) - Box 2
Manuscript and notebook of The Walk Along the Beach, 1960, Edward's and Shaw. (File 19) - Box 2
Announcements and reviews relating to The Walk Along the Beach; correspondence with Evan Pincus, Edward's and Shaw, and Angus Robertson (File 20) - Box 2
Signed copy of The Real Pompeii, Jacaranda Press, 1964; correspondence with Jacaranda Press and Oxford University Press. (File 21) - Box 3
Typescript draft and final draft of The Real Pompeii. (File 22) - Box 3
Poems from Murrumbeena, University of Queensland Press, 1976, workbooks showing developments of poems from 1970-1976. (File 23) - Box 3
Typescripts with annotations of Poems from Murrumbeena. (File 24) - Box 3
Sea Variations, later changed to Poems from Murrumbeena, typescript draft with annotations. (File 25) - Box 3
Typescript drafts of After the Assassination, Jacaranda Press 1968, formerly called The Dingo Trapper. (File 26) - Box 3
Correspondence with Jacaranda Press and Melbourne University Press in relation to After the Assassination. (File 27) - Box 3
Rough drafts of Diver, University of Queensland Press, 1972. Correspondence with University of Queensland Press (File 28) - Box 3
Drafts and typescript draft of Diver. (File 29) - Box 3

Series. Material received March 1979

Australian Literature Seminar Correspondence with University of Stirling, Scotland concerning the Herald 'C.J. Dennis Memorial Poetry Competition' (File 30) - Box 4
Various hand-written and typed poems. (File 31_32) - Box 4
Notebook of poems. (File 33) - Box 4
Correspondence including Thomas Shapcott, Alexander Craig (closed), Chris Wallace-Crabbe, John Wain, and Vincent Buckley (File 34) - Box 4
The Forbidden City, xerox copies of poems (File 35) - Box 4

(These relate to drawings held in the Pictures Collection.)

Poems from Murrumbeena, typescripts and correspondence with the Australian Authors' Fund and the University of Queensland Press. (File 36) - Box 4

Series. Material received 1980

Correspondence: Univ. of Queensland Press. (File 37) - Box 5
Correspondence: Alexander Craig (closed). (File 38) - Box 5
Correspondence: Chris Wallace-Crabbe, also some of his poems. (File 39) - Box 5
Correspondence: Tom Shapcott. (File 40) - Box 5
Correspondence: Waroma Festival. (File 41) - Box 5
General Correspondence including some when Simpson was working for The Age. (File 42_44) - Box 5
Diary kept when overseas, 1956-58 (File 45) - Box 5
Diary of visit to China. (File 46) - Box 5
The Bulletin 1963-64 poems both published and rejected. (File 47) - Box 5
The Bulletin 1963-65 poems both published and rejected and some letters. (File 48) - Box 6
Manuscripts of recent poems, 1979 (File 49_50) - Box 6
The Forbidden City - 2 note books. (File 51) - Box 6
The Forbidden City - manuscript early version. (File 52) - Box 6
The Forbidden City - worksheets. (File 53_55) - Box 6
The Forbidden City - extra manuscript. (File 56) - Box 6
The Forbidden City - extra manuscript and final division of ms into Sections. (File 57) - Box 6
The Forbidden City - almost final form, and one book. (File 58) - Box 6
The Forbidden City - manuscript (File 59) - Box 6
The Forbidden City. Criticisms and letters from publishers Edward's Shaw (File 60) - Box 7
Poems from the Age proofs and layout (File 61_63) - Box 7
Poems from the Age introduction, poems rejected and some correspondence (File 64) - Box 7
Poems from the Age: manuscripts (File 65_67) - Box 7
Poems from the Age published book, 1979 (File 68) - Box 8
Poems from Murrumbeena and some revision (File 69) - Box 8
The Walk along the Beach (1960) plus selected poems to be published in 1981 U.Q.P. (File 70) - Box 8
After the Assassination (File 71) - Box 8
Some early manuscripts (File 72) - Box 8
Poems published in various Newspapers and reviews: 1 packet of 17 magazines of poems and reviews (File 73_74) - Box 8

Additions to collection, received 14.10.1981.

Selected poems. Typescript and photocopy drafts, bearing proof-reading annotations and author's amendments (140 pages) (File 75_76) - Box 9
Selected poems. Typescripts and paste-ups of poems, bearing proof-reader's annotations. (File 77_78) - Box 9
Photocopies of poems intended for inclusion in Selected poems. (File 79_80) - Box 9
Copies of poems for Selected poems (File 81_82) - Box 9

A small amount of copies bear author's corrections. Includes one letter to 'Chris"(presumably Wallace-Crabbe) about the poem The Escapee.

