Guide to the Papers of Osmar White


MS Acc06.177 and MS Acc07.141

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Collection Summary

Osmar White
Papers of Osmar White
Date Range
Collection Number
MS Acc06.177 and MS Acc07.141
3.1 metres (14 ms boxes + 2 folio 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Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions.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 Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.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 Osmar White, National Library of Australia, [class number, box number and series and/or file number]'.

Collection Retrieval Advice

Please note: each class 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 Acc06.177. Original Consignment

Correspondence; drafts of published and unpublished works, including novels, short stories, non-fiction works, articles, playscripts, television scripts (Homicide, Hunter and others), radio scripts (International man) and commissioned histories (for Australia Post and Gollin & Co. Ltd); notebooks; newspaper clippings books and loose clippings; research material, photographs and other papers relating to the Colombo Plan; speech notes; travel documents and other personal documents; material relating to journalism training and lectures; maps; story ideas, book proposals and synopses.

Comprises 12 ms boxes + 1 folio box.

Series [unnumbered]. Colombo Plan Assignment, 1958-1959

Large range of subjects and places. Most are captioned. Captions range from simple sentences to two paragraphs. 37 photos, 1958-1959 (File 1) - Box 1
Discussion between Osmar White and Foreign Affairs Committee. Filed stories on Colombo Plan (incomplete). Notes on projects in Pakistan. Impressions of political and economic situation in Pakistan., 1958-1958 (File 2) - Box 1
Summary of conclusions re Colombo Plan. General notes., 1959 (File 3) - Box 1
2 notebooks, some loose pages. Written in longhand., 1958-1959 (File 4)
Mainly between Dept. of External Affairs and Osmar White., 1958-1959 (File 5) - Box 1
Copy of manuscript and final publication of 'The Seed of freedom: Australia and the Colombo Plan' (File 6) - Box 1

Series [unnumbered]. Correspondence

With publishers, contracts, publicity material etc.

Correspondence, contracts etc. relating to the publication 'Green Armour' and 'Time now, time before', 1972-1991, 1962-1986 (File 7) - Box 1
Correspondence, contracts etc. relating to the publication 'Parliament of a thousand tribes', 1965-1973 (File 8) - Box 1
Correspondence, contracts, reviews etc. relating to the publication 'Guide to Australia' and 'Australia for everyone', 1969-1979 (File 9) - Box 1
Correspondence, reviews etc. relating to the publication' Under the iron rainbow' and 'Melbourne' (includes contract), 1969-1979, 1966-1972 (File 10) - Box 1
Correspondence, contracts, publicity, children's letters etc. for 'The Super-Roo of Mungalongaloo', 'The Further adventures of Dr. A.A.A. McGurk' and 'McGurk and the lost atoll', 1973-1988, 1980 - 1989 (File 11) - Box 2
Correspondence and contracts for 'A Guide and directory to Australian wines' and 'On the side of the angels', 1971-1975, (File 12) - Box 2
Correspondence, contracts, reviews, publicity, etc. for 'Silent reach', 1977-1990 (File 13) - Box 2

Series [unnumbered]. Published novels and non-fiction mss

Typed revised Ms of Conqueror's Road, 1983 (File 14) - Box 2-3
Conqueror's Road Ms. with author's edits plus other edits. 8 notes by Mollie White attached, 1983 (File 15) - Box 2-3
Time now, Time before, typed with minor biro editing (File 16) - Box 3
Forbidden shores, first copy, typed with minor editing (File 17) - Box 3

Series [unnumbered]. Unpublished novels

Side of the angels, Chapters 1 - 25. Original Ms with author's corrections. Missing some early pages. (File 18) - Box 3
Side of the angels. Chapters 26 - . Original Ms with author's corrections. Missing some early pages. (File 19) - Box 3
Side of the angels. Pages 1 - 223. Clean copy, typed (File 20) - Box 4
Side of the angels. Pages 224 - 449. Clean copy, typed (File 21) - Box 4
Wings without halo. Typed on pink and green paper; incomplete. (File 22) - Box 4

