National Library of Australia
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The collection includes manuscripts (drafts of poems, short stories and reviews), correspondence (personal, literary, business and copies of many of his own letters), and papers relating to the Australia Council and the David Nichol Smith Memorial Seminars.
Please refer to the collection's catalogue record for the access conditions (http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn45761).
Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions.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 Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.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 Robert F. Brissenden, National Library of Australia, [class number, box number and series and/or file number]'.
The papers were purchased from Bob Brissenden in September 1990. Another consignment of papers, found in the English Department of the Australian National University, was acquired in August 1997.
Please note: This finding aid may comprise or contain descriptive information provided by donors, researchers and/or volunteers.
Please note: each consignment in this collection has a separate box number sequence (i.e. there may be multiple Box 1s). Please cite the relevant Class number as well as the Box number when requesting retrieval of material from the collection.
Robert Francis Brissenden was born in Wentworthville, Sydney in 1928 and was educated at the Universities of Sydney and Leeds. He held teaching and research positions at several Australian and overseas universities, including the Australian National University where he was a lecturer and then a reader in the English Department (1957-85).
He was a member of the Literature Board of the Australia Council (1977-81) and its chairman (1978-81). He was also an associate editor of Meanjin (1959-64) and literary editor of the Australian (1964-65).
Brissenden edited the anthologies Southern harvest (1964) and Australian poetry (1972). His published works include Winter matins and other poems (1971), Elegies: nine poems (1974), The whale in darkness (poems) (1980) and Sacred sites (1990). In his retirement he wrote crime fiction: Poor boy (1987) and Wildcat (1991).
He was also the convener and chairman of the Executive Committee of the David Nichol Smith Memorial Seminars (1964-77).
Brissenden died in Canberra in 1991.
See: Who's who in Australia 1980, p.135; The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature, p. 113-114.
Comprises drafts, correspondence, papers relating to the Australia Council and the David Nichol Smith Seminars and miscellaneous material. The drafts are of Brissenden's poems, short stories and reviews. The correspondence relates to personal, literary, business and official matters and includes copies of many of his letters. Correspondents include Bruce Beaver, Vincent Buckley, David Campbell, Laurie Clancy, Robert D. FitzGerald, Rodney Hall, A.D. Hope, Barry Humphries, Mark O'Connor, Judith Rodriguez, Tom Shapcott, Christina Stead, Harold Stewart, Alison Summers, Andrew Taylor, Ric Throssell and Patrick White.
Contained in 35 boxes.
This series contains manuscripts, typescripts, some correspondence, cuttings and photocopies of poems and short stories by Brissenden. The poems include Winter matins, Elegies: nine poems, 'Juvenilia': poems of early childhood, 'Treasure trove', 'The catapult', 'Convivia and trivia' (including A.N.U. Staff Centre drinking verses), 'Acton prehistory' and 'Come on let's get together' (poems for the 1975 Election including the music score).
For many years Brissenden was a reviewer and critic for various publications including the Australian and Southern review. He was also a reviewer for various ABC radio and television programs such as 'Today's books'.
This series contains manuscripts, typescripts, correspondence, photocopies and cuttings relating to reviews by Brissenden.
The seminars in Eighteenth Century Studies, first held in 1964, were give in honour of David Nichol Smith and were sponsored by the A.N.U. and the National Library. The first Memorial Seminar marked the arrival in Australia of Nichol Smith's valuable collection of eighteenth century works now housed in the National Library. Later Seminars were held in 1970, 1973 and 1976. Brissenden was the Convener and Chairman of the Executive Committee from 1964 to 1977.
This series includes correspondence and minutes relating to the seminars. The correspondence was written in Brissenden's capacities as Convenor of the David Nichol Smith Memorial Seminars and as President of the Australasian and Pacific Society for Eighteenth Century Studies (APSECS). The correspondents include academics from Australia and overseas invited to deliver papers at the Memorial Seminars and visiting specialists who attended the Seminars. The letters cover arrangements for the Seminars and matters that arose with the publication of the Seminar lectures in conference proceedings edited by Brissenden. Other correspondents include various embassies in Canberra, literary societies, various libraries including the National Library, and ANU Press. The files include copies of Brissenden's letters.
This series contains letters received by Brissenden from other writers and academics as well as copies of most of his own letters.
This series comprises correspondence with publishers and literary editors, as well as government agencies and private organisations.
Brissenden was a member of the Literature Board of the Australia Council (1977-81) and its Chairman (1978-81). This series contains reports, correspondence, cuttings and printed material.
Brissenden visited Indonesia in 1977 and 1981 and China and Korea in 1979. This series contains correspondence, typescripts, photocopies and reports relating to these visits. The series also includes correspondence relating to the visit to Canberra by Chinese writers in 1981.
This series contains miscellaneous correspondence, photographs, cuttings, photocopies, typescripts and printed material.
Comprises manuscript and related material by Brissenden; incoming and some copies of outgoing correspondence from family, friends and colleagues, academic, literary and professional; and, working files on Australian, English and American literary figures and subjects of professional and personal interest to Brissenden such as censorship of the arts in Australia.
Contained in 6 boxes, 9 cartons.
Comprises personal papers, dating back to the late 1940s, and censorship papers.
Contained in 2 cartons.
Comprises draft manuscripts of Wildcat; working papers relating to Wildcat including complete drafts; university papers including essays; poetry; press cuttings on Brissenden's career; correspondence; draft publications; diaries from 1946 onwards; and, loose correspondence and photographs.
Contained in 4 boxes.