Correspondence 1981 with publisher Edward's Shaw about remainder of Forbidden City. (4 letters) (File 83) - Box 9
Photocopies and typescript collection of poems entitled The Survivors by R.A. Simpson and Robin Wallace-Crabbe. (2 sets) (Wallace-Crabbe was to be the illustrator). (File 84) - Box 10
Correspondence 1980 with Alex Bolton of Brindabella Press concerning proposed publication of The Survivors which did not eventuate (5 letters). (File 84) - Box 10
Letters and postcards from Roger McDonald 1980 about Selected poems (4 items). Photocopy of Simpson reply (1 item) (File 85) - Box 10
Letters 1980 to and from Vincent Buckley, Andrew Taylor and Neilma Gantner (4 items, 2 of which are copies) (File 85) - Box 10
Selected poems Lists of selections for possible inclusion, made in 1979 and 1980. (File 86) - Box 10
Selected poems. Final versions of some poems for inclusion in volume, some with author's corrections. (File 87) - Box 10
Selected poems. Worksheets, many showing evolution of poem from early typed or hand-written draft to final version ready for publication. (File 88_92) - Box 10
Correspondence from Thomas Shapcott, with copies of Simpson's replies, 1979-1981, concerning reviews, proposed publications, and other personal and literary matters. (File 93_94) - Box 10
Correspondence 1980 to and from Thom Gunn about material proposed for Selected poems, together with revised contents lists based on Gunn's comments (5 letters, 2 contents lists, drafts of poems) (File 95) - Box 11
Correspondence 1980 to and from Chris Wallace-Crabbe about Selected poems and personal and literary matters (File 96_97) - Box 11
Typed drafts of some poems, showing author's corrections and some by Wallace-Crabbe. (6 letters approx. 60 drafts). (File 96_97) - Box 11
Correspondence 1980 to and from Alex Craig about Selected poems, with material also about Craig's work, (11 items) (File 98_99) - Box 11
Typescript drafts with annotations and alterations prompted by Craig (about 40 items). (File 98_99) - Box 11
Photographs of Simpson's drawings and paintings (approx. 35 prints) (File 100_102) - Box 11
Correspondence 1979-81 to and from University of Queensland Press concerning Selected poems. (File 100_102) - Box 11
3 notebooks of early manuscript drafts of poems showing the development of the poems (some have over a dozen versions) (File) - Box 11
Copies of Simpson's published works, from which selections were made for Selected poems, showing annotations and extensive alterations to some pieces (File) - Box 11

Includes The walk along the beach (1960), This real Pompeii (1964), After the assassination (1968), Diver (1972), Poems from Murrumbeena (1976), and The Forbidden city (1979)

Series. Material received December 1991

Photocopy of typescript draft of Words for a journey and some correspondence with Queensland University Press, 1984 (File 103) - Box 12
Photocopy of typescript draft, with few ms. amendments of Words for a journey and a letter of Alexander Craig. (File 104) - Box 12
Photocopy late typescript draft, with few ms. amendments, and gallery proofs of Words for a journey. (File 105) - Box 12
Final draft, part typescript and part photocopy, of Words for a journey, with annotations by editor. (File 106) - Box 12
Gallery proofs of Words for a journey. (File 107) - Box 12
Photocopies of reviews of Words for a journey. (File 108) - Box 12
Carbon typescript of Forbidden city. (File 109) - Box 12
Typescript of ABC broadcast, 'A first hearing', in series 'The Poet's Tongue', selected by Simpson, and some correspondence with ABC, 1983 (File 110) - Box 12

Series. Material received March 1996

Typescript draft with annotations of Dancing Table and signed copy of the published book. (File 111) - Box 13
Typescript draft with annotations of Dancing Table. (File 112) - Box 13
Sketches, original pen drawings, and changes to contents of Dancing Table. (File 113) - Box 13
Correspondence from Penguin Books Australia, (June 1991) (File 113) - Box 13
Reviews, awards, and correspondence relating to nomination of Judith Wright for the Nobel Prize (1994) and with Tom Shapcott concerning the Australia Council's Fellowship, (1986-1988) (File 114) - Box 13
Papers relating to the launch of Dancing Table (File 114) - Box 13
Article by Gary Catalano (File 114) - Box 13