Series [unnumbered]. Short story mss

Standard of Conduct; Beginnings; The Lost mission; White gold; Uncontrolled territory; The Civiliser; Barney O'Rainey and the Donovan baby(1st version, later version in folder 24); A Letter of introduction; The Candles of Halmstad (draft and edited versions); The Silent weapon; Agreement fulfilled; The ringmaster; Frozen Joe's story; Kelley's hope (2 versions); Includes an original list of the full collection of manuscripts, c.1930s (File 23) - Box 4
Barney Rainey and the Donovan's baby, (Edited version, two copies); Full hand's wages (EMD); The Nettle club (incomplete); The Veil (several versions, some incomplete); Hassett dreamed (incomplete); Hunger seas (one complete Ms. Plus research notes handwritten by OAM), 1938 or later (File 24) - Box 4
The Jolly man (most revisions by OEW, some, e.g. page 7, by OMA); An entertaining fellow (early version of The Jolly man); The Current (editing by OMA); The Goldstone of Ontong Balu; The Old gods (incomplete Ms from several drafts, including handwritten notes); The Quality of mercy (two versions); The Case in room 27 (handwritten Ms, two pages only); Hatter's mate (incomplete); The Job that Dinny cased (incomplete Ms. Perhaps an earlier version of Hatter's mate); The trouble makers (two version); Poo Er remembers; Wages; Under the clock (incomplete); Elissa and the wicked uncle (two parts); Untitled story (in bag), undated (File 25) - Box 5

Series [unnumbered]. Book proposals, synopses, incomplete Mss, newspaper articles Mss

Miscellaneous freelance articles, late 1960s (File 26) - Box 5
New Guinea, New Zealand (1946), Pearls (Talks). Some others, untitled. (File 27) - Box 5
Incomplete Ms. of a book about the New Guinea War, offcuts from 'Green armour'. Incomplete Ms. Of New Guinea book (Disputed country). Various newspaper articles on New Guinea (1963) (File 28) - Box 5
Book proposal. Incomplete Ms. 'The House of Kevi - A report on New Guinea since the Second World War'. Various book ideas. Ideas for a Western Australian picture(photographs) book. Ideas for an Australian picture (photographs) book. (File 29) - Box 5

Series [unnumbered]. Story ideas, playscripts, incomplete fiction Mss

Various synopses and fragments (File 30) - Box 5
Fragments of unpublished 'Galbraith novel, Side of the angels. Incomplete, unpublished book. Synopsis and incomplete ms of unpublished novel (File 31) - Box 6
Miscellaneous radio, television and play scripts (File 32) - Box 6

Series [unnumbered]. Unpublished commissioned histories

Gollin and Company History. Clean copy plus notebook pages with contacts, expenses etc., 1974 - 1975 (File 33) - Box 6
Gollin and Company History. Edited Ms., not in order. Includes some correspondence, 1974 - 1976 (File 34) - Box 6
Post office history, typed, minimal editing. (File 35) - Box 6

Series [unnumbered]. Miscellaneous material

Passports, vaccination certificates, press cards, other cards and passes, c.1944 - 1978 (File 36) - Box 6
'French my second language' 1943. 'German conversation simplified', Hugo's language institute, n.d. 3 miscellaneous notebooks, 3 Antarctic notebooks (File 37) - Box 7
Speech notes on Australian Literature and writing. Council of Adult Education discussion group book notes, 1948? (File 38) - Box 7
Journalism training material including outline for a text book. Lecture notes etc. by White as Herald and Weekly Times cadet counsellor, 1947 - 1949 (File 39) - Box 7
About rock climbing and early days in the Blue Mountains, 1989 - 1990 (File 40) - Box 7

Series [unnumbered]. Early newspaper and magazine clippings

Mostly from 'The Herald' and 'The Sun News Pictorial', 1939 - 1940 (File 41) - Box 7
From 'Radio Record' (Wellington, New Zealand). Short stories and articles under his various pseudonyms - Maros Gray, E.M. Dorkin, Edison Watt, O.E.W and M.O.S., 1937 - 1938 (File 42) - Box 7
Mostly dated, not all attributed. Various pseudonyms, 1937 - 1943 (File 43) - Box 7

Series [unnumbered]. Radio scripts

'International Man' Episodes 1 - 10 (File 44) - Box 8
'International Man' Episodes 11 - 20 (File 45) - Box 8
'International Man' Episodes 21 - 30 (File 46) - Box 8
'International Man' Episodes 31 - 40 (File 47) - Box 8
'International Man' Episodes 40 - 46 (File 48) - Box 8

