Guide to the Papers of Brian Kiernan

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MS 7017, MS Acc07.025, MS Acc17.101

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Collection Summary

Creator
Kiernan, Brian, Professor
Title
Papers of Brian Kiernan
Date Range
1955-2011
Collection Number
MS 7017, MS Acc07.025, MS Acc17.101
Extent
2.55 metres (17 ms boxes)
Language of Materials
English
Repository
Special Collections (Manuscripts)

Introduction

Scope and Contents

MS 7017 comprises correspondence, notes, draft manuscripts, and miscellaneous papers relating to the research, writing and publication of major works Brian Kiernan has either written or edited, as well as contributions he has made to other publications. Also included are 18 audio tapes of research material relating to Kiernan's biography of David Williamson (14 boxes).

MS Acc07.025 comprises correspondence to Brian and Suzanne Kiernan, including from David Williamson, Frank Moorhouse, Barry Oakley, Judah Waten and Jim Davidson (1 box).

MS Acc17.101 includes letters and other materials that have a literary or professional component: misc. correspondence; contracts with publishers; correspondence relating to biographies of David Williamson and others; correspondence relating to Professor Michael Wilding; papers of Kiernan's wife Suzanne Kiernan, editor of the Sydney Review; correspondence relating to Kiernan's sabbatical leave in 1976 when he visited universities in Europe and had a semester in Yale (2 boxes).

Conditions Governing Access

Please refer to the collection's catalogue record for the access conditions (http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn2226504).

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Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions.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 Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.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

Provenance

MS 7017 was acquired in four instalments. The Library purchased the first instalment in 1981, the second and third instalments were acquired under the Tax Incentives for the Arts Scheme in 1990 and 1991, and the fourth instalment was donated in 1999.

Further papers were added in 2007 and 2017.

The Library holds a large collection of David Williamson's papers (60 boxes) at MS 7378.

Arrangement

The original arrangement of the papers has been preserved by the Library.

Biographical Note

Brian Francis Kiernan is an author and an academic. He was born on 24 July 1937, and completed a Master of Arts Degree and a Diploma of Education at Melbourne University.

In the late 1960s Kiernan was appointed as a lecturer in Literature at the Swinburne College of Technology in Melbourne. He left there in 1972 to join the English Department of the University of Sydney as a lecturer, teaching American and Australian literature. In 1987 he was appointed as an Associate Professor of English at the University of Sydney, a position he still holds.

As well as his work as a university teacher, Kiernan has written and edited books on Australian fiction, poetry and drama and contributed articles and reviews to a number of newspapers and journals.

Kiernan's publications include Images of society and nature: seven essays on Australian novels (Oxford University Press, 1971), Criticism (Oxford University Press, 1974), Henry Lawson (University of Queensland Press, 1976), The most beautiful lies: a collection of stories by five major contemporary fiction writers (Angus and Robertson, 1977), Considerations: new essays on Kenneth Slessor, Judith Wright and Douglas Stewart (Angus and Robertson, 1977), Patrick White (Macmillan, 1980), The essential Henry Lawson (Currey O'Neil, 1982), David Williamson: a writer's career (Heinemann, 1990 and revised edition Currency Press, 1996) and Studies in Australian literary history (Sydney Studies, 1997).

Item Descriptions

Class MS 7017. Original consignments received 1981 to 1999, 1960 - 1991

Comprises correspondence, notes, draft manuscripts, and miscellaneous papers relating to the research, writing and publication of major works Brian Kiernan has either written or edited, as well as contributions he has made to other publications. Also included are 18 audio tapes of research material relating to Kiernan's biography of David Williamson.

Contained in 14 boxes.

Series 1. General correspondence, 1960-91

This series comprises several folders of mainly business related correspondence accumulated by Kiernan during the course of his writing and research. It includes correspondence with publishers, colleagues and a number of leading modern Australian writers.

