National Library of Australia
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The collection includes correspondence, diaries, notebooks, books, circulars, conference papers, congratulatory messages, greeting cards, invitations, journal articles, leaflets, memoranda, newscuttings, newspapers, pamphlets, photographs, receipts, reports, research material, telegrams and typescripts. They relate to all aspects of Ross's varied career as a teacher, writer, trade unionist, journalist, public servant and historian.
The main correspondents are Frank Anstey, J. B. Chifley, L. F. Crisp, Elsie Curtin, John Curtin, Frank Farrell, Allan Fisher, Hartley Grattan, Jeff James, Jack Maddox, Tom Mann, Elsie McLeod, Bob Neale, Edgar Ross, Stina Ross, B. A. Santamaria, E. G. Theodore and Anne Turner.
The collection also includes some papers belonging to R. S. Ross, Ross's father, and Frank Anstey.
Please refer to the collection's catalogue record for the access conditions (http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn269260).
Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions.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 Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.
Items from this collection should be cited as '[Title or description of manuscript item], Papers of Lloyd Ross, National Library of Australia, MS 3939, [box number and series and/or file number]'.
The papers were purchased from Lloyd Ross by the National Library in three instalments in 1974, 1979 and 1982. Further instalments were received after his death, in 1988 and 1991.
The National Library also holds the papers of Ross's father, Robert Samuel Ross (MS 3222) and his brother, Edgar Ross (Acc 97/45).
Two interviews with Lloyd Ross are held in the Oral History Collection at TRC 236 and TRC 1948-21. Item TRC 236 is an interview by Suzanne Walker in 1973. Item TRC 1948-21 is an interview by Richard Raxworthy and Michael Easson in 1986 which was part of the Labor Council of New South Wales Oral History Project.
The five instalments have been amalgamated and arranged into 22 series. Wherever possible, the original arrangement of the papers and the file titles have been preserved by the Library.
Lloyd Ross was born in Brisbane in 1901, the son of Robert Samuel Ross, a journalist and political activist, and grew up in a socialist environment. Ross displayed great intellectual ability from an early age. In 1916 he won a scholarship to attend University High School, Melbourne. In 1919 he won another scholarship which enabled him to go to Melbourne University. Ross was a student at Melbourne University in 1920-25 and during this time involved himself in a wide range of activities. In 1925 he joined the staff of the new student newspaper Farrago and in the same year was an inaugural member of the Melbourne University Labor Club. At the end of 1925 he abandoned his full time studies and started looking for full-time employment. He was offered the post of tutor-organiser in adult education with the Worker's Educational Association (WEA) in Dunedin, New Zealand. He married Christina Adelskold on 2 February 1926 and sailed for New Zealand six days later. Ross was an excellent teacher and quickly built up a following in Dunedin. In 1933 Ross returned to Australia where he was appointed by Sydney University to the post of tutor-organiser with the Newcastle branch of the WEA. In Newcastle he conducted evening classes on economics and international affairs but neither of these topics aroused much interest. In an attempt to reach a wider audience he decided to adopt alternative teaching methods. He commenced a series of lunch time classes for workers at the Broadmeadow Railway Workshops which proved a great success. He also began producing plays with the cast drawn from WEA supporters. It was in Newcastle that he first developed contacts with the Australian Railways Union (ARU) which later led to his nomination as State Secretary. In May 1934 he was appointed Assistant Director of Tutorial Classes at Sydney University. In 1935 Ross was awarded a doctorate (Doctor of Letters) from the University of New Zealand. In the same year he was elected New South Wales Secretary of the ARU. As ARU Secretary, Ross turned energetically to the work of improving the appalling conditions experienced by many railway and tram workers. He favoured strong on-the-job agitation and aggressive publicity in support of industrial campaigns. Under Ross's direction, a flood of pamphlets, leaflets and circulars was issued highlighting current demands and outstanding grievances. In 1935 Ross joined the Communist Party of Australia believing it to be the only effective workers' party. On the outbreak of war in 1939 Ross remained loyal to the Party in opposing the war. However, as events unfolded he was to change his stance, especially after the signing of the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact. Ross was expelled from the Communist Party in 1941. He