Guide to the Papers of Diana Giese


MS 9274, MS Acc10.132, MS Acc17.032

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Collection Summary

Giese, Diana
Papers of Diana Giese
Date Range
Collection Number
MS 9274, MS Acc10.132, MS Acc17.032
2.25 metres (12 boxes + 1 folio item)
Physical Facet
LEGACY NOTE: MS = 1 folio packet + 9 ms boxesLegacy extent derived from Hume 1 & 2 combined locations spreadsheet from original consignment.
Language of Materials
Special Collections (Manuscripts)


Scope and Content

MS 9274 comprises material relating to Giese's books Astronauts, Lost Souls and Dragons and Beyond Chinatown and, in MS Acc10. 132, others on which she has collaborated with writers such as Stanley Hunt, on the first full-scale Chinese Australian autobiography. There is also material relating to the National Library of Australia's Post-war Chinese Australians oral history project, including interviews with members of the Kwong, Yuen, Chin, Fong, Fong On and Tong families, and with community leaders, business and sportspeople, professionals, artists and intellectuals, and politicians. MS Acc17. 032 comprises drafts of talks and papers given to Chinese, professional and historical associations around Australia; at conferences and workshops in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Canberra, Cairns, Townsville, Bendigo and Newcastle; and drafts of articles published in The Australian, The Canberra Times, Asian Libraries, New Librarian, Oral History Association of Australia Journal, Migration and Voices. It includes book chapter drafts, radio scripts, reviews, correspondence, publicity and flyers, and digitised pictures.

Source: Diana Giese 2019

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Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions.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 Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.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


The papers of Diana Giese were purchased in October 1997, with further instalments added in 2010 and 2017.

Biographical Note

Diana Giese has worked in publishing in London and Sydney for various companies, including Macmillan, HarperCollins, Oxford University Press, Pandanus Books and Brandl & Schlesinger. She has written six books, including Astronauts, Lost Souls and Dragons (University of Queensland Press, 1997), Beyond Chinatown (National Library of Australia, 1995) and A better place to live (Freshwater Bay Press, 2009). Diana runs her own publishing consultancy, offering project management, editing, oral history, writing and publishing expertise. She has worked with many writers to help them develop their work, as a literary journalist for major newspapers and ABC Radio, and has also served on several writers' festivals and prize committees.

In her community history work, Diana has collaborated with libraries, museums and archives all over Australia. She organises public programs with diverse ethnic communities: Reclaiming the Past (1996-2001 at the Museum of Sydney), Living Library (2002-2004, Fairfield Libraries) and Travel at Home cultural tours (2004-2016 Mosman Community College). Her oral and community history work for the National Library includes the country-wide overview, Post-War Chinese Australians and the Khmer Community in Australia interviews.

Source: Diana Giese, 2010

Item Descriptions

Class MS 9274. Original consignment

Comprises correspondence, drafts, photographs, proofs, scripts and illustrations. Most of the collection relates to Giese's books Astronauts, lost souls and dragons, Beyond Chinatown and to others on which she has collaborated with writers such as Stanley Hunt, on the first full-scale Chinese-Australian autobiography. There is also material relating to the National Library of Australia's Post-war Chinese Australians oral history project, notably on the Kwong Sue Duk family history video produced by members of the family as well as material on the Fong On family, the Hou Wang Temple at Atherton, Queensland, and four certificates issued by the Chinese Nationalist Party (the Kuomintang) relating to Liu Lung.

Contained in 9 boxes, 1 folio item.

Series 1. Astronauts, lost souls and dragons, 1992-97

This series comprises material relating to the book Astronauts, lost souls and dragons, published by University of Queensland Press, 1997 (328p). Much of the book was based on oral history interviews with a number of Chinese Australians, with the focus on the recent past, largely since World War II. Through these interviews, Giese explored the history of the Chinese in Australia, and sought to identify what it meant to be Chinese Australian in the 1990s.

Early correspondence and supporting material, 1992-94 (File 1) - Box 1 (MS 9274)

Includes correspondence with Curtis Brown and University of Queensland Press.

