Guide to the Papers of John Arthur

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MS 936

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Collection Summary

Creator
John Arthur Perkins
Title
Papers of John Arthur Perkins
Date Range
1891-1954
Collection Number
MS 936
Extent
2.56 metres (16 boxes)
Language of Materials
English
Repository
Natinal Library of Australia

Introduction

Scope and Contents

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.

Conditions Governing Access

Please refer to the collection's catalogue record for the access conditions (http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn726838).

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Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions.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 Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.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 John Arthur, National Library of Australia, MS 936, [series and/or file number]'.

Provenance

The papers were donated to the Library by Perkins' widow Evelyn in 1954.

Existence and Location of Copies

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'.

Arrangement

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')

Biographical Note

DateEvent
18 May 1878Born at Tumut, New South Wales. Educated in the district, he took up farming and later went into business as a bookseller in Cooma.
1904 and 1908Mayor of Cooma
22 November 1921Elected to the Legislative Assembly, New South Wales, as Member for Goulburn. He held this seat until his resignation on 21 January 1926
6 March 1926Elected to the House of Representatives for Eden-Monaro at by-election; re-elected at General Election in November 1928.
6 January-16 December 1929Government Whip
12 October 1929Defeated at the General Election
19 December 1931Re-elected to seat of Eden-Monaro at General Election
6 January-13 October 1932Acting Minister for Trade and Customs
13 October 1932-17 October 1934Minister for the Interior
7-8 November 1938Minister Without Portfolio assisting the Prime Minister and administering External Territories
8 November 1938-26 April 1939Minister for Trade and Customs
26 April 1939-14 March 1940Minister Without Portfolio administering External Territories
1941-43Chairman of the Joint Committee on Social Security
21 August 1943Defeated at General Election and retired from politics
13 July 1954Died at his home in Manly, New South Wales

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.

DateEvent
18 May 1878Born at Tumut, New South Wales. Educated in the district, he took up farming and later went into business as a bookseller in Cooma.
1904 and 1908Mayor of Cooma
22 November 1921Elected to the Legislative Assembly, New South Wales, as Member for Goulburn. He held this seat until his resignation on 21 January 1926
6 March 1926Elected to the House of Representatives for Eden-Monaro at by-election; re-elected at General Election in November 1928.
6 January-16 December 1929Government Whip
12 October 1929Defeated at the General Election
19 December 1931Re-elected to seat of Eden-Monaro at General Election
6 January-13 October 1932Acting Minister for Trade and Customs
13 October 1932-17 October 1934Minister for the Interior
7-8 November 1938Minister Without Portfolio assisting the Prime Minister and administering External Territories
8 November 1938-26 April 1939Minister for Trade and Customs
26 April 1939-14 March 1940Minister Without Portfolio administering External Territories
1941-43Chairman of the Joint Committee on Social Security
21 August 1943Defeated at General Election and retired from politics
13 July 1954Died at his home in Manly, New South Wales

Item Descriptions

Series 1. Historical extracts

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.

Subseries A. Monaro District items and indexes

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.

Volume 1 (1823-1845), page numbers 9-277 (File 1) - Box 1
Volume 2 (1846-1858), page numbers 281-555E (File 2) - Box 1
Volume 3 (1859-1865), page numbers 557-862C (File 3) - Box 1
Volume 4 (1866-1871), page numbers 863-1132 (File 4) - Box 1
Volume 5 (1872-1880), page numbers 1161-1571 (File 5) - Box 1
Volume 6 (1881-1900), page numbers 1579-2182 (File 6) - Box 2
Volume 7 (1901-1918), page numbers 2201-2717 (File 7) - Box 2
Volume 8 (1919-1930), page numbers 2725-3053 (File 8) - Box 2
Volume 9 (1931-1948), page numbers 3070-3462 (File 9) - Box 2
Indexes to Monaro District Items. Volumes 1 2 (1823-1858) (File 10) - Box 2
Indexes to Monaro District Items. Volumes 3 - 5 (1859-1880) (File 11) - Box 2
Indexes to Monaro District Items. Volume 6 (1881-1900) (File 12) - Box 3
Indexes to Monaro District Items. Volume 7 (1901-1918) (File 13) - Box 3
Indexes to Monaro District Items. Volumes 8 9 (1919-1948) (File 13a) - Box 3

Subseries B. Cooma and Tumut items

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.

1835-1899; Cooma items 1835-1942 (File 14) - Box 3
Transcripts of Cooma and Tumut items, typed by Pam Archer, added in 26/11/84 (File 14a-c) - Box 3
1871-1882 (File 15) - Box 3

Subseries C. Tumut and Adelong items

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).