Principal correspondents include: David Adams; Murray Bail; David Ball (Macquarie University); R.F. Brissenden; Peter Carey; Peter Corris; Julian Croft (University of New England); C. B (Clem) Christesen; Manning Clark; Michael Costigan; Helen Daniel; Jim Davidson (University of Melbourne); Donald Davie (Stanford University); Lloyd Davies; Michael Denholm; Geoffrey Dutton; Robert Drewe; Suzanne Edgar; Helen Garner; James Hall (The Australian); Frank Hardy; Leonie Henschke (Angus & Robertson); A. D Hope; Graham Joyner; Thomas Keneally; Ken Linnett; Morris Lurie; David Malouf; David Marr; David Martin; Brian Matthews; James McAuley; Roger McDonald; John McLaren; Oscar Mendelsohn; Frank Moorhouse; Doug Muecke (Monash University); Stephen Murray-Smith; Desmond O'Grady; A. A Phillips; Jeff Prentice (Angus and Robertson); Arthur Ravenscroft (University of Leeds); Elizabeth Riddell; Barney Roberts; Eric Rolls; Stuart Sayers (The Age); Richard Smart (Ure Smith Publishers); Bernard Smith; Christina Stead; John Tranter; Greg Taylor (The Age); Bill Turner; Richard Walsh; Judah Waten; Patrick White; Michael Wilding; G. A Wilkes; David Williamson.

Correspondence, 1960-69 (File 1) - Box 1 (MS 7017)
Correspondence, 1972-80 (File 2) - Box 1 (MS 7017)
Correspondence, 1977-79 (File 3) - Box 1 (MS 7017)
Correspondence, 1972-76 (File 4) - Box 1 (MS 7017)
Correspondence, 1972-76 (File 5) - Box 1 (MS 7017)
Correspondence, 1970-71 (File 6) - Box 1 (MS 7017)
Correspondence, 1980-81 (File 7) - Box 1 (MS 7017)
Correspondence, 1968-91 (File 8) - Box 2 (MS 7017)
Correspondence, 1968-88 (File 9) - Box 2 (MS 7017)
Correspondence, 1981-99(Added March 1999) (File 10) - Box 2 (MS 7017)
Correspondence (File 11) - Box 2 (MS 7017)

Series 2. Images of society and nature: seven essays on Australian novels, 1969-74

This series comprises papers relating to the research, writing and publication of Kiernan's book Images of society and nature: seven essays on Australian novels, published by Oxford University Press, 1971 (187pp).

Correspondence relating mainly to permissions to use material in the book, and editing and publication of the manuscript (File 1) - Box 2 (MS 7017)

Principal correspondents include Oxford University Press, and Grahame Johnston from the University of New South Wales, 1969-74.

Draft manuscript (File 2) - Box 2 (MS 7017)

Included are author's proof with edits, edited draft of chapter 1, typed draft interleaved with proof pages, and one loose page of draft.

Miscellaneous related papers (File 3) - Box 2 (MS 7017)

They include typed notes of queries and suggested changes to text with page references, and handwritten notes.

Series 3. Criticism, 1969-86

This series comprises papers relating to the research, writing and publication of Kiernan's book Criticism, published by Oxford University Press, 1974 (52pp). It appeared in the series Australian writers and their works.

Correspondence relating mainly to permissions to use material in the book, and editing and publication of the manuscript (File 1) - Box 3 (MS 7017)

Principal correspondents include Oxford University Press and Graham Johnston from the University of New South Wales, 1969-86.

Draft manuscript (File 2_3) - Box 3 (MS 7017)

Included are author's proof with amendments, sections of edited draft, and loose pages of draft

Miscellaneous related papers, mostly undated (File 4) - Box 3 (MS 7017)

They include handwritten notes, list of books, photocopied journal article 'University of Tasmania Library 1889-1959' (1960), newspaper article on Christopher Brennan (1970), notes of suggested edits with page references, and copy of a review by Michael Wilding of The writer in Australia.