Early structural notes (File 2) - Box 1 (MS 9274)
Correspondence with University of Queensland Press, 1994-96 (File 3) - Box 1 (MS 9274)

Includes correspondence with Laurie Muller, Judy McDonald, Felicity Shea (editor).

Notes, copies of artwork, and letters from University of Queensland Press relating to cover and design ideas (File 4) - Box 1 (MS 9274)
Miscellaneous papers relating to contact with and comments from informants and readers, 1994-96 (File 5_15) - Box 2 (MS 9274)

Includes correspondence, notes of phone conversations, biographical notes, copies of articles, transcripts of interviews, photographs, genealogical notes, drafts of chapters and other papers.

Correspondents include Billy Lee Long (Cairns), Judith Leong (Townsville), Bishop George Tung Yep (Cairns), Russell Jack (Bendigo), King Fong (Sydney) and Dr Mabel Lee (Sydney). Drafts include corrections and suggestions by Yasmine Gooneratne, Warren Lee Long, William Fong, Judith Leong and Jim Bardon.

Correspondence, reviews, newsletter articles, photocopies from Chinese newspapers and flyers relating to publicity, (1996-97) (File 16) - Box 3 (MS 9274)

Correspondents include Bill O'Chee, Judith Leong and University of Queensland Press.

Correspondence with University of Queensland Press and others concerning media related issues, 1996-97 (File 17) - Box 3 (MS 9274)
Correspondence, notes and speeches relating to launch at Darwin, 1996 (File 18) - Box 3 (MS 9274)
Correspondence, speeches and flyer relating to launch at Sydney, 1997 (File 19) - Box 3 (MS 9274)
Correspondence, list of invitees, and photographs relating to launch at Cairns, 1997 (File 20) - Box 3 (MS 9274)
Miscellaneous papers relating to the Kwong Sue Duk video (File 21_23) - Box 3 (MS 9274)

Includes film documentary project brief, biographical notes, list of photographs, transcripts of interviews, draft scripts, list of images and final script, 1995-96.

Photographs (File 24_28) - Box 4 (MS 9274)
Manuscripts (File 29_51) - Box 4-9 (MS 9274)

Includes first draft (Sept. 1995), first paste-up (typescript, manuscript and photocopies), typescript read by Barbara Brooks (March 1996), drafts of each chapter with amendments, proofs with small editorial amendments, final clean proofs.

Photographs and the notebook of Billy Lee Long (1 packet; added 11 June 1999) (File 52) - Box 9 (MS 9274)
Manuscripts (File)

Series 2. Beyond Chinatown, 1994-95

This series comprises material relating to the book Beyond Chinatown, published by the National Library of Australia, 1995 (58p). The book was based on oral history interviews, together with European documents, official reports, newspaper articles, Administrator's letters and contemporary theses, and explored the evolution of Darwin's Chinatown area.

Miscellaneous papers including correspondence with the National Library of Australia, informants and a few readers (1994-95), notes, possible questions, summaries of interviews, artwork, launch speech, press releases, flyer, reviews, photographs (File 1) - Box 9 (MS 9274)

Series 3. Certificates awarded to Liu Lung, 1920-35, 1979

These four certificates were donated by Pearl Lowe, who worked with Giese through the Australian Chinese Ex-Services National Reunion on the 'Courage and Service' project, book and exhibition

Liu Lung first visited Australia from China in 1902. He settled there in 1912.

In China in 1905, all previous revolutionary groups were merged into the revolutionary party called Tung Meng Hui, or Society of Common Cause. Liu Lung joined this party in his native village of Chungshan, Kwangtung. In 1919, Tung Meng Hui was renamed Kuomintang. In 1920, Liu Lung was appointed Secretary of the Sydney branch of the Kuomintang. He went on to be elected a member of the 8th and 9th Executive Committees of the Australian General Branch (1931, 1932), and elected to the 11th Supervisory Committee of the Kuomintang (1935).

Liu Lung died in Australia in 1978.

Four certificates, with translations, recording Liu Lung's appointments to positions within the Kuomintang, 1920-35, and a copy of Liu Lung's obituary, 1979. (File 1) - Folio 10 (MS 9274)

Series 4. Other papers, 1941-46


Collected when Giese conducted interviews in Broome, Western Australia for the Chinese Australian Oral History Partnership.

