National Library of Australia
View Catalogue Record
This extensive collection is comprised of materials which record the activity of Osmond's career in academia and journalism. Within the sixteen series are substantial runs of correspondence, notebooks, research files and articles produced by Osmond, as well as cuttings, reviews, index cards, photocopies, and large amounts of printed material which he used to support his writing and research. Osmond's early involvement in the radical student movement of the late 1960s at Monash University and his political activism as a member of the New Left are reflected in several series. Of special interest are the papers which document Osmond's wide network of professional contacts, his expertise in international affairs (particularly in the Middle East) and fascination with Jewish matters, and the voice he gave through his work to marginal groups such as international students. Importantly, the collection also preserves the notes and research materials which Osmond amassed whilst preparing his meticulous biography of the Victorian politician and diplomat, Sir Frederic Eggleston (1875-1954).
As well as a large circle of journalists and friends, some prominent academics, historians and intellectuals number amongst the wide range of correspondents represented in the collection. These include Henry Mayer, Humphrey McQueen, Dennis Altman, W. Macmahon Ball, Don Watson, Robert Haupt, Sir Walter Crocker, Sir Keith Hancock and Manning Clark. In addition there is some interesting original correspondence with members of Eggleston's family, particularly with his son Egan, and with Eggleston's associate, Sir John Condliffe (1891-1981).
Access conditions may apply to this collection, please refer to the collection's catalogue record for further information (http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn788555).
Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions.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 Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.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 Warren Osmond, National Library of Australia [class number, box number and series and/or file number]'.
The papers were bequeathed to the Library by Warren Osmond and transferred by his partner Juliet Richter in two instalments in December 2000 and August 2001, with the assistance of Cassandra Pybus.
The papers were transferred to the Library in the form in which they were found at the time of Osmond's premature death. The materials had been maintained under varying degrees of control, and the apparent disarray of some parts of the collection may reflect Osmond's intense work schedule, which left little time for adhering to formal filing systems. However, formed sequences of files were identified across the collection, and it is upon these that the final series arrangement of the papers has been based. In those instances where no existing filing system could be discerned, loose papers and unnamed files have been organised together into artificial groupings. Thus most series are an amalgam of original and imposed order, and incorporate original runs of files to which related files have been added by Library staff. At the same time, the internal composition of pre-existing files has not been rearranged, and they remain a faithful reflection of Osmond's working style.
In the course of sorting the papers, a large amount of duplicate printed material was weeded from the collection. In cases where some of these items - such as monographs and journals - were not already held, they have been added to the Library's printed Australian and overseas collections.
A twenty-one box collection of Osmond's papers forms part of the Rare Books and Special Collections of the Fisher Library, University of Sydney. The following items have been removed from the collection and returned to Juliet Richter: a video recording which accompanied Series 1, Files 72-73 (containing footage of the November 1997 Lateline episode on the Media Watch television program); 84 micro-cassettes previously in Series 9, relating to his writings for the Sydney Morning Herald between 1983 and 1994; a computer disk from Series 9, File 120 (containing a 1992 article published in the Asian studies review); and two cassettes which accompanied Series 10, File 26, (containing a 1995 interview with, and lecture by, Noam Chomsky).
Osmond also contributed to the Australian dictionary of biography and wrote many journal articles and reviews for magazines and newspapers, including Quadrant and The Australia-Israel review. Information on these works can be found in Series 6 and 13.
Warren Osmond was born in Melbourne in 1947. He matriculated from Huntingtower School, Mt Waverley in 1964 and went on to study political science at Monash University, graduating with a BA in 1968. While at Monash he also became heavily involved in student politics and was co-editor of Lot's Wife, the now defunct student magazine, in 1968.
Osmond dropped out of his honours year at Monash in 1968 and travelled around Australia in 1969 working at a variety of different jobs. On his return he decided to return to university to complete his honours degree. He also resumed writing articles for student and left-wing journals, and his writings attracted the attention of Henry Mayer, then professor of political theory at Sydney University. In 1970 Mayer offered him a job in the University's Department of Government. As a tutor (1970-1972) and later, an assistant lecturer (1973-1974), Osmond developed and taught a course in the history of sociological theory whilst completing his MA thesis, 'The education of a Victorian liberal : Frederic Eggleston, 1875-1916'.