subsequently swung his support to the federal Labor Government of Prime Minister John Curtin, despite bitter factional fighting within the ARU. It was a split that led to lasting divisions between some ARU activists and in Ross's case, between himself and his brother. By 1943, after seven hectic years as State Secretary, Ross was ready for a break from the ARU and its factionalism. Following a brief period as a wartime broadcaster and speechmaker in the United States and England, he returned to Australia and joined the Department of Post-War Construction, serving as Director of Public Relations until the defeat of the Chifley Government in 1949. In 1952, after working on the Melbourne Herald, Ross returned to the ARU to begin a second term as Secretary of the New South Wales Branch, following the resignation of his friend, Jack Ferguson. He returned to a union that was still undergoing many factional disputes. In the 1950s and 1960s Ross once again pursued his efforts to improve railway workers' conditions. The introduction of diesels to replace steam engines brought hard times for many ARU members in the country with depot closures and forced relocations being common. But Ross was able to ensure that the Department of Railways did not sack anyone due to the new technology. In 1969 Ross retired from the position of New South Wales Branch Secretary, having served a record 25 years in the job. In 1972 he was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE). In his retirement, Ross was able to return to his writing and research. His biography of John Curtin which he had commenced almost thirty years earlier was finally published in 1977 by Macmillan. He also turned to his biography of his father but it was unfortunately not completed at the time of his death in 1987. Reference: Stephen Holt, A veritable dynamo: Lloyd Ross and Australian Labour, 1901-1987, St Lucia, University of Queensland Press, 1996
This series consists of both personal and business correspondence relating to all aspects of Ross's varied career as a teacher, writer, trade unionist, journalist and historian. It consists of letters, circulars, greeting cards, invitations, leaflets, newscuttings, receipts and telegrams. Included are invitations to speak at meetings and conferences, letters from members of the public commenting on his newspaper articles or talks, out-letters seeking information on John Curtin for his biography and responses, letters written to his wife from overseas, congratulatory messages on his award of the OBE and general business correspondence.
The main correspondents are L. F. Crisp, Elsie Curtin, Frank Farrell, Allan Fisher, Hartley Grattan, Jeff James, Jack Maddox, Elsie McLeod, Bob Neale, Edgar Ross, Stina Ross, B. A. Santamaria and Anne Turner.
The correspondence has been arranged by Ross in rough chronological order. This original arrangement of material has been retained and it has resulted in a high degree of overlap within the date ranges of some files.
Included is a letter from E.H. Lane commenting on Ross's biography of William Lane. The file also contains some newscuttings on the New Australia Movement, 1893, three articles by Ross from the Otago Daily Times and two postcards of Tom Mann ( one dated 1911).
During his career, Ross undertook a number of overseas trips to study and look at conditions of work and economic trends in other countries. In 1929 he was the recipient of a Rockefeller Fellowship and he used it to study in England at Manchester University and the London School of Economics. This small collection of diaries and notebooks records overseas trips in 1929-30 and 1963.
This series consists mainly of certificates, cards, invitations, travel memorabilia and other items of ephemera. It also includes personal material such as a professional reference, drafts and notes for a resumé and background material for various interviews with Ross.
Most of the files in this series consist of typescripts drafts with corrections and handwritten notes. A number of the works are untitled and undated (files 54-62). There is also a series of plays written by Ross for Workers' Educational Association drama classes in Dunedin and workshop classes in Newcastle.
Ross was a prolific writer and his articles have appeared in many Australian and overseas journals including Australian Journal of Politics and History, Australian Outlook, Australian Quarterly, Antioch Review, Foreign Affairs, Labor Digest, Meanjin, Morpeth Review, Quadrant and Twentieth Century.
This series consists of many published journal articles, pamphlets and a small number of books in which Ross has contributed chapters. There are too many items to list them individually. A comprehensive listing of works by Ross can be found in the bibliography in 'A veritable dynamo: Lloyd Ross and Australian Labour 1901-1987 by Stephen Holt.
This series comprises 4 boxes.
This series consists of lectures, radio broadcasts, speeches and talks given by Ross.