Volume 1 (1824-1870) (File 16a-b) - Box 4
Volume 2 (1871-1888) (File 17) - Box 4
Volume 3 (1889-1910) (File 18) - Box 4
Volume 4 (1911-1939) (File 19) - Box 4

Subseries D. The District of Monaro

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.

Volume 1 (1823-1860), page numbers 1-329 (File 20) - Box 4
Volume 2 (1859-1865), page numbers 330-682 (File 21a-b) - Box 5
Volume 3 (1866-1875), page numbers 683-1034 (File 22a-b) - Box 5
Volume 4 (1876-1882), page numbers 1035-1820 (File 23a-c) - Box 5
Volume 5 (18831889), page numbers 1821-2075 (File 24) - Box 5
Volume 6 (1890-1897), page numbers 2076-2159 (File 25) - Box 6
Volume 7 (1898-1906), page numbers 2160-2514 (File 26) - Box 6
Volume 8 (1907-1918), page numbers 2515-2860 (File 27) - Box 6
Volume 9 (1919-1926), page numbers 2861-2921 (File 28) - Box 6
Volume 10 (1927-1932), page numbers 2922-3139 (File 29) - Box 6
Volume 11 (1934-1936), page numbers 3249-3458 (File 30) - Box 7
Other historical material; condensed history of Monaro (File 31) - Box 7
Cooma narrative, pages 300-524 (File 32) - Box 7

Series 2. Political material

Subseries A. Political correspondence, 1922-43

Fourteen files of correspondence from political colleagues and some copies of Perkins' replies. Topics include the United Australia Party and the National Association of New South Wales. Of particular interest is a letter from S.M. Bruce dated 25 September 1929, outlining his ideas on the arbitration question (item 2/64a). There is also a copy of a letter to W.M. Hughes dated 22 August 1929, signed by Perkins as Government Whip, notifying him of his expulsion from the UAP (item 2/65). Both of these are in file 35. File 43 contains a summary of correspondents of constituents in the Eden-Monaro electorate. (Items 2/[A]1-2/[A]1103) (File 33-46) - Box 7

Subseries B. Election material, 1903-43

Three files of material including voting leaflets and publicity, polling results, campaign itineraries, lists of party branch secretaries and committee members, and requisitions signed by constituents. (Items 2/B1-2/B112) (File 47-49) - Box 8

Subseries C. Newspaper cuttings, 1927-43

Eighteen files of mounted and filed cuttings, with some loose ones at the end. The predominant date of the cuttings is 1938, but they are arranged largely in topical groups rather than chronological order. As well as cuttings there are electoral leaflets and Hansard extracts. Topics include elections, immigration, Aborigines, hotel closing hours. (Not itemised) (File 50-63) - Box 8-11

Subseries D. Printed material

Three files of material including election literature, programs, souvenirs, official reports, issues of magazines, statistical summaries, roneoed notices, maps and leaflets on the Rosicrucians. (Items 2/D1-2/D90) (File 64-66) - Box 11

Subseries E. Poems and essays

Typescript 'History of England', 55BC to Edward VIII, in blank verse; poem'Stowell' composed by Perkins in Hobart, 1939; essays entitled 'The south-east gate', 'The fable of the south coast farmer', 'Forward the new dawn'. (Items 2/E1-2/E6) (File 67) - Box 11

Subseries F. Miscellaneous political material, 1922-43

Seven files containing receipts, proofs of Hansard speeches, hand- written and typescript broadcasts, typescript extracts from newspapers, various reports and memoranda, articles, minutes and agenda. (Items 2/F1-2/F318) (File 68-73) - Box 11, 12

Subseries [unnumbered]. Folio run

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.

Series 3. Diaries, 1892-1950

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.

Diaries for each year 1892-1911 (Items 3/1-3/20) (File 74-93) - Box 12-15

Diaries for each year 1923-43 (Items 3/21-3/41) (File 94-96) - Box 15

1945 (Item 3/42) (File 97) - Box 15

1949-50 (Items 3/43-44) (File 98-99) - Box 15

Series 4. Personal material

Subseries A. Private correspondence (Files 100-103) - Box 15

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)

Subseries B. World Tour, 1935 (Files 104-105) - Box 16

Correspondence, programs, souvenirs, photographs, receipts, roneoed shipboard notices and sheets of wireless news on board the Strathaird. (Items 4/B1-B103)

Subseries C. Miscellaneous personal (Files 106-107) - Box 16

Correspondence, receipts, photographs, magazines, statistics about Australian towns (Items 4/C1-C77)

Subseries D. Word Book (File 108) - Box 16

Typescript dictionary of shorthand symbols (Item 4/D1)

Subseries E. Word lists (File 109) - Box 16

Word lists to accompany word book, together with catalogues from book dealers (Items 4/E1-E12).


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