From 1976 Osmond began to focus on a literary rather than academic career. He supported himself as a freelance writer and book reviewer and continued his research for his doctoral thesis. A brief return to academia as a part-time tutor at the New South Wales Institute of Technology in 1977 helped supplement his income. During this period many of his book reviews were published in The National Times, Nation Review and Australian book review. He also worked as a publisher's reader and between 1977 and 1979 was employed in a part-time capacity for the publisher Hale and Iremonger. In 1981 he was engaged for a short period as a journalist for The National Times.
Upon obtaining his doctorate in 1982, Osmond left Australia to take up a year long Fulbright Fellowship at University of Pennsylvania. On his return he reworked his thesis into a book, Frederic Eggleston: an intellectual in Australian politics, published in 1985.
In 1983 Osmond joined The Sydney Morning Herald as an editorial (leader) writer specialising in international affairs. From 1987 he served as Foreign Editor, a position which he held until 1993. He and his foreign desk colleagues won a Walkley Award for their coverage of the coup in Russia that led to the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991. In January 1993 Osmond moved to the position of Diplomatic Editor which required regular commentary of international affairs and Australian foreign policy. He also undertook various overseas assignments during this time. The position was abolished in June 1994 and Osmond returned to freelance work, concentrating on higher education issues and international politics. His main outlets were The Australian and The Australian Financial Review.
In 1996 he was appointed editor of Campus Review, a weekly national newspaper specialising in higher education and vocational training. During this period he was able to enlarge and reshape the public debate on higher education in Australia as well as increase the newspaper's circulation. He left the newspaper shortly before his sudden death in October 2000.
Comprises correspondence, notebooks, research files and articles produced by Osmond, as well as cuttings, reviews, index cards, photocopies, and large amounts of printed material which he used to support his writing and research. Osmond's early involvement in the radical student movement of the late 1960s at Monash University and his political activism as a member of the New Left are reflected in several series. Of special interest are the papers which document Osmond's wide network of professional contacts, his expertise in international affairs, particularly in the Middle East, and fascination with Jewish matters, and the voice he gave through his work to marginal groups such as international students. There are notes and research materials for Ormond's biography of the Victorian politician and diplomat, Sir Frederic Eggleston (1875-1954). Correspondents include Henry Mayer, Humphrey McQueen, Dennis Altman, W. Macmahon Ball, Don Watson, Robert Haupt, Sir Walter Crocker, Sir Keith Hancock and Manning Clark. Also, original correspondence with members of Eggleston's family, particularly with his son Egan, and with Eggleston's associate, Sir John Condliffe (1891-1981).
Contained in 125 boxes, 1 folio box.
Over the course of his career Osmond developed a wide circle of correspondents, including academics, writers, intellectuals, diplomats and journalists from Australia and overseas. Many of his professional acquaintances became close contacts, and those writing from the United States, Micronesia and the Middle East reflect Osmond's time spent visiting or writing about these parts of the world. To his close friends he was a writer of long and lively letters, whilst some of the more detailed correspondence with his associates contains serious discussion of aspects of political or sociological theory. Another group of files contains some interesting letters which Osmond exchanged with members of the Eggleston family - such as Eggleston's son Egan, relative Pauline Falquier, and colleague Sir John Condliffe - in the course researching his theses and biography. Other files document Osmond's Fulbright award, occasional professional disagreements, and aspects of Osmond family history.
Amongst the prominent Australians represented in this series are Henry Mayer, W. Macmahon Ball, Humphrey McQueen, John Iremonger, Dennis Altman, Don Watson, Anne Summers, Robert Haupt, Sir Walter Crocker, Sir Keith Hancock and Manning Clark. Whilst all of the correspondence files retain the same internal composition given to them by Osmond, the individual files have been arranged chronologically into a single sequence by Library staff.
In addition to the letters filed here, further correspondence in the form of letters and facsimile messages can be found dispersed through other series in the collection, particularly Series 4-6 and 9-11 which relate to Osmond's university and journalistic activities.