Photocopies of photographs, Tang Wei Family and Yu Family, 1941-46 (File 1) - Box 9 (MS 9274)

Class MS Acc10.132. Consignment received 2010

Series. From Shekki to Sydney by Stanley Hunt (Wild Peony, 2009) Editor: Diana Giese

Notes and exchanges between Hunt and Giese. Correspondence on the evolving structure of the book, 2008-2009 (File 1) - Box 1 (MS Acc10.132)
Original material before development - drafts of sections of the book, 2008 (File 1) - Box 1 (MS Acc10.132)
Chapters 1-2: early version to final proofs, showing evolution, 2008-2009 (File 2) - Box 1 (MS Acc10.132)
Chapters 9-11, 13-14, 16 : original and evolving versions, 2008-2009 (File 3-4) - Box 1 (MS Acc10.132)
Chapter 16: Chinese community involvement - drafts and discussions/correspondence, 2008 (File 5) - Box 1 (MS Acc10.132)
Draft before final reworking and proofing, 2009 (File 6) - Box 1 (MS Acc10.132)
Correspondence June-October 2009 between Diana Giese and Dr Mabel Lee, 2009 (File 7) - Box 1 (MS Acc10.132)
Captioned pictures and responses to release of book; events, 2009-2010 (File 7) - Box 1 (MS Acc10.132)

Series. Chocolate to Anzac Biscuits by George Sternfeld (Sydney Jewish Museum, 2009) Editor: Diana Giese

Original typescript with suggested pictures, 2008 (File 8) - Box 2 (MS Acc10.132)
Handwritten editing notes. Part 1 of 2, 2008-2009 (File 9) - Box 2 (MS Acc10.132)
Typescript after editing, printout of Word files. Part 2 and 2, 2009 (File 9) - Box 2 (MS Acc10.132)
Final edited version, with changes and corrections, 2009 (File 10) - Box 2 (MS Acc10.132)
Correspondence between Giese, Sternfeld and Jacqui Wasilewsky from the Sydney Jewish Museum, Feb-Oct 2009 (File 11) - Box 2 (MS Acc10.132)
Proof notes, corrections and evolution of family tree (File 12) - Box 2 (MS Acc10.132)

Series. Book cover

Cover for Astronauts. Lost souls and dragons, 1997 (File NA) - Box 2 (MS Acc10.132)

Class MS Acc17.032. Consignment received 2017

Migration magazine articles, Department of Immigration, Local Government and Ethnic Affairs (Part 1 of 2), 1990-1991 (File 1) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

Drafts, articles on Chinese Australians, including artists; correspondence between Diana Giese and editors Tess Gilfedder and Leila Stiernborg, background biographies, notes

Migration magazine articles, Department of Immigration, Local Government and Ethnic Affairs (Part 2 of 2), 1989-1991 (File 2) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

Drafts, articles on Chinese Australians, including artists; correspondence between Diana Giese and editors Tess Gilfedder and Leila Stiernborg, background biographies, notes

Top End Chinese radio scripts, 1993 (File 3) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

Two-part ABC Radio series, Top End Chinese, about this NT community; drafts, correspondence, notes, publicity, background material

The Oral History Association of Australia, Chinese Museum, Melbourne; The Australian drafts, articles, conference program, paper, correspondence, interview transcripts, 1993 (File 4) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

'Deep within the people are the stories',The Australian; 'The heart of Darwin: Chinatown and beyond', Oral History Association conference; 'Where others failed, the Chinese succeeded', Chinese Museum conference: transcripts, correspondence, papers

The History of the Chinese in Australasia and the South Pacific, Chinese Museum, Melbourne, 1993 (File 5) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

drafts, conference program, paper 'Where others failed, the Chinese succeeded'; correspondence, radio interview transcripts

Flowers and the Wide Sea film documentary, 1990-1994 (File 7) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

Articles, correspondence and reviews, The Canberra Times, The Australian

New Librarian article, 1994 (File 8) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

'Clamouring for history's attention' March 1994.

