Guide to the Papers of Wendy Lowenstein


MS 9968

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: ©2006.

Collection Summary

Lowenstein, Wendy, 1927-2006
Papers of Wendy Lowenstein
Date Range
1918-2003 (bulk 1953-2000)
Collection Number
MS 9968
4.4 metres (31 boxes, 3 elephant folios and 2 folios)
Language of Materials
National Library of Australia


Scope and Content

Papers documenting Wendy Lowenstein's activities in the fields of folklore, oral history and the peace movement. They consist of correspondence, interview transcripts, papers relating to her writing, publishing and other professional activities, song lyrics and music, photographs, fliers and posters. Correspondents well-represented in the papers include Russel Ward, Ron Edwards, Shirley Andrews, Warren Fahey, Bill Scott, Alan Scott, Drew Cottle, Danny Watson, Peter Hamilton (Wattle Recordings), John Meredith, Keith McKenry, Don Henderson, Dorothy Howard, Graham Seal and Harry Robertson.


The collection is available for reference.

Copying and Publishing

Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions.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 Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.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 Wendy Lowenstein, National Library of Australia, MS 9968, [series and/or file number]'.


Three consignments of papers were purchased by the Library from Lowenstein in 2000. A further small consignment was donated to the Library by Lowenstein's children via Monash University. The Library received the consignment from the University's Institute for Regional Studies in 2006.

In the Oral History Collection of the National Library are the original tape recordings of oral history and folklore interviews that Lowenstein conducted in preparing her books of children's rhymes and on the Depression, as well as several interviews of Lowenstein as a subject.

Correspondence of Wendy Lowenstein can be found in the Manuscripts Collection at the National Library in the papers of Shirley Andrews (MS 6000), Pauline Armstrong (MS 9878), Bill Wannan (MS 9924), Harry Hastings Pearce (MS 2765), Alan Marshall (MS 3992/2741) and Dal Stivens (MS 4713).

The Library also holds all Lowenstein's published works except Gondwana to gold.

Further papers of Wendy Lowenstein are held at Monash University's Institute for Regional Studies, see IRS Archive link.


The original order of parts of the collection has been maintained, including: Series 1, correspondence, Series 11, Shirley Andrews papers and Series 12, posters, all of which were received from Monash University; Series 2, a run of manila files with hand-written titles in alphabetical order and containing correspondence, folklore and oral history material and papers relating to Lowenstein's publications; and Files 1-41 in Series 3 consisting of an alphabetic run of files arranged by interviewee name and containing transcripts of interviews and correspondence with interviewees and associated with Lowenstein's Weevils in the flour.

The remainder of the material has been arranged by the Library into series whilst maintaining the internal order of papers within the files and files in which Lowenstein or Monash University stored them. The few papers which were not inside files when received have been rehoused and placed into relevant series by the Library.

Biographical Note

Katharin Wendy (Robertson) Lowenstein was born on June 25, 1927. At sixteen Lowenstein joined her brother and sister in Melbourne's New Theatre and the Eureka Youth League where she discovered radical writings, theatre, art and politics. After leaving Box Hill Grammar, she worked briefly as an editor for the Eureka Youth League magazine Youth Voice then as a journalist with the Radio Times before marrying Werner Lowenstein in 1947. Influenced by the largely left wing revival of folk culture in England and the United States Lowenstein co-founded the Victorian Folk Lore Society in 1952 with Professor Ian Turner. For fifteen years she edited their magazine Gumsucker's Gazette, later renamed Australian Tradition. The folk movement provided an avenue to continue her involvement in left wing activism as she had discontinued her membership of the Communist Party by 1960. While working as a school librarian Lowenstein completed an arts degree at the University of Melbourne, with graduate studies in teaching and librarianship.