Correspondents include John Edwards, Byrne Mills, Camille Guy, Hugh Stretton, Geoffrey Serle, Stephen Alomes, Peter Berger, Tom Cochrane, Andrew Campbell, Baiba Berzins.
Correspondents include Jenny Hall, Ken Rivett, Serge Lieberman, Egan Eggleston, Walter Crocker, Sir Keith Hancock, Manning Clark, Pauline Falquier, Robert Haupt, Bob Carr, Geoffrey Bolton, W. Macmahon Ball, Nonie Sharp, R.N. Span.
Correspondents include Anne Summers, Hugo Wolfsohn.
Correspondents include Philip McMichael, Adrian Hann, Peter Samuel, Cassandra Pybus.
Correspondents include Leonie Foster, Pauline Falquier, W. Macmahon Ball, W.D. Forsyth, Arthur Phillips, Sir Walter Crocker, Sir Ronald Walker, Egan Eggleston, together with examiners' reports by Michael Roe, A.F. Davies, Allan Martin.
Osmond kept numerous notebooks throughout his career as a journalist. These notebooks document the stories he worked on and provide information about the people he met and the places he visited. The notebooks contain a wide range of information, including addresses, phone numbers, quotes and ideas for articles, interview notes and travel details. There are also notes about local and international events that attracted media coverage.
The series also contains a small number of notebooks relating to the period that Osmond spent at the University of Pennsylvania as a Fulbright Fellow. There are two personal journals spanning 1973-1974 and one journal that he kept while travelling around Australia during 1969.
A small number of additional notebooks can be found in Series 5 and Series 12.
Osmond matriculated from Huntingtower School, Melbourne, a school for Christian Science children in 1964. This series consists of miscellaneous material from Osmond's high school days including schoolbooks, scrapbooks, assignments and test papers, various certificates, ephemera and Christian Science literature. There is also a file containing poems written by various students and reports of school activities in 1962 for the school magazine.
Osmond attended Monash University between 1965 and 1968. While at Monash he became heavily involved in student politics and in 1968 was co-editor of Lot's Wife, the now defunct student magazine, considered to be the most radical of its day. He was also a member of the Monash Christian Science Organisation. Osmond gained his BA in political science but dropped out of his honours year in 1968 and travelled around Australia undertaking various labouring jobs.
This series consists of correspondence, assignments, essays, course outlines, lecture notes and literature on the Christian Science movement, together with other papers relating to student political activity and press (including some later material).
After travelling around Australia in 1969 Osmond decided to return to university and complete his honours degree. In 1970 he was offered a job in the Department of Government at Sydney University by Henry Mayer, who had been impressed by Osmond's student and left-wing writings. As a tutor (1970-1972) and later, an assistant lecturer (1973-1974), Osmond taught units on Australian and comparative politics, and developed a course in the history of sociological theory. During this time he completed his MA (Hons.) thesis on the early career of Sir Frederic Eggleston, a politician and diplomat who had applied aspects of sociological theory to public administration.
This series consists of correspondence, drafts, essays, lecture notes. It also includes a series of subject files containing research material on general sociology and individuals which Osmond had collected for his teachings.
In 1975 Osmond decided to follow a predominantly literary, rather than academic, career. He supported himself as a freelance writer and book reviewer and continued his research for his doctoral thesis. Many of his book reviews were published in The National Times, Nation Review and Australian book review. He also worked as a publisher's reader, and between 1977 and 1979 was engaged in a part-time capacity for the publisher, Hale and Iremonger. To further supplement his income, he was part-time Tutor-in-Charge of the unit 'Australian Political Biography' at the New South Wales Institute of Technology in 1977.
This series consists of correspondence, drafts, final typescripts, newscuttings and photocopies of book reviews. Osmond had arranged some of the material in files but the majority was in loose bundles resulting in some duplication within files.
For notebooks compiled by Osmond whilst working as a freelance journalist see Series 2.
Osmond spent a brief period working for The National Times from June to September 1981. He had been engaged as a specialist writer in historical and literary features but resigned in September 1981 due to differences of opinion with the paper's management over his work assignments.
This series consists of drafts of stories, notes and research material accumulated by Osmond to write his articles.