Series. Material received April 2000

Miscellaneous correspondence (including a letter from Stuart Sayers of The Age), 1955-1969 (File 115) - Box 13
Correspondence with Laurence Collinson (1957-1958) and George Bell, (1958) (File 116) - Box 13
Correspondence with Max Dunn, 1957-1958 (File 117) - Box 13
Correspondence with the University of Queensland Press, the ABC and Australian Society of Authors, 1976-1996 (File 118) - Box 13
Correspondence with Bernard Hickey, Brian McFarlane, Donald Hannah and John Blight, 1979-1986 (File 119) - Box 14
Correspondence (including a letter from Vincent Buckley), 1982-1986 (File 120) - Box 14
Correspondence with Stephen Murray-Smith concerning Laurence Collinson, 1978, 1986 (File 121) - Box 14
Correspondence with Tom Shapcott and Judith Rodriguez, 1986-1992 (File 122) - Box 14
Correspondence with Tom Shapcott, 1997-1999 (File 123) - Box 14
Cards from Robert Adamson, Tim and Fran Bass, Graeme Kinross-Smith, Peter Mathers and Stuart Sayers, 1988-1994 (File 124) - Box 14
Chris Wallace-Crabbe: correspondence and other papers, 1987-1996 (File 125) - Box 14
The Age: correspondence, reviews and typescripts of poems, 1988-1997 (File 126) - Box 14
Miscellaneous correspondence, including requests from publishers to use poems written by Simpson, 1989-1999 (File 127_128) - Box 15
Correspondence with Peter Porter, Peter Rose and Gary Catalano, 1996-1999 (File 129) - Box 15
Correspondence with Ron Petty of Five Islands Press (including a copy of the agreement), 1997-1998 (File 130) - Box 15
Papers re The Impossible and other poems (1998): Correspondence with the publisher and friends (including comments from Gary Catalano), 1997 (File 131) - Box 15
The Impossible and other poems (1998): Typescript, early version (File 132) - Box 15
The Impossible and other poems (1998): Typescripts with corrections (File 133_134) - Box 16
The Impossible and other poems (1998): Cuttings 1991-1997 (File 135) - Box 16
The Impossible and other poems (1998): Signed copy of the book (File 136) - Box 16
The Impossible and other poems (1998): papers concerning the 'The Age Book of the Year Award for Poetry' award 1999 (File 137) - Box 16
Papers re The midday clock: selected poems and drawings (1999): correspondence with the publisher and other papers, 1997-1999 (File 138) - Box 16
The midday clock: Pen and ink drawings by Simpson (File 139) - Box 16
The midday clock Corrected typescript, 1999 (File 140) - Box 16
The midday clock Corrected typescript, 1999 (File 141) - Box 17
The midday clock Typescript from Macmillan Australia, Feb. 2000 (File 142) - Box 17
The midday clock Signed copy of the book (File 143) - Box 17
Three notebooks containing handwritten drafts of early poems, 1945-1951 (File 144) - Box 17
Miscellaneous handwritten drafts and two photographs by Alex Skuvron, n.d. (File 145) - Box 17
Cuttings of various poems, which have been published in newspapers and journals (including The Bulletin), 1955-1963 (File 146) - Box 17
Miscellaneous papers, including reviews, 1957-1964 (File 147) - Box 18
Copy of The Bulletin (containing Gwen Harwood's poem 'Eloisa and Abelard'), 5 Aug. 1961 and a note from Vincent Buckley (File 148) - Box 18
Cuttings of poems and an interview with Simpson, 1980-1984 (File 149) - Box 18
Papers concerning the poem 'Particles of light', which was published under the pseudonym 'Gillian Bianchini' in Island, no. 77, Summer, 1999 (File 150) - Box 18
Typescript of 'The living sky: a selection of poems' by Alexander Craig (File 151) - Box 18
Typescript of 'Sea change: selected poems' by Alexander Craig (File 152) - Box 18
Papers relating to 'Save Albert Park Exhibition', 1995 (File 153) - Box 18

Class MS Acc05.173. Consignment Added 2005

working notebooks containing drafts of poems, drawings and notes (7 v.); literary manuscripts and related papers; reviews for The Age, ca. 1970-2002; and, correspondence with other poets (many with copies of their poems), including Gary Catalano, Tim Bass, Evan Jones, Graeme Kinross-Smith, Peter Steele, Colin Shingleton, Chris Wallace-Crabbe and Thomas Shapcott. The instalment also includes six cassette tapes of interviews by Simpson with Norman Hidden, Arthur Boyd, Alan Seymour, M. Bardos, Peter Porter, F. Gore, Peter Redgrove, Chris Wallace-Crabbe, Bernard Hickey and Robin Rennie.

Comprises 6 boxes.

Six cassettes and two floppy disks from Box 6 (File)

the Impossible and Other Poems, 5/09/1999 (Item NLA.MS-DM001832) - Digital Carriers Box 31

Dimensions

Crystal Disks MFD-2HD, Word - MS Office 97

Physical Facet

3.5 inch floppy disk

the Impossible and Other Poems, 5/09/1999 (Item NLA.MS-DM001833) - Digital Carriers Box 31

Dimensions

PSL MFD-2HD, Word - MS Office 97

Physical Facet

3.5 inch floppy disk

Norman Hidden (Item NLA.MS-SAV008104) - Cassette Box 391

Dimensions

EMITape C90

Physical Facet

Compact cassette tape

M. Bardos & Peter Porter (Item NLA.MS-SAV008105) - Cassette Box 391

Dimensions

EMITape C90

Physical Facet

Compact cassette tape

Robin Rennie (Item NLA.MS-SAV008442) - Cassette Box 391

Dimensions

EMITape C90

Physical Facet

Compact cassette tape

F. Gore & Peter Redgrove (Item NLA.MS-SAV008443) - Cassette Box 391

Dimensions

EMITape C90

Physical Facet

Compact cassette tape

Chris Wallace-Crabbe & Prof. Bernard Hickey (Item NLA.MS-SAV008444) - Cassette Box 391

Dimensions

EMITape C90

Physical Facet

Compact cassette tape

Arthur Boyd & Alan Seymour (Item NLA.MS-SAV008445) - Cassette Box 391

Dimensions

EMITape C90

Physical Facet

Compact cassette tape


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