In 1969, Lowenstein and her family spent a year travelling throughout Australia during which time she recorded folklore and tales of working life, turning this material by 1978 into Weevils in the Flour, the groundbreaking oral history about the Depression. Her first published book was the compilation of children's playground rhymes in Shocking, Shocking: the improper play rhymes of Australian Children in 1975, followed by The Immigrants, with co-author Morag Loh, a best selling book of interviews with non-English background migrants. In 1980, Lowenstein was a co-author to the revised edition of Cinderella dressed in Yella, first published by Ian Turner and June Factor. It was at this time that Lowenstein decided to become a full-time writer and oral historian and spent the next six years travelling widely interviewing ordinary Australians.

A book, 'Dead men don't dig coal', based on South Gippsland coal miners, was commenced after interviews from Weevils in the flour were used by her filmmaker son, Richard, in 1980-81 in the making of Strikebound, a film about the 1937 miners' strike at Korumburra. The book was never completed despite being listed in the film credits. Difficulties with finding publishers saw her set up Bookworkers Press in 1982 resulting in the publication of Under the Hook : Melbourne waterside workers remember: 1900 - 1980.

Lowenstein recorded interviews with iron ore workers in the Pilbara mining region of Western Australia c. 1986-1987 but a period of bitter industrial troubles cancelled that projected book. She later used some of this material in her 1996 publication about unemployment, Weevils at Work : what's happening to work in Australia - an oral record. From 1996 to 1998 Lowenstein produced a collection of children's' rhymes, Never let your dingle dangle: songs my mother never sang me and collaborated with Kathleen Dunlop Kane and Marjorie de Saint-Ferjeux on an RMIT internet database, Gondwana to Gold : a chronological history of Australia. The Patrick's Stevedoring Dispute in 1998 saw a self-published, revised edition of Under the Hook. Her last book, written in 1999 was Self-Publishing without pain. Over a period of 40 years Lowenstein wrote articles for journals, magazines and newspapers, conducted workshops, was writer-in-residence for at least two tertiary institutions and was guest speaker at numerous literary events.

Lowenstein continued to be a committed member of the social activist organizations, People for Nuclear Disarmament and Arts Action for Peace, and supported other causes associated with labour, peace, the ecology and civil liberties up until 2003, when illness prevented further involvement.

Wendy Lowenstein died in Melbourne on 16 October 2006, survived by husband, Werner, and their three children, Peter, Martie and Richard.

Rapley, Monica (2006). 'Wendy Lowenstein papers : biographical notes'.

Item Descriptions

Series 1. Correspondence, 1972-2003

This series consists of files of Lowenstein's personal correspondence and was received from Monash University in 2006. See also Files 8-16 in Series 2 for correspondence files that were received directly from Lowenstein. Correspondence also appears throughout the collection.

Correspondence, 1972-1973 (File 1)

Correspondents include Russel Ward, Robert Michell and Ron Edwards.

Correspondence, 1973-1977, 1983 (File 2)

Correspondents include Alan Marshall, Warren Fahey, Peter Cochrane, Meg Foster, A.L. (Bert) Lloyd and Connie Healey. Also includes a letter from Helen Palmer and one from Peggy Seeger and Ewan McColl.

Correspondence, 1976-1978 (File 3)

Correspondents include Dorothy Hewitt, Eddie Harmer, Don Henderson, Manning Clark, Warren Fahey, Bill Scott, Dorothy Howard and Mick Healey.

Correspondence, 1979-1998 (File 4)

Correspondents include Russel Ward, Geoffrey Dutton, Len Fox and Ron Edwards.

Correspondence, 1984-1985 (File 5)

Correspondents include Geoffrey Dutton, Hugh Anderson and George Dreyfus. Also includes a letter from Don Henderson describing John Manifold's funeral.

Correspondence, 1975-1976 (File 6)

Correspondence relating to Lowenstein's position as a research assistant to Peter Moss at the University of Adelaide.

Correspondence, 1986-2000 (File 7)

Includes letters from Clem Christesen, Stuart Macintyre, Drew Cottle and Vic Bird, and a letter from Shirley Andrews addressed to the Age and attaching a short travel article.