After obtaining his doctorate Osmond left Australia to take up a Fulbright (Post-Doctoral) Fellowship within the Department of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania in 1982-1983. During this time Osmond researched Australian-American intellectual relations in the inter-war years and attended advanced seminars on political sociology. This series consists of correspondence relating to the scholarship, application details and other administrative matters.
Further correspondence relating to Osmond's Fulbright award can be found in Series 1.
In December 1983 Osmond joined the Sydney Morning Herald as a leader writer specialising in international affairs, at a time when the paper was recruiting outside experts for editorial positions. He continued in this role until early June 1987 when he was appointed the paper's Foreign Editor.
As Foreign Editor Osmond was responsible for the daily selection and editing of foreign news stories and gained access to many of the key decision-makers and leaders of government, business and academia. He also managed the Herald's eleven overseas staff correspondents and commissioned articles from a stable of part-time 'stringers', a number of whom became regular contributors to the paper. During this period Osmond's respected weekly international affairs columns became influential in strategic and foreign policy-making circles, and he drew wide regard for his intellectual rigour and authoritative commentaries on the Middle East. In 1991 he and his colleagues on the Herald's foreign desk won a prestigious Walkley Award for their coverage of the coup in Russia that led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
In January 1993 Osmond moved to the purely writing role of Diplomatic Editor which required regular travel and commentary on international affairs and Australian foreign policy. He also undertook various overseas assignments, including local coverage of the Middle East peace process and the CARE Australia relief measures in Angola. Eighteen months later, his intellectual approach had lost favour with the paper's management and, as part of a company-wide rationalisation program, the position was abolished and Osmond returned to freelance work in June 1994.
This series includes correspondence and facsimile messages, editorials and by-lines by Osmond, articles and proofs of articles by Herald foreign desk and other correspondents, together with papers documenting Osmond's various overseas assignments. There is also a long sequence of topical files containing articles, research materials, proofs, correspondence and other papers which Osmond used to monitor, document and describe areas of special interest, such as Asia, Islam, the Middle East and the Pacific (particularly the Micronesian states of Palau and Guam).
Notebooks used by Osmond whilst at the Herald are filed in Series 2.
Osmond's 1994 curriculum vitae, which lists his overseas assignments between 1982 and 1994, is filed in Series 16, File 12.
After leaving the Sydney Morning Herald, Osmond returned to freelance work, operating under the name of Oz-Monde Media Services. He concentrated on writing about higher education issues and international politics and his main outlets were The Australian and Australian Financial Review, the latter where he was engaged as a specialist tertiary education writer for several months. Periodical assignments were also completed for The Canberra Times, The Bulletin, Asian Wall Street journal (Hong Kong), Christian Science monitor (Boston), Los Angeles Times, Radio Australia and ABC Radio. During this time Osmond also completed a six-month contract as part-time publications editor for the Research Institute for Asia and the Pacific (RIAP) at the University of Sydney which is documented in Series 15. He also kept up some freelance work after joining Campus Review in February 1996.
This series consist of correspondence, drafts, notes, newscuttings and photocopies of newspaper articles relating to Osmond's freelance work.
Due to the overlapping nature of Osmond's many work activities, some further correspondence relating to Oz-Monde Media Services can be found dispersed through other series in the collection.
The topics covered include Allan Bond, Rupert Murdoch, Kerry Packer, Christopher Skase and the Middle East.
Campus Review is a specialist, weekly newspaper reporting on higher education, vocational education and training issues in Australasia and produced by APN Educational Media. Its regular features include coverage of all aspects of the university system, postgraduate issues, publishing, research, information technology and news from state campuses. Warren Osmond was editor of Campus Review from February 1996 until September 2000, during which time he also contributed numerous articles to the journal. He was also able to enlarge and reshape the public debate on higher education in Australia as well as increase the newspaper's circulation.
This series consists of correspondence mainly in the form of emails and faxes, memos from APN Educational Media to newspaper staff, draft stories and photocopies of various stories by Osmond.
Notebooks kept by Osmond whilst editor of Campus Review are filed in Series 2.