Oral History Association of Australia conference paper, 1994 (File 8a) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

'Speaking each other's language', Oral History Association of Australia conference, Magnetic Island, Townsville, draft conference paper, notes, abstract

Northern Territory Library Occasional Paper 45, 1994 (File 8b) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

'All the flavour of the time returns: using oral history to explore the Top End's Chinese heritage', Northern Territory Library Occasional Paper 45, Darwin

Scripts for Museum talks, 1995 (File 6) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

Basic script for talks at 1. Chinese Museum, Melbourne2. Golden Dragon Museum, Bendigo

Chinese Australian articles, Voices,quarterly journal, National Library of Australia, 1995-1996 (File 4) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

'Editing Lives', two drafts including script page from 'A Man of Family', Kwong Sue Duk family video, handwritten version with notes and letter to Voices editor, Paul Hetherington;draft, 'The Ancestral Village' Voices, Spring 1991

Scripts and transcripts, ABC Radio,Historical Society of Cairns, 1995 (File 6a) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

Transcript , talk to Historical Society of Cairns; notes for radio interview with author Beth Yahp for Books and Writing, ABC Radio National

Newspaper article, The Canberra Times; chapter, Chinese in Australia and New Zealand, 1995 (File 6b) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

'Speaking up for oral history as literature', The Canberra Times, draft and photocopy of published article; chapter in Jan Ryan, ed., Chinese in Australia and New Zealand (New Age International)

Chinese Studies Association conference paper, 1995 (File 6c) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

'Chinese Voices', paper for Biennial Conference of the Chinese Studies Association, Macquarie University, Sydney

Conference paper, Chinese Museum, 1995 - 1996 (File 6d) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

'Reclaiming the Past, Mapping the Future', paper for The Chinese in Australasia and Oceania conference, Chinese Museum, Melbourne

Chinese Women's Association of Australia, 1990-2014 (File 9) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

Picture of visit of CWA to the NationalLibrary (NLA), Canberra, led by Diana Giese late 1990s; speakers at CWA meeting, Sydney July 2006; Newsletter, June-July 2005; Chinese Women's Association of Australia's 60th Anniversary celebration luncheon booklet, Sydney 2014.

Talks, workshops, seminars and articles around publication of Astronauts, Lost Souls & Dragons, DG's book based on NLA Post-war Chinese Australians project, 1997 (File 10) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

'Conversations with Chinese Australians', talk to Friends of Macquarie University Library; versions used at Museum of Sydney presentation and in Bendigo; notes and pictures from book

Oral History Association of AustraliaJournal article, 1997 (File 10a) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

'Conversations, Catalysts and Collaborations: Getting the most out of community oral history', article, Oral History Journal, Oral History Association of Australia, correspondence with editor June Donovan

Seminar, paper, transcript on Post-war Chinese Australians project and Astronauts, Lost Souls & Dragons, 1997 (File 10b) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

'Post-war Chinese Australians Oral History Project', paper given at Voices and Memory: Australian Oral History, National Library of Australia, Canberra: flyer, drafts, correspondence with Katy Bramwich, Director, Public Programs, NLA, Mark Cranfield, Head of Oral History, Seuth Sirimanotham, Gabrielle Grime, Senator Bill O'Chee

Seminar paper, Australian Historical Association, 1997 (File 11) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

'Networking Communities', paper for Australian Historical Association conference, Newcastle; correspondence with H.D. Min-hsi Chan and Dr Nancy Cushing

Talk, Marrickville Library, Sydney, 1997 (File 11a) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

Talk on Astronauts, Lost Souls & Dragons; invitation; organisational notes and correspondence, with Roger Henshaw, Library Manager; running sheet.