Series [unnumbered]. Television scripts

'Homicide': Notes for scriptwriters, synopses for episodes, full scripts. (File 49) - Box 9
'Homicide': 4 episode scripts by Osmar White (File 50) - Box 9
'Homicide': 2 scripts by Ian Jones and Phil Freeman, 1966 (File 51) - Box 9
'Hunter': story lines and scripts, 1967 (File 52) - Box 9
'Next Friend': two acts only. (File 53) - Box 9
'Seaspray': script and story treatment (File 54) - Box 9
Unfinished TV script and drafts (File 55) - Box 9
The Defector: a play for television. Script and miscellaneous pages of rewrites. (File 56) - Box 10
Manhaul a television play' by Osmar White: several versions and a camera script. Notes by P.G. Law and Nel Law, 1962 (File 57) - Box 10
Asia and adjacent areas (1951); New Zealand (1927); New Caledonia (1957); Malaya and Indo-China (n.d.); New Georgia Island (1943); Pakistan (1953); Burma (1943); Pacific Ocean (1943); New Guinea and adjacent territories (n.d.); Papua New Guinea (1961); Papua (1927); City of Singapore (Tourist map); West New Guinea navigation chart (1944); East Highlands of New Guinea (1955); Netherlands New Guinea (1959); East Indies (n.d.); Pacific Ocean (n.d.); New Caledonia (n.d.); New Guinea (n.d.) (File 58) - Box 10

Series [unnumbered]. Scrapbooks

The 'Jill' Case. Mostly Osmar White articles from 'The Herald', 1955 - 1956 (File 59) - Folio-Box 11
Osmar White articles from a variety of papers. Mainly about 'The Colombo Plan', 1959 (File 60) - Folio-Box 11
Articles and reviews, various sources, various authors, 1960 - 1991 (File 61) - Folio-Box 11
Articles, various sources, mainly Osmar White, 1946 - 1949 (File 62) - Folio-Box 11
Articles, excluding 'The Jill Case', 1950 - 1955 (File 63) - Folio-Box 11

Series [unnumbered]. Scripts

'The Alcheringa Stone': five episode mini-series. Dramatized from a novel by Osmar White, 1981 (File 64) - Box 12

Series [unnumbered]. Notebooks

'Under the iron rainbow' (4) (File 65) - Box 13
New Zealand (1) (File 66) - Box 13
Mexico (1) (File 67) - Box 13
Tasmania (1) (File 68) - Box 13
'Under the iron rainbow' (NW Australia) (1) (File 69) - Box 13
Colombo plan diary and notes (1) (File 70) - Box 13
South Africa, New Guinea. Post war (3) (File 71) - Box 13

Class MS Acc07.141. Consignment Added 2007

Mostly World War II era papers, including letters to Mollie White (wife), manuscript for Conquerors' road, 1946, notebook-diary, identification cards and other accreditation and press clippings, mainly on New Guinea, 1942-2005.

Comprises 2 ms boxes + 1 folio box.

Report on the work of war correspondents in the New Guinea area, 1942 (File 1) - Box 1

Conquerors' road typescript, 1945-1946 (File 2) - Box 1

Letters from White to his wife Mollie (File 3) - Box 1

Letters from White to his wife Mollie, 1942-1943 (File 4) - Box 1

Leather wallet (brown) containing packet of identification cards, permits, membership cards and licenses, 1940-1945 (File 5) - Box 1

Exercise book, part-filled, used as notebook at front and diary at back (File 5) - Box 1

Australia's Heritage typed pieces on Australian Antarctic base and on early Australian theatre companies (File 6) - Box 2

Documents concerning White's application to visit Kanga Force and Samarai, New Guinea; White's Australian accredited war correspondent's license Form B, 1942 (File 7) - Box 2

Cotton khaki pouch containing cloth identification patches (File 8) - Box 2

Album of press cuttings, with extra unattached bundle of cuttings, both mostly from 1942, on the war in New Guinea (File 9) - Box 2

Album of press cuttings, 1945-2005 (File 10) - Box 2

Album of press cuttings on New Guinea campaign, 1943-1946 (File 11) - Box 2

Album of press cuttings on New Guinea campaign and the war in Europe, 1943-1946 (File 12) - Folio- Box [unnumbered]