Frederic William Eggleston, lawyer, politician, diplomat and writer was born in Brunswick, Melbourne on 17 October 1875. He served on Caulfield Council in 1912-1920 and was elected mayor in 1914-1915. After returning from the First World War he won the seat of St Kilda which he held until 1927. In the 1930s he was the first chairman of the Commonwealth Grants Commission, and in 1941 became Australia's first minister to China. Eggleston's career was also distinctive by virtue of his presence at both the post-war peace conferences at Versailles in 1919 and San Francisco in 1945. Like Osmond, Eggleston maintained a strong interest in sociological theory, the principles of which he sought to apply to aspects of public administration.
Osmond's MA (Hons.) thesis was a study of Eggleston's life up until the end of 1916. He extended this research for his doctoral thesis (1982) to include a full biography of Eggleston. The resultant book Frederic Eggleston: an intellectual in Australian politics was published in 1985 to critical acclaim.
This series consists mainly of correspondence, drafts, journal articles, newscuttings, research notes, papers and book reviews relating to Osmond's research. In addition there are sound recordings on five tape reels, thought to contain material relating to Osmond's research about Eggleston.
Correspondence relating to Osmond's research of Eggleston can also be found in Series 1. Eggleston's own papers are housed in the Manuscript Collection at MS 423.
MS folder says: 'Tapes thought to contain material relating to Osmond's research on Sir Frederic Eggleston'. Tape box says recorded music: 'Nashville Skyline' by bob Dylan; 'David's Album' and 'Farewell Angeline' by Joan Baez.
Unbranded 7" tape
Magnetic tape reel (any size)
MS folder says: 'Tapes thought to contain material relating to Osmond's research on Sir Frederic Eggleston'. Tape box says: ' Track 1: Dan O'Neill; Track 2: Alan Roberts; Track 4: Brian Laver'.
Hanimex 7" tape
MS folder says: 'Tapes thought to contain material relating to Osmond's research on Sir Frederic Eggleston'. No markings on tape or box
MS folder says: 'Tapes thought to contain material relating to Osmond's research on Sir Frederic Eggleston'. No markings on tape
Soni-tape 7" tape
This series lists published works by Osmond written while a university student and an academic. Other writings produced in his role as a freelance journalist can be found in Series 6 and Series 10.
This work was published in 1972 by Arena Publications and is a review of Equality and authority by Sol Encel. Osmond also prepared a number of working papers on this subject for staff seminars at the University of Sydney.
From early in his academic career Osmond maintained a strong interest in Jewish matters, and researched and collected a variety of papers relating to Jewish affairs. His investigations on Eggleston included a study of the Jewish community in Melbourne in the early twentieth century. In addition, Osmond was an occasional contributor to the Australian Jewish News and a noticeable participant in public forums and meetings organised by Jewish communal organisations and associations. As a journalist he became a specialist on Middle Eastern affairs.
During the 1980s Osmond undertook considerable research into the effect of the Holocaust upon the Jewish people and the work done by Dr Isaac Sternberg to set up a Jewish community in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Unfortunately this book did not come to fruition.
This series consists mainly of Osmond's research material into Jewish displacement in Europe in the 1930s and 1940s and the proposed Jewish settlement in the Kimberleys. It consists of correspondence, journal articles, handwritten notes, newscuttings, pamphlets and photocopies of documents held at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, New York.
The Research Institute for Asia and the Pacific (RIAP) was established in 1987 as an international projects and multi-disciplinary agency of the University of Sydney. The Institute's main consultancies develop international collaborative ventures to build institutional and human resource capacities and promote network linkages between Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. Clients of the Institute include APEC, AusAID, UN agencies, other government agencies and multinational companies.
Osmond was Publications Officer at the Institute in 1995, during which time he co-ordinated the publication of three quarterly newsletters and two monographs. This series consists of general correspondence, memos, notes, journal articles and some issues of the Institute's publications, AustAsian update and AustAsian papers (1995).
This chronologically arranged series contains materials relating to miscellaneous aspects of Osmond's research, together with some personal papers and photographs documenting biographical aspects of Osmond's life and family.
Comprises printed material, 22 microcassettes, six cassettes, business cards, three framed items, articles, a few letters, objects, nine notebooks and the draft of Osmond's 1980 Ph.D. thesis on Frederic Eggleston.
Contained in 2 boxes, 1 carton.
Microcassette / mini cassette
Marked as 1
Marked as 2