Guide to the Papers of Guido Baracchi


MS 5241

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: ©2003.

Collection Summary

Baracchi, Guido, 1887-1975
Papers of Guido Baracchi
Date Range
Collection Number
MS 5241
2.52 metres (18 boxes)
Language of Materials
National Library of Australia


Scope and Contents

The collection consists of correspondence, diaries, notebooks, handwritten notes from talks, a large amount of research notes, cuttings, handbills, leaflets, translations, photographs and poetry. It covers such organisations as the Communist Party of Australia, the Australian Labor Party, the Revolutionary Socialist Alliance, the Revolutionary Workers League, the Victorian Labour League, the Congress for Friendship and Aid to the Soviet Union, the Fourth International and the Seamen's Union. Other topics covered are conscription, the Vietnam War and the Spanish Civil War. There are also essays and biographical notes and cuttings on such people as H. Alwyn Lee, Baracchi's father (Pietro Baracchi), E.T. Brown, Percy Laidler and Victoria Cramp.

The box of correspondence includes letters from Ralph Gibson, May Brodney, K.S. Prichard, Nettie and Helen Palmer, Dr Lotte Fink, Miriam Dixon, Eric Aarons, David and Bertha Walker (daughter of Percy Laidler), Neura and Michael Hall, Frederick Macartney, President Caballero, Tom Mann, Chris O'Sullivan, Erik Quirk, Jean Battersby, E.E. Jones, Lord Bruce, Will H. Turner, Prof. John Anderson, E.M. Higgins, Maurice Blackburn and Sydney Williams.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is available for reference.

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Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions.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 Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.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 Guido Baracchi, National Library of Australia, MS 5241, [series and/or file number]'.


The papers of Guido Baracchi were donated to the National Library by Gilda Baracchi in 1976. Further instalments were received in 1991 and 1992.

Papers of Pietro Baracchi are held in the Library's Manuscript Collection at MS 8913.


This collection has been arranged in the order in which the three instalments were received. The contents of some series overlap.

Biographical Note

Guido Baracchi was born in 1887 and died in 1975. He was one of the founders of the Australian Communist Party. After the war he went to Europe and was active with the British Labour and Communist parties and worked as an underground member of the German Communist Party in Berlin. Baracchi returned to Australia in 1935 and he rejoined the Australian Communist Party.

He was married four times and his children include Gilda Baracchi.

Pietro Baracchi, Guido's father, was born in Florence in 1851. He was the government astronomer to the State of Victoria from 1900 to 1907. In 1910 the Commonwealth government invited Baracchi and a party of four to the Yass - Canberra area to select a suitable site for an astronomical observatory. Baracchi led expeditions to observe solar eclipses to Bruny Island, Tasmania in 1910 and Tonga in 1911. He died in 1926 and was buried in Melbourne.

Item Descriptions

Series 1. Correspondence, 1919-1970

See also Series 10 for correspondence received in 1991 and 1992.

Correspondence, 1919-1970 (File 1-5)

Includes letters by Ralph Gibson, May Brodney, K.S. Prichard, Nettie and Helen Palmer, Dr Lotte Fink, Miriam Dixon, Eric Aarons, David and Bertha Walker (daughter of Percy Laidler), Neura and Michael Hall, Frederick T. Macartney, President Caballerio, Tom Mann, Chris O'Sullivan, Eric Quirk, Jean Battersby, E.E. Jones, Lord Bruce, Will H. Turner, Professor John Anderson, E.M. Higgins, Maurice Blackburn and Sydney Williams.

Series 2. Communist Party of Australia

See also Series 12.

Newsletters, leaflets, reports, letters (File 6)

Expulsion from Communist Party of Australia, 1939-1945 (File 7)

Tribune, (1941, 1945, 1970), Communist Review (1945) (File 8)

J. Normington-Rawling. The Communist Party of Australia, 1930-1945 (File 9)

'History of the C.P.A.' (File 10-13)

Author unknown. Roneoed. 17 chapters.

Series 3. Trotsky and the Fourth International

See also Series 12.

Leon Trotsky: hail and farewell. Address, 1940 (File 14-15)

Mss and transcript.

Roneoed articles, copies of The Militant, 1941, 1945 (File 16)

Mss. notes on Trotsky (File 17)

Fourth International publications (File 18)

Series 4. Subject files

See also Series 12.

Australian Labor Party (File 21-22)

Alsatian Defence Committee. Minute book, 1929 (File 23)

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, (File 24)

Conscription, World War I and II (File 25)

Cramp, Vittoria (File 26)

Left Book Club (File 27)

Margaret Throsby and Marc Chambers (File 28)

Revolutionary Socialist Alliance (File 29)

Revolutionary Workers League (File 30)

Also material on Left Book Club, Federated Clerks' Union, World Peace Campaign, Victorian Labour League and the Socialist Discussion Group.

Seamen's Union (File 31)

Socialist Scholars Conference, 1970 (File 32-33)

Vietnam and conscription (File 34)

Series 5. Manuscripts

See also Series 11, 12 and 13.

Analysis of Marx's Capital, by "Radix" (File 35-36)

Interest under capitalism and the Soviet Union (4 copies) (File 37-38)

Rebel Girl, and other articles (File 39)

Story of a meaningful day [i.e. May Day] (File 40)

To take arms (File 41-42)

Tribute to an editor: H. Alwyn Lee (File 43)

The twenties, and other articles (File 44)

Miscellaneous mss. and transcript (File 45-53)

Poetry: some mss., some printed (File 54)

Includes poems by Baracchi, L. Harford, R.H. Long, Irene Price and H. Alwyn Lee.