Correspondence, 2001 (File 8)

Includes a postcard from Richard Lowenstein from Canada describing a film screening (film not named but possibly He died with a falafel in his hand).

Correspondence, 1994-2003 (File 9)

Correspondents include Bruce Watson, Keith McKenry and Jacqueline Verlin.

Correspondence, 1994-1998 (File 10)

Largely relating to Lowenstein's speaking engagements and Self-publishing without pain.

Correspondence, 1998 (File 11)

Covering letters and poems sent to the Maritime Union of Australia by members of the public about the Patrick's Stevedoring Dispute in Melbourne.

Series 2. Research files, 1954-2000

This series consists of a run of files with hand-written titles arranged alphabetically which were received in a single consignment from Lowenstein. The files contain correspondence, cuttings, contracts, pictorial material, minutes and reports, song lyrics and music relating to Lowenstein's varied interests. Files 30 and 45-46 contain material relating to the Robe River miners dispute (see also Series 5, Files 5-6). In some cases it has been necessary to split file contents into more than one archival file, in which case the files have been numbered accordingly eg Part 1 of 2.

ABC and Australia Council, 1970-1980 (File 1)

Includes: correspondence relating to a series of radio programs about work; project and funding proposals and submissions; and a shooting outline for a film of Weevils in the flour.

Angus and Robertson, 1981-1988 (File 2)

Includes negotiations and contracts for Under the hook and 'What happened when' (later to become Gondwana to gold).

Art - folk, c. 1963-1978 (File 3)

Australian Tradition - editorial papers, c. 1963-1975 (File 4)

Correspondents include Shirley Andrews, Keith McKenry (sending poems), Ron Edwards, Sue Bunting, Danny Watson (regarding the Numeralla Festival) and Colin McJannett.

Australian Tradition, c. 1969-1979 (File 5)

Book selling, c. 1967-1984, 1996-1998 (File 6)

Children's rhymes, 1968-1973 (File 7)

Includes hand-written notes of rhymes, some by children, and a draft of the introduction to Cinderella dressed in yella.

Correspondence ('1960s'), 1963-1970 (File 8)

Correspondents include John Meredith, Shirley Andrews, Harry Robertson, John Dengate, Ron Edwards and Alan Scott. Also includes a Folklore Society of Victoria (FLSV) member list for 1967-1968, a transcript of an ABC broadcast on Victorian folklore by Mary-Jean Officer in 1963 and correspondence relating to an amalgamation of FLSV and the Victorian Folk Music Club in 1967.

Correspondence ('1970s'), c. 1968-1983, 1992-1993 (File 9-10)

Correspondents include the NSW Folk Federation (Danny Watson?), Jeff Corfield, Russel Ward, Dorothy Howard, Australia Council Literature Board, Judith (Judy) Mackinolty, Alan Marshall, Ron Edwards, Warren Fahey, Brad Tate, Pete Seeger, J.B. Lang, John Meredith, Alan Scott, Harry Robertson, Shirley Andrews, Mary Durack-Miller, Colin Roderick, Geoffrey Dutton and Drew Cottle.

Correspondence ('1970s'), 1973-1979 (File 11-13)

Letters containing Depression anecdotes and correspondence relating to the launch of Weevils in the Flour.

Correspondence ('1980s'), c. 1973-1989 (File 14-15)

Correspondents include Brad Tate, Frank Huelin, Warren Fahey, Wilbur G. Howcroft, Graham Seal, Alan Scott, Ron Edwards, Don and Sally Henderson, Gwenda Davey, Judith Wright McKinney, Edgar Waters, Chris Sullivan, Dal Stivens, Donald Crick, Drew Cottle, Pete Seeger, Barry McDonald and Bill Tully.

Correspondence ('1990s'), 1990-1996 (File 16)

Correspondents include Ron Edwards.

Cuttings, c. 1969-1976, 1992-2000 (File 17)

Includes a photocopy of an article by Drew Cottle, 'The rich in the Depression'