Background material to oral history seminar, Marrickville Library on NLA project, 1997 (File 11b) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

Oral history seminar on NLA work and Astronauts, Lost Souls & Dragons

Transcript, Australia-China Friendship Society, Sydney presentation, 1997 (File 11c) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

Australia-China Friendship Society, Sydney presentation

Journal article, Australia-China Review, 1998 (File 11d) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

'Chinese Australian Oral History Partnership', Summer 1998

Description, Post-war Chinese Australians oral history project, publicity sheet, volunteers' sheet, drafts, workshop, Marrickville Library, 1998 (File 11e) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

'How to design and run an oral history project', for Marrickville Library

Article, National Library of Australia News, 1999 (File 11f) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

'Collecting China' October 1999, article, National Library of Australia News; correspondence with Michelle Hetherington, Julie Stokes

Article, Asian Libraries, 1999 (File 11g) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

'Chinese Australian oral history: a project of the National Library of Australia', Asian Libraries 8 (3); letter

Dr Carole Tan, Making creative use of the NLA Post-War Chinese Australians Oral History Project; PhD thesis extract, papers, flyer, 1999-2007 (File 12) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

Letter to Diana Giese seeking access to NLA collections, 2 September 1999

Carole Tan, 'Boundaries, Border-crossings and Gatekeepers: identity formation amongst Chinese Australian children in the 1920s and 1930s', 2000 (File 12a) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

Paper for Australian and New Zealand Chinese History workshop, February 2010

Carole Tan, 'The Gatekeepers: the role of the family in the construction of identity amongst Chinese Australians', 2001 (File 12b) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

Paper, Centre of the Study of the Chinese Southern Diaspora, ANU Canberra

Flyer for Carole Tan, 'Playing Fan Tan: Australian-born Chinese identities', 2007 (File 12c) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

Paper for the Chinese Heritage Association of Australia, Sydney

Diana Giese presentations, 2003 (File 13) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

'Beyond the Classroom: enriching life in Australia for overseas students', paper for Queenwood School, Mosman, Sydney; correspondence with Peggy Wortman

Presentation, Museums Australia, 2003 (File 13a) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

'Creating diverse public programs', for Museums Australia seminar, Manly Art Gallery and Museum, Sydney; script, 'Engaging Communities', correspondence with Danielle Head

Kwong Sue Duk Descendants' Family Reunion, 2004 (File 13b) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

Talk to Family Reunion, Kwong Sue Duk Descendants, Melbourne

St George Regional Museum, Hurstville, Sydney, 2004 (File 14) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

'Active Multicultural Communities' presentation to St George Regional Museum, 2004 Hurstville, Sydney; draft script, 40 pictures, correspondence with Serena Manwaring, draft, notes.'

Obituary, Lilyan Chan (1916-2006), The Canberra Times: drafts, notes, correspondence, emails, tributes and condolences, 1998 - 2006 (File 15) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

Letter requesting an interview for thePost-war Chinese Australians oral history project; handwritten notes, picture of Mrs Chan, her daughter Robin Houston and Diana Giese

Correspondence and drafts, March 1998 (File 15a) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

Correspondence by email with Cameron Ross, The Canberra Times, requesting Obituary; drafts exchanged with him and Robin and Keith Houston

Final draft of Lilyan Chan Obituary, April 2006 (File 15b) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

The Canberra Times Obituary

Responses to Mrs Chan's death, 21 March 2006 (File 15c) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

Robin Houston's response to Diana Giese's condolence letter after Mrs Chan's death; notice by Peter and Sheila Forrest, plus picture of Yuen Yet Hing descendants, Northern Territory News

Digitised photographs, 1996 - 2004 (File 16) - Box 1 (MS Acc17.032)

Reclaiming the Past events for the Museum of Sydney (1996-2001); Chinese Women's Association at NLA; Book launches: Diana Giese and Bishop George Tung Yep at the 1997 Cairns Regional Gallery launch of Astronauts, Lost Souls & Dragons; Diana Giese with Kathleen and Charles Chong-Fong and Mrs Dawn Chong-Fong at the 1997 Darwin launch of Astronauts, Lost Souls & Dragons; Major General Darryl Low Choy, Eunice Leong and Gilbert Jan with Diana Giese at the opening of the Courage and Service exhibition, Golden Dragon Museum, Bendigo, 1999; Diana Giese with Robin Houston and Lilyan Chan after their 1998 NLA interview; 'Active Multicultural Communities' presentation photographs, St George Regional Museum, 2004