Series 6. Notebooks

See also Series 13.

Spanish language course, Berlitz School (File 55)

Australian history. Books I and II (File 56)

Australian history. Books III and IV (File 57)

Australian history. Books V and VI (File 58)

History of philosophy (File 59-60)

Notebook on botany (File 61-62)

Miscellaneous notebooks (File 63-65)

Series 7. Cuttings

See also Series 14.

Miscellaneous (File 66-73)

The Proletarian Review (File 74)

Vol.1, no.1 June 1940 - vol.1, no.13 June 1941.

The Week (File 75)

Nos. 259-63; 267-8; 270-74; 278; 335-8; 345; 346; 349.

Series 8. Printed material

See also Series 17.

Leaflets, broadsides (File 76)

Including items by the Kisch Reception Committee, League Against Imperialism, Victorian Council Against War and Fascism, United Peace Council, Australian Coal and Shale Employees Federation, and the Spanish Relief Committee.

Printed and roneoed material (File 77-80)

Miscellaneous printed material (File 81-84)

Series 9. Other material

See also Series 15 and Series 16.

Photographs (File 85)

Miscellaneous, including items on Baracchi's father, Pietro Baracchi (File 86)

Series 10. Correspondence, 1911-1975

The series comprises letters written to Baracchi and drafts of some of his letters. See also Series 1.

Correspondence, 1926-1975 (File 1-7)

Correspondents include E.V. Cramp, Glen Tomasetti, Aileen Palmer, Helen Palmer, Bertram Higgins, Margaret Kidd, Dora Birtles, Margaret Throsby, Paddy Pearl and Betty Roland.

Correspondence, 1911-1968 (File 8)

The correspondents include Pietro Baracchi, Pavey Wilson, Betty Roland and H. Cassels. Letters written by Guido Baracchi are also included.

Series 11. General writings

Essays and poetry. Titles include: 'The Human Adventure', 'An Essay on Dress', 'Camaraderie', 'Conservation of Energy', 'Wings', 'A Song', 'Surface Rights', 'Luck', 'Battle Ardour', 'An Epitaph', 'A Fable for Sloughmen', 'Invitation', 'The End of Day', 'A Woman's Farewell', 'The Despoiler', 'Two Cities', 'Rose and Christopher', 'Lament', 'Bedrooms', 'S. Coleridge', 'The Astral Flame', 'The Wastrels', 'Roses of a Dream', 'The Net of Memory', and 'Apocalyptic'. See also Series 5.

Handwritten drafts and a few transcripts of poems, verses and some essays by Baracchi (File 1-9)

General writings (File 10)

There are handwritten drafts of poems, verses and essays (see titles list). Some are untitled.

Series 12. Political writings

See also Series 2, 3, 4, 5, 11 and 14.

Contains handwritten drafts and typescripts relating to Baracchi's political interests, including material on anti-conscription (File 1-4)

Series 13. Notebooks

See also Series 6.

Notebooks containing handwritten drafts of poems, verses and thoughts (File 1)

Series 14. Cuttings, 1946-1947

Some of the cuttings are political in their nature. See also Series 7.

Cuttings, 1946-1947 (File 1)

Series 15. Photographs

See also Series 9.

Miscellaneous undated photographs (File 1)

Photographs (File 2)

Subjects include Pietro Baracchi (including trips to Bruni Island in 1910 and Tonga in 1911), Ethel Victoria Cramp (Guido's last wife), Lelia (Guido's first daughter) and other members of the Baracchi family. There is also a small photograph album of a French school.

Series 16. Miscellaneous, 1904-1976

See also Series 9.

Miscellaneous documents, 1921-1976 (File 1-7)

Includes transcript of an interview on conscription [n.d.]; typescript entitled 'Reminiscences of Evatt'; an interview with the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Commission); miscellaneous financial papers, including tax returns; and personal documents, such as a copy of Baracchi's birth certificate.

Miscellaneous documents (File 8-9)

Includes photographs, notes, cuttings and sketches.

Miscellaneous documents and papers (File 10)

Includes Guido's school reports from Church of England Grammar School (1904-6) and University of Melbourne (1906); programs for the Wallaby Club Christmas dinners (1909-12); typescript of letter to editor of Daily Mail (1914, unknown author); divorce papers between Ellis Harvey Davies and Mary Isabel Davies (1934); divorce papers between Harriet Elizabeth Baracchi and Guido Carlo Luigi Baracchi (1938); and floral tributes of Guido Baracchi's death (1975).

Miscellaneous documents and papers. (File 11)

Includes financial statements of G.W. Petty's estate (Guido Baracchi's grandfather) 1943-1945.

Miscellaneous documents and papers. (File 12)

Financial statements of G.W. Petty's estate (Guido Baracchi's grandfather) 1954-1975.

Series 17. Printed material, 1925-1968

Miscellaneous journals. See also Series 8.

Container List

Series File/Item Box
1 1-5 1
2 6-13 2
3 14-18 3
4 21-34 4-5
5 35-54 5-8
6 55-65 8-9
7 66-75 9-10
8 76-84 10-11
9 85-86 11-12
10 1-7 13
10 8 18
11 1-9 14
11 10 18
12 1-4 15
13 1 15
14 1 15
15 1 16
15 2 18
16 1-7 16
16 8-12 18
17 17