Guide to the Papers of Chris Mansell


MS 7904 et al

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Collection Summary

Chris Mansell
Papers of Chris Mansell
Date Range
Collection Number
MS 7904 et al
7.75 metres (9 boxes, 17 cartons, 1 folio, 1 oversized item)
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Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions.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 Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.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 Chris Mansell, National Library of Australia [class number, box number and series and/or file number]'.

Biographical Note

Chris Mansell was born in Sydney in 1953. She is an active poet and writer who has been published in a number of literary magazines and anthologies. Between 1978 and 1987 she founded and edited the magazine, Compass: prose and poetry. She has served as Secretary and Treasurer of the Sydney Poets Union and has been a member of the Australian Copyright Council. She has had four books of poetry published, Delta, 1978; Head, heart and stone, 1982; Taking heart, 1987; and Redshift, blueshift, 1988. She has also completed a volume of long prose fiction, The Choice of memory. Since 1987 she has been lecturing in creative writing at Universities in Wollongong and Western Sydney.

Item Descriptions

Class MS 7904. Original consignment

Comprises 1. Manuscript and typescript drafts of poems, plays and prose. 2. Correspondence, 1978-1989. Correspondents include Dianne Bates, Eric Beach, Bruce Beaver, Jenny Boult, James Burns, Larry Buttrose, Geoffrey Dutton, Susan Hampton, Dennis Haskell, Elizabeth Jolley, Jean Kent, Kate Llewellyn, Cilla McQueen, Jennifer Maiden, Philip Mead, Jenni Mitchell, Rosemary Nissen, Geoff Page, Rosemary Porter, Judith Rodriguez, Tom Shapcott, Michael Sharkey, Cliff Smyth, John Tranter, Cornelius Vleeskens, Lyndon Walker. 3. Subject files. Files relating to the Australian Copyright Council, Compass, Directory of Australian literary magazines, National Word Festival, Poets Union and other organisations. 4. Printed material. Leaflets, posters, handbills, programs concerning poetry readings and workshops and issues of poetry magazines and anthologies. 5. Personal papers. Notebooks, journals, scrapbooks, photographs, personal letters.

Contained in 9 boxes, 1 folio item.

Series 1. Literary manuscripts

Poetry - Ms and typescript drafts of poems, 1971-89 (2 volumes and 3 files) (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 1
Poetry/Drama/Non-Fiction - Ms and typescript drafts and page proofs of Head, heart and stone, 1980-82 (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 2

(3 files + page proofs)

Poetry/Drama/Non-Fiction - Workshop poems, 1978-82 - ms and typescript (1 file) (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 2
Poetry/Drama/Non-Fiction - Typescript drafts of "New poems from the old Chinese: poems by Chris Mansell from those of Po Chu-i", 1987 (1 file) (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 2
Poetry/Drama/Non-Fiction - Ms and typescript drafts of radio play "The Number", 1982 (1 file) (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 2
Poetry/Drama/Non-Fiction - Three corrected typescript drafts of play "Travelling", 1987 (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 2
Poetry/Drama/Non-Fiction - Four corrected typescript drafts of play "Pennies", 1988 (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 2
Poetry/Drama/Non-Fiction - Final version of play "Pennies from Eric", 1988 (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 2
Poetry/Drama/Non-Fiction - Ms and typescript drafts of articles and miscellaneous non-fiction writings, 1978-87 (1 file) (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 2
Prose - Ms and typescript drafts of short stories and prose, 1979-86 (1 file) (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 3
Prose - Exercise book with ms draft of "Bus stop," 1984, later incorporated into, "The Choice of memory" (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 3
Prose - Typescript drafts of "The Glasshouse girl," 1986-7, later evolved into, "The Choice of memory" (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 3
Prose - Ms draft of "The Notebook commando," later evolved into, "The Choice of memory" (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 3
Prose - Three typescript drafts of "The Choice of memory", 1987-8 (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 3

Series 2. Literary correspondence

Files of correspondence, 1978-89. Many files contain manuscript poems. The Jolley file includes a 30 page interview with Jolley by Mansell, 10 February 1985 (286 letters).

Dianne Bates (22) (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 4
Bruce Beaver (40) (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 4
Jenny Boult (25) (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 4
Joanne Burns (9) (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 4
Paul Cliff (2) (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 4
Geoffrey Dutton (11) (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 4
Liz Ferrier (6) (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 4
Susan Hampton (4) (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 4
Louis Johnson (8) (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 4
Elizabeth Jolley (3) (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 4
Jean Kent (8) (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 4
Kate Llewellyn (18) (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 4
Cilla McQueen (15) (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 4
Jennifer Maiden (8) (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 4
Jenni Mitchell (15) (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 4
Rosemary Nissen (27) (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 4
Dorothy Porter (11) (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 4
Kevin Riordan (1) (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 4
Roland Robinson (2) (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 4
Michael Sharkey (19) (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 4
Cliff Smyth (10) (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 4
Richard Tipping (2) (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 4
Cornelius Vleeskens (20) (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 4
Miscellaneous letters, 1978-88 (2 files) (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 5
Correspondents include, Eric Beach, Larry Buttrose, Rosemary Dobson, Andrew Donald, Ross Fitzgerald, Barbara Giles, Dennis Haskell, Nancy Keesing, Philip Mead, Geoff Page, Judith Rodriguez, Graham Rowlands, Tom Shapcott, Tom Thompson, Tim Thorne, John Tranter, Lyndon Walker, and Elizabeth Webby. Some letters are addressed to Dane Thwaites. Some have manuscript poems attached (c. 335 letters) (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 5