Series 4. Henry Lawson: stories, poems, sketches and autobiography, 1973-86

Kiernan edited and selected pieces for inclusion in the book Henry Lawson: stories, poems, sketches and autobiography, published by University of Queensland Press, 1976 (393pp). This series comprises papers relating to the research, writing and publication of the book.

Correspondence relating mainly to permissions to use material in the book, and editing and publication of the manuscript (File 1) - Box 4 (MS 7017)

Included are copies of royalty statements from sales of the book. The principal correspondent is Laurie Hergenhan of the University of Queensland Press, 1973-86

Section of edited draft manuscript together with some loose edited papers (File 2) - Box 4 (MS 7017)
Miscellaneous related papers (File 3) - Box 4 (MS 7017)

They include notepads of handwritten notes, lists of Lawson's poems and stories, and several note cards.

Series 5. The most beautiful lies: a collection of stories by major contemporary fiction writers, c1976

This series consists of papers relating to a book Kiernan edited entitled The most beautiful lies: a collection of stories by major contemporary fiction writers, published by Angus and Robertson, 1977 (247pp). Writers represented in the book are Murray Bail, Peter Carey, Morris Lurie, Frank Moorhouse and Michael Wilding.

Papers including a letter from Leonie Henschke, Angus and Robertson regarding final drafts, and a section of typed edited draft (File 1) - Box 4 (MS 7017)
A file for each contributing author, with a letter regarding their contribution, biographical notes and draft manuscript (File 2_3) - Box 4 (MS 7017)
Edited proofs, and typed edited drafts of book (File 4) - Box 4 (MS 7017)

Series 6. Considerations: new essays on Kenneth Slessor, Judith Wright and Douglas Stewart, c1974

This series consists of papers relating to a book Kiernan edited entitled Considerations: new essays on Kenneth Slessor, Judith Wright and Douglas Stewart, published by Angus and Robertson, 1977 (196pp).

Miscellaneous papers (File 1) - Box 5 (MS 7017)

They include handwritten notes, rejection letter from Penguin Books, draft manuscript, biographical notes on the authors and bibliographies, c. 1974

Note cards, handwritten notes and typed edited draft together with photocopies of the authors' published works taken from books and articles (File 2) - Box 5 (MS 7017)

Series 7. Patrick White, 1973-89

This series consists of papers relating to Kiernan's critical study entitled Patrick White, published in London by Macmillan, 1980 (147pp), and to pieces Kiernan contributed on White for other publications. Included are correspondence, notes, draft manuscripts and royalty statements.

Miscellaneous papers relating to the book Patrick White (File 1_2) - Box 5 (MS 7017)

They include correspondence with Macmillan regarding editing of the manuscript and publication of the book, draft copies of references and notes, index and bibliography, handwritten notes, typed edited draft, and edited proofs, 1977-80

Typed edited draft, notes and early draft of Patrick White (File 3_5) - Box 6 (MS 7017)
Business correspondence and papers (File 6) - Box 6 (MS 7017)

Mostly relating to production of a revised edition of The Literature of Australia, published by Penguin Books, 1976 (612pp) for which Kiernan contributed a chapter on White. Included are notes and edited draft manuscript. Principal correspondents include Penguin Books and Geoffrey Dutton, 1974-75, 1985

Handwritten notes and edited draft of an article by Kiernan on White for inclusion in The Greats: 50 men and women who most helped to shape modern Australia, published by Angus and Roberston, 1986 (311pp) (File 7) - Box 7 (MS 7017)
Miscellaneous papers (File 8) - Box 7 (MS 7017)

They include a letter from Angus and Robertson regarding arrangements for a formal agreement for Kiernan's work Criticism, and typed edited draft of a piece on White, 1973

Folder containing royalty statements from Macmillan, 1979-89 (File 9) - Box 7 (MS 7017)

Series 8. The essential Henry Lawson: the best works of Australia's greatest writer, 1981-83, 1987

Kiernan produced a book of selected works of Henry Lawson entitled The essential Henry Lawson: the best works of Australia's greatest writer, published by Currey O'Neil, 1982 (399pp). This series comprises papers relating to the research, writing and publication of the book.