As a high profile trade unionist Ross lectured and gave talks to a wide cross section of the community. He also wrote a number of radio plays to promote the aims of the Labor Movement. A number of the files also contain material relating to his period of employment with the Department of Post-War Reconstruction.
The majority of papers in this series are conference or seminar papers presented by Ross as State Secretary of the New South Wales Branch of the Australian Railways Union or while working for the Ministry of Post-War Reconstruction.
The Workers' Educational Association (WEA) was formed in England in 1903 and later established branches in Australia and New Zealand. The WEA was involved with adult education. It was linked to the universities and sought to introduce higher education to men and women who because of financial considerations had no opportunity to go to university.
In 1926 Ross moved to New Zealand to take up a position with the Dunedin branch of the Workers' Educational Association (WEA). In 1933 he returned to Australia he was appointed by Sydney University to the post of tutor-organiser with the Newcastle branch of the WEA. In May of the following year, he was appointed Assistant Director of Tutorial Classes at Sydney University.
This series consists of material relating to the Workers' Educational Association both in Australia and New Zealand including leaflets and outlines of some of its courses, issues of journals and papers written by Ross while working for the organisation.
Ross served as State Secretary (NSW) to the Australian Railways Union (ARU) in 1935-43 and again in 1952-69. This series consists of documents relating to both the federal organisation and the state branch of the ARU. It includes minute and reports of conferences, various reports by the State Secretary, correspondence, circulars, memoranda, and some leaflets, pamphlets, newsletters and newspapers produced by the union.
The Department of Post-War Reconstruction was formed in December 1942. Its first Minister was J. B Chifley (December 1942-February 1945). Chifley was succeeded by J. J Dedman who was Minister from February 1945-1949. In September 1943, Ross joined the Department as Director of Public Relations on the recommendation of Chifley. He stayed with the Department until 1949 when the Chifley Government was defeated in the December elections. The Department was disbanded by the new Menzies Government in March 1950.
This series consists of memoranda, speeches and talks given by Ross on tours around Australia talking about the war effort and speeches written for J. J Dedman, the Minister. There are also a number of reports on various communities, postwar-reconstruction and planning.
Ross began collecting material for a biography on John Curtin soon after his death in 1945. His research became a lifelong project and it was not until after his retirement that he was able to complete his work with the assistance of an editor. The book John Curtin: a biography was finally published in 1977 by Macmillan.
This series consists of correspondence, handwritten notes, typescript drafts with corrections, research and background notes and photocopies of archival documents. The correspondence includes letters by Ross seeking information on Curtin as well as letters written by Curtin (some originals and photocopies).
The drafts and accompanying notes of the biography are quite fragmented. While they have been organised in files, there is no sequential order of chapters and many appear to be out of order. While most pages have been numbered, on many occasions they have been renumbered and placed in a revised sequence. Due to the fragmented nature of the papers it is virtually impossible to identify the different versions of the biography.
Correspondence relating to the Curtin biography can also be found in Series 1.
This series consists mainly of drafts and notes for a biography of Ross's father. Folder one contains biographical information and notes relating to Robert Samuel Ross. The remaining folders comprise drafts and notes. Unfortunately, most of the material in these folders is fragmented. As with the drafts in Series 11 the folders contain various chapters but they are not annotated or arranged in a sequential order. Most of the pages are not numbered and different revisions of the biography are difficult to identify.
Ross worked on the biography of his father in his retirement years and unfortunately it remained uncompleted at the time of his death in 1987.
This series comprises 9 boxes.
This series consists of pamphlets, reports and newscuttings on various subjects including arbitration, automation, containerisation, railways and wages.
Ross collected newscuttings of his own writings from the various newspapers he worked for including the Herald, articles written about him as State Secretary (NSW) of the Australian Railways Union and items of interest on a wide range of subjects including arbitration, automation, the economy, trade unions and wages. The original arrangement of the cuttings has been maintained and it has resulted in some overlap in the date range of the folders.
This series consists of photographs belonging to Ross and his father, Robert Ross. Included are family photographs, group portraits taken at socialist activities attended by Robert Ross, group portraits from various labour conferences and congresses early last century, Lloyd Ross and other members of the Melbourne University Athletic Club (1922), and photographs of union functions and activities. There is also a folder of photographs which had been selected by Ross to accompany his father's biography and a series of photographs of various houses in Melbourne where Lloyd Ross spent his childhood and part of his adult life.