Series 3. Subject files

Australian Copyright Council. Minutes, agenda, memoranda, 1982-5 (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 5
Cockatoo Cooperative. Leaflets, letters, manuscript poems, 1983-6 (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 5
Compass. Publicity, news cuttings, articles, manuscripts, 1978-83 (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 5
Directory of Australian Literary Magazines. Returns of questionnaire compiled by Compass, 1985 (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 6
Miscellaneous poets and writers. Notes on, and printed and ms writings of, 1970-82 (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 6
National Word Festival, 1985 (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 6
Poets Union (Sydney Branch). Minutes, newsletters, rules, correspondence, 1979-84 (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 6
Post poems. Material re preparation of broadsheet, 1984 (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 6
Small Magazines and Presses. Minute, notices, correspondence, 1984-5 (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 6
WAIT residency, 1985. Correspondence, cuttings, leaflets (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 6
Writing in the Community Conference, Melbourne, 1984. Papers, correspondence (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 6

Series 4. Printed material

Poetry readings, workshops and festivals. Leaflets, posters, handbills, invitations, programmes, correspondence, cuttings, 1980-89 (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 7
Printed monographs by C. Mansell: Head, heart and stone (Fling poets 3, 1982); Delta: 21 poems (1978); Taking heart: some poetry and prose (1987) (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 7
Printed and roneod anthologies of poetry (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 7

Whisky: 27 poems by Dane Thwaites, 1979

"To the heart of the world's electricity" by Stephen Kelen, 1979

Flight 39 by Jenny Boult, 1986

Pandora's box, 197?

Fighting arts/ godhead: a Meuse anthology, 1979

Blythe parrot, 1982

Electric sandwich, 1983

Freeman Horniblow's bumper book for boys and girls, 1983

On the line, 1985

West on lights, 1986

Follow spot, 1986

Spiral bound anthology of poetry by Petersham Girl's High School year 10 students, 1983 (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 7
Four roneod anthologies of poems by Holroyd High School students, 1984 (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 7
Issues of literary periodicals, 1974-86 (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 8

Aspect, no. 25, 1982

Australian small press review, no. 6, 1978

Blakes monthly, no. 1

Born to concrete, no. 4

Fling, 1981-4 (4 issues)

Humpty dumps, 1985

Khasmik, no. 2, 1974

Meuse, no. 3

Naked eye, two issues, 1983

Nude dodo, no. 1, 1975

The Open door vol. 4, 1984

Passing show, vol. 6, no. 12, 1978

Perverse pleasures, no. 3, 1984

Poetry, imagery and expression, no. 1, 1985

Real poetry, no. 1-2, 1978-9

Scrap paper review, Dec. 1983

Southern cross, no. 2, 1982

Spare times, vol. 5

Undercurrent/ trans-Tasman, 1985, with insertions of a letter and typescript poetry by Michael Sharkey, 1986

Word art, 1980

Your friendly fascist, no. 22, 1979

Series 5. Personal papers

Six notebooks containing rough literary notes and drafts, addresses, reminders, lists, workshop notes, library research notes etc. 1970s and 1980s (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 8
47 colour and B (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 8
Personal resume/curriculum vitae, 1989 (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 8
Two scrapbooks of cuttings, photographs, leaflets, etc., 1977-85 (One scrapbook kept in the folio run) (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 8
Journals, 1980-88 (14 volumes) (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 9
Letters of Dane Thwaites (sealed envelope) (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 9
Letters of Robert Stead (sealed envelope) (File [Unnumbered]) - Box 9

Class MS Acc00.031. Consignment added 2000

Comprises a full record of Mansell's life and writing for the period from the mid-1980s to 1999. Included in the instalment are correspondence and notebooks; drafts of prose, plays and poetry, including The choice of memory; papers relating to smaller projects, events and residencies; files on other writers that contain manuscripts as well as letters; and, audiotapes and photographs.

Contained in 9 cartons.

Class MS Acc05.015. Consignment added 2005

Comprises poetry and other writings by Mansell; works edited by Mansell and projects/joint ventures with others; correspondence, 1991-2004; PressPress publications including drafts, proofs and related correspondence; Shoalhaven Poetry Festival correspondence, publicity (including posters and flyers) and competition postcards; copies of stories and poems of other writers; South Coast Writers' Centre minutes; miscellaneous publications; Q Theatre working scripts and Q Theatre and New Theatres programs; and, artwork and cloth items.

Contained in 8 cartons, 1 oversize item.