Correspondence relating mainly to permissions to use material and with publishers (File 1) - Box 7 (MS 7017)

Also included are a copy of an article from The Age (27 November 1982) about the three pieces of previously unpublished Lawson works which Kiernan discovered during the course of his research, and a letter from H.S. Lamond enclosing photocopies of handwritten Lawson poems from 1894. Principal correspondents are University of Queensland Press, and Lloyd O'Neil Pty Ltd/John Currey O'Neil Pty Ltd, 1981-83, 1987

Edited draft manuscript. Included is a section of draft with cut and paste extracts from Lawson's work entitled Succeeding (File 2) - Box 7 (MS 7017)
Miscellaneous related papers, including handwritten notes (File 3) - Box 7 (MS 7017)

Series 9. David Williamson, a writer's career, 1955-89

This series comprises papers relating to the research, writing and publication of Kiernan's biographical work David Williamson, a writer's career, published by Heinemann, 1990 (414pp).

Correspondence and papers (File 1_2) - Box 8 (MS 7017)

They include copies of a story written and illustrated by Williamson as a young boy, letters from Williamson to his family (1962), a Macbeth parody Williamson co-authored while at school, Williamson's contributions to his school magazine (1955), Williamson's school report (1956-57), and articles from the Melbourne University magazine Cranks and Nuts (1962) for which Williamson was the editor. Also included are a photograph from Williamson's university days (1962), a packet of correspondence between Williamson and Michael Blakemore and copies of newspaper articles about Williamson's play The Removalist.

Principal correspondents include Chris Bell (director of Williamson's first play The indecent exposure of Anthony East), Jack Hibberd, Liz Jane (La Mama), Hilary de Jonge and Bob Rankin (school friends), Melbourne Theatre Co., Richard Walsh (Australian Consolidated Press), Patrick White, and Keith Williamson (David's father), 1955-89

Draft manuscript, edited by David and Kristen Williamson, 1989 (File 3_5) - Box 8 (MS 7017)
Draft manuscript (File 6) - Box 9 (MS 7017)

Included are several draft pages with notes from P.L. North, recounting some Williamson anecdotes, photocopy of draft of chapter 12 with letter and comments from Clive Hall, and draft of chapter 5 with notations by Katharine Brisbane and Philip Parsons, 1987-89

Typed notes and edited draft of chapters 1 and 2, with note from Mike Hanson (File 7) - Box 9 (MS 7017)
Edited draft of chapters 1 and 2, with notes by Bruce Munday (File 8) - Box 9 (MS 7017)
Draft manuscript with notations, 1989 (File 9_11) - Box 9 (MS 7017)
Typed edited drafts and handwritten notes (File 12_17) - Box 10 (MS 7017)
Photocopy of Williamson's first play entitled The indecent exposure of Anthony East (File 18) - Box 11 (MS 7017)

Included is a photocopy of the rehearsal schedule for the production of the play

One box of tapes of interviews carried out as research for the book (File 19) - Box 12 (MS 7017)

Access to tape 1 is closed until 10 years after the deaths of David and Kirsten Williamson

Notations made on tapes by Kiernan are as follows:

Interview with Carol Williamson (23 April 1989) [closed], 1989 (Item NLA.MS-SAV000558) - Cassette Box 30, object NLA.MS-SAV000558

Dimensions

TDK D-C60

Physical Facet

Compact cassette tape

Blundell - Siren/David Williamson and self (7 November 1990), 1990 (Item NLA.MS-SAV000559) - Cassette Box 30, object NLA.MS-SAV000559

