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The papers fall into two broad categories: personal and political material relating to Perkins' career, and historical material assembled by Perkins relating to the Eden-Monaro District.
The personal papers (Series 2-4) comprise diaries, correspondence, press cuttings, notes, articles, invitations, menus and booklists.
The historical material (Series 1) emanates from Perkins' life-long interest in the history of the area where he spent most of his life. It consists of typescript items which he extracted from newspapers and other publications, arranged chronologically as 'Monaro District Items' and 'Tumut and Adelong Items'. There is also an 11-volume narrative history 'The District of Monaro', 1823 to 1936, compiled by Perkins using the extracts as source material.
Please refer to the collection's catalogue record for the access conditions (http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn726838).
Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions.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 Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.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 John Arthur, National Library of Australia, MS 936, [series and/or file number]'.
The papers were donated to the Library by Perkins' widow Evelyn in 1954.
The most heavily used parts of this collection (historical extracts and indexes) have been microfilmed. Readers are requested to use the microfilm instead of the original papers, which are very fragile. Microfilm reel numbers are provided in the Summary of Microfilm Reels, (under Related Documentation tab.) The reels may be requested from the Manuscript Reading Room.
Alphabetical indexes to Volumes 1-7 (Monaro District) are available in both hard copy and microfilm. The microfilm (mfm G7685-7687) was acquired in 1970. For many years Volumes 8 and 9 remained unpaginated and unindexed. Sometime before 1994 these volumes were paginated and the Library acquired a hard copy index to Volumes 8 and 9, compiled by W.G. Coppell. This index has not yet been microfilmed.
Microfilm reels mfm G 24, 777-781 were acquired from the Mitchell Library in 1991, to supplement the microfilm already held. Although there are no access restrictions on either set of microfilm reels, they are housed in the Supervised Access run of Manuscripts so that readers may use them in the same room as the unfilmed original manuscripts. The Mitchell Library has given permission for printouts to be made for the purpose of private study. Please note, however, that no reproductions of these films or of prints made from them may be made for publication without the assent of the State Library of New South Wales.
Some original and microfilmed Perkins papers are also held in the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales. The locations are A3621, A3622-A3624, ML MSS 1257 and ML MSS 4112 (microfilms CY Reels 898-899, CY Reels 942-943, CY Reel 975 and CY Reel 977). For further information, see the two-volume Catalogue of manuscripts of Australasia and the Pacific in the Mitchell Library, Sydney (Series A and Series B). A copy of this Catalogue is held in the NLA Manuscript Reading Room.
Indexes and chronological transcripts from the Perkins Papers relating to the Eden-Monaro district may be found in the records of the Tumut and District Family History Society (MS 7231). These comprise duplicate transcripts of Files ['Items'] 16-19, together with a name index to 16-19. See also the reference to this material under the next paragraph, 'Indexes to Historical Extracts'.
A note on item numbers – original manuscripts:
This list was revised in 1999 and expanded to include detailed descriptions of Series 2-4. The system of continuous 'item numbers' used throughout the collection (In Series 1 equivalent to whole files or volumes) has been replaced by file numbers to be more consistent with the 'item numbers' (equivalent to single pages) used in Series 2-4.
For many years the original Volumes 1-4 of the Tumut and Adelong items were unpaginated and unindexed. Microfilm of these volumes (mfm G24,779) was obtained from the Mitchell Library in 1991 and was found to have intermittent page numbers (total of 283 pages). Members of the Tumut and District Family History Society did not paginate the original Volumes 1-4 held by the National Library. Instead, they re-typed the extracts and incorporated page numbers, and from this document they created an index. The Library acquired the re-typed extracts and index in 1986. Neither this re-typed document nor the index have yet been filmed. Please note that the pages in the re-typed transcripts do not correspond exactly with the pages in Perkins' originals, so readers should consult MS 7231 in preference to Files 16-19 of MS 936.
At the time of revision, there were no indexes to Files 14-15 (Cooma and Tumut items) or Files 20-32 ('The District of Monaro')
J.A. Perkins (1878-1954) was a Federal and State parliamentarian. He was Federal Member for Eden-Monaro 1926-29 and 1931-43; Minister for the Interior, 1932-34 and Minister for Trade and Customs, 1938-39.
The historical material relates mainly to the Monaro District – that part of South-Eastern New South Wales lying between Queanbeyan and the Victorian border, including the towns of Cooma, Bombala, Nimitabel and Eden.
The nine volumes of Monaro District items comprise extracts from newspapers, chiefly the Sydney morning herald (which itself quotes Monaro district newspapers), and local newspapers including the Cooma gazette, Goulburn herald, Adelong times, and Monaro mercury. Mr Perkins also consulted the Mitchell Library's series of clippings from the Monaro mercury titled 'The district of Monaro: its rise and progress'. Other sources include Moore's almanac, Australian almanac and Historical records of Australia.
The extracts give details of explanations and development of the Monaro district, market prices, business enterprises, gold prospecting census figures, elections and so on. The bulk of the extracts relate to Cooma, the principal town in the district.
Note on indexes: The indexes to Volumes 1-9 of the historical extracts have been placed after the main sequence of extracts. Readers should consult the indexes first, in order to find page references in the volumes.
The indexes have been compiled under 'Persons', 'Places' and 'General', listed in parallel alphabetical order. Each index refers to unique page numbers in specific volumes: thus in the Index to Volumes 1 & 2 (File 18), the entry Badgery, John - 273 refers to page 273 in Volume 1 of the extracts (File 1).
Library staff have superimposed file numbers and reel numbers on Perkins' own volume and page notation. For citation or retrieval purposes, use file numbers or reel numbers.
These two volumes contain extracts from the same sources as Items 1 –2 above. Item 15 comprises extracts taken almost entirely from the Sydney Morning Herald and largely duplicates Item 14. None of these extracts have been paginated, indexed or microfilmed.
These four volumes contain extracts drawn from the same sources and relating largely to the same area as Items 1 – 2 and 14-15 above. Perkins' original volumes (NLA set) are not paginated or indexed. It is recommended that instead of using Files 16-19, readers consult the paginated transcripts and corresponding index typed by Tumut Family History Society (MS 7231).
These 11 volumes of typescript narrative were compiled by Perkins from the material contained in the various volumes of historical extracts. The narrative is chronological and the volumes are paginated but not indexed.
One bag containing political cuttings pasted on boards (2 items, 1925 and n.d.) and a poster advertising the Patriotic Art Union, World War I.
Perkins was a dedicated diarist. Except for a few gaps in the later years, there are diaries for every year from 1892 to 1950, a total of 44 volumes. The entries are detailed, but increasingly from 1898 many of the entries are in shorthand. Some volumes contain items such as cuttings and programs pasted in them. At the front of several diaries is a typed summary of the highlights of the year.
There is some overlap with Political Correspondence (Series 2A), as many of the letters discuss politics and elections. As well as letters to colleagues, relatives and friends, there are business documents, programs and other items. (Items 4/[A]1-210)
Correspondence, programs, souvenirs, photographs, receipts, roneoed shipboard notices and sheets of wireless news on board the Strathaird. (Items 4/B1-B103)
Correspondence, receipts, photographs, magazines, statistics about Australian towns (Items 4/C1-C77)
Typescript dictionary of shorthand symbols (Item 4/D1)
Word lists to accompany word book, together with catalogues from book dealers (Items 4/E1-E12).