Photographs in Box 67 are part of the 1982 instalment of papers. Captions for this material have been supplied by Ross and a list can be found in the box. The box also contains some ink drawings of cartoons which appeared in the Worker. Only about half of the photographs in Box 68 contain captions. There is also a handmade cardboard sign advertising a Peace Conference (n.d.) in Box 68.
Photographs relating to John Curtin can be found in Series 11.
This series comprises 2 boxes.
In 1958 the Industrial Commission of New South Wales established an inquiry to look at recent mechanisation and other new technological processes being implemented in industry. The inquiry also looked at the effect of the new technology on employment and the transfer of labour within industry as a result of the new changes. Ross attended the inquiry and gave evidence on behalf of the Australian Railways Union (NSW Branch) and also the Combined Electricity Commission Unions (NSW).
This series consists of transcripts of hearings, 1958-59, submissions from the Australian Railways Union and Electricity Commission and research material and background notes relating to the inquiry.
This series comprises 5 boxes.
This series consists of miscellaneous correspondence, circulars, conference papers, journal articles, pamphlets and reports. It includes various reports on arbitration, industry, labour and wages, miscellaneous material on the Australian Labor Party and papers from conferences Ross has attended.
Robert Ross (Ross's father) was editor of various newspapers and magazines. This series consists of various issues of these newspapers and others relating to socialism and labour. They include the Australian Worker, Barrier Truth, Butchers' Journal, The Champion, Labor Call, Queensland Sportsman, Ross's Magazine, Socialist and Union Voice. Some of the holdings are quite substantial while others are only one-off issues.
This series comprises 21 boxes.
This series comprises printed material consisting of books, pamphlets and journals belonging to Ross and his father, Robert Ross. Included are works by Charles Dickens, Jack London, H. G. Wells and numerous works by G. D. H Cole on socialism, labour and industry. Many of the books contain inscriptions and annotations and were gifts from friends or acquaintances.
While the majority of works fall under the subject category of economics, labour and socialism there are some works of biography, fiction and poetry. Some of them were Christmas presents to Lloyd Ross from his mother.
This series comprises 17 boxes.
Robert Samuel Ross, Lloyd Ross's father, was born in Sydney in 1873. When he was 12, he moved to Queensland with his parents where his father Robert Maxwell Ross, a compositor from Scotland, was to edit a paper. As a young man Ross took up his father's profession and later became editor of the Barrier Truth (Broken Hill) and The Socialist (Melbourne). In 1915 he launched his own magazine, Ross's Monthly which survived until 1924 when it was incorporated into the Union Voice (Melbourne) with Ross as editor.
A pacifist and international socialist, Ross was secretary of the Victorian Socialist Party for several years. During World War I he was an active campaigner against conscription. Ross was also a member of the Y Club and ran Ross's Book Service which offered a wide variety of literature. He died in 1931 after a long and active career in the Victorian Labour Movement.
This series consists of correspondence, leaflets, magazines, minute books, newscuttings and pamphlets relating to some of the socialist and labour organisations with which Ross was actively involved.
Frank Anstey (1865-1940) was born in London. When he was 11, he stowed away on a ship bound for Australia. Soon after reaching Sydney, he became a cabin boy on a ship trading around the Pacific Islands. He returned to Australia in the 1880s and later became an active supporter of socialism. He wrote for the Tocsin and its successor, The Labour Call. In 1902 he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Victoria as Labor representative for East Bourke. He was re-elected in 1904 and again in 1907. One of Anstey's strongest supporters at this time was John Curtin, later Prime Minister of Australia.
In 1910 Anstey entered the House of Representatives as member for Bourke, and held the seat until his retirement in 1934. He became well known as an able speaker especially during World War I when he strongly opposed conscription.
This series consists of manuscripts by Anstey. It is not known how they came to be given to Lloyd Ross. Some of the manuscripts contain notations indicating they may have been written to be a part or chapter of a lengthier manuscript.
Correspondence between Curtin and Anstey can also be found in Series 11.