Dimensions

TDK D60

Physical Facet

Compact cassette tape

John and Anna Bell, Surrey Hills (14 November 1986), 1986 (Item NLA.MS-SAV000560) - Cassette Box 30, object NLA.MS-SAV000560

Dimensions

HANIMEX C-90

Physical Facet

Compact cassette tape

David Williamson on C. 78 (28 October 1988), 1988 (Item NLA.MS-SAV000561) - Cassette Box 30, object NLA.MS-SAV000561

Dimensions

C-60

Physical Facet

Compact cassette tape

Sandra Masec (10 November 1987), 1987 (Item NLA.MS-SAV000562) - Cassette Box 30, object NLA.MS-SAV000562

Dimensions

TDK D-90

Physical Facet

Compact cassette tape

Chris Bell (12 February 1986), 1986 (Item NLA.MS-SAV000563) - Cassette Box 30, object NLA.MS-SAV000563

Dimensions

C-90

Physical Facet

Compact cassette tape

David Williamson (31 January 1989), 1989 (Item NLA.MS-SAV000564) - Cassette Box 30, object NLA.MS-SAV000564

Dimensions

C-60

Physical Facet

Compact cassette tape

Angela Wales (1988), 1988 (Item NLA.MS-SAV000565) - Cassette Box 30, object NLA.MS-SAV000565

Dimensions

TDK D90

Physical Facet

Compact cassette tape

David Williamson [nd] (Item NLA.MS-SAV000566) - Cassette Box 30, object NLA.MS-SAV000566

Dimensions

C60

Physical Facet

Compact cassette tape

Alistair Sharp (11 February 1989), 1989 (Item NLA.MS-SAV000567) - Cassette Box 30, object NLA.MS-SAV000567

Dimensions

C60

Physical Facet

Compact cassette tape

Keith Williamson [nd] (Item NLA.MS-SAV000568) - Cassette Box 30, object NLA.MS-SAV000568

Dimensions

C-60

Physical Facet

Compact cassette tape

Kristin Williamson (11 May 1985)/Sunday feature interview with Angela Carter on Christina Stead - interviewer Beate Josephi (14 July 1985), 1985 (Item NLA.MS-SAV000569) - Cassette Box 30, object NLA.MS-SAV000569

Dimensions

TDK D90

Physical Facet

Compact cassette tape

David Williamson #1 (17 July 1985), 1985 (Item NLA.MS-SAV000570) - Cassette Box 30, object NLA.MS-SAV000570

Dimensions

90

Physical Facet

Compact cassette tape

David Williamson #2 [n.d.] (Item NLA.MS-SAV000571) - Cassette Box 30, object NLA.MS-SAV000571

Dimensions

60

Physical Facet

Compact cassette tape

David Williamson #3 (26 April 1985), 1985 (Item NLA.MS-SAV000572) - Cassette Box 30, object NLA.MS-SAV000572

Dimensions

BASF 60

Physical Facet

Compact cassette tape

David Williamson #4 [n.d.] (Item NLA.MS-SAV000573) - Cassette Box 30, object NLA.MS-SAV000573

Dimensions

C-60

Physical Facet

Compact cassette tape

David Williamson re 1971 (26 September 1986), 1971 (Item NLA.MS-SAV000574) - Cassette Box 30, object NLA.MS-SAV000574

Dimensions

C60

Physical Facet

Compact cassette tape

Graeme Blundell and David Williamson with Terry Lane (18 October 1988), 1988 (Item NLA.MS-SAV000575) - Cassette Box 30, object NLA.MS-SAV000575

Dimensions

C30

Physical Facet

Compact cassette tape

Series 10. Miscellaneous writings, 1970-88

This series comprises a collection of miscellaneous files relating to various projects of Kiernan. They include papers relating to Kiernan's contribution to works by A. A Phillips, Barry Oakley and the Bicentennial History Project, as well as his own writings.

Kiernan wrote the introduction and checklist for A.A. Phillips' book Responses - selected writings, published by Australia International Press Publications, 1979 (236pp) (File 1_3) - Box 13 (MS 7017)

Papers include correspondence (1977-79) mainly relating to editing and publishing of the book, draft of introduction and checklist, handwritten notes, several small note cards and copies of short pieces of writing by Phillips. There are also several letters from Phillips, and a transcript of an interview with Phillips by Jim Davidson (c1977). Principal correspondents are Australia International Press and Bernie Barrett.

Correspondence with Curry O'Neil Ross (1983) regarding Kiernan's editorship of a proposed work on the history of Australian literature (File 4) - Box 13 (MS 7017)

Also included are handwritten notes, and Kiernan's preliminary outline for a work entitled The heritage of Australian literature - an historical reader.

Drafts of two articles on David Williamson (File 5) - Box 13 (MS 7017)
In 1973 Kiernan was approached by Leon Cantrell from the University of Queensland to contribute to a work entitled Essays in Australian literature: a festschrift for Cecil Hadgraft to mark the retirement and 70th birthday of the academic and author Cecil Hadgraft (File 6) - Box 13 (MS 7017)

This folder contains edited draft manuscript and handwritten notes relating to Kiernan's contribution, 1973-75

Kiernan wrote the introduction for the publication of Barry Oakley's play Bedfellows, published by Currency Press, 1975 (55pp) (File 7_8) - Box 13 (MS 7017)

This folder contains a miscellaneous collection of papers relating to this project. They include correspondence, the principal correspondents being Currency Methuen Drama and St James Press, edited drafts of introduction, and a copy of the script for Bedfellows. Also included are copies of a play by Oakley entitled Buck Privates - a play in one act from the Nation Review (1977), a script by Oakley entitled Scanlon, and newspaper reviews by Kiernan of two of Oakley's books (1970).

Kiernan contributed a chapter entitled 'Literature and language' to a University of Sydney Bicentennial History Project which produced a book entitled Under new heavens: a cultural transmission and the making of Australia, edited by Neville Meaney and published by Heinemann, 1989 (456pp) (File 9_10) - Box 14 (MS 7017)

This folder contains correspondence (1988), handwritten notes, and edited drafts of Kiernan's contribution.

Two untitled edited draft manuscripts (File 11) - Box 14 (MS 7017)

One piece is on Lawson and his works, and the other on romance and realism in Australian literature.

Series 11. Miscellaneous papers, 1973-85

A small collection of miscellaneous papers. Included are typescript of a review by Donald Davie of Judith Wright's Collected Poems (1973); correspondence and papers relating to the planning of the centenary celebrations for the Bulletin (1980); background information on Frank Moorhouse, whose application for Senior Fulbright Scholarship Kiernan was supporting; a typescript record of the launching of Craig Munro's Wild man of letters, the biography of 'Inky' Stephensen (1984); and two pieces of writing by John Tranter entitled 'Report on Tour of North America, 1985' and 'Harbourside: a proposal for a Sydney Writer's Centre'. (Added March 1999)

Miscellaneous papers (File 1) - Box 14 (MS 7017)

Class MS Acc07.025. Consignment received 2007, 1976 - 2005 - Box 1 (MS Acc07.025)

This addition includes correspondence to Brian and Suzanne Kiernan, including from David Williamson, Frank Moorhouse, Barry Oakley, Judah Waten and Jim Davidson.

Comprises 1 box.

Class MS Acc17.101. Consignment received 2017, 1975 - 2011 - Box 1-2 (MS Acc17.101)

This addition includes letters and other materials that have a literary or professional component: misc. correspondence; contracts with publishers; correspondence relating to biographies of David Williamson and others; correspondence relating to Professor Michael Wilding; papers of Kiernan's wife Suzanne Kiernan, editor of the Sydney Review; correspondence relating to Kiernan's sabbatical leave in 1976 when he visited universities in Europe and had a semester in Yale.

Comprises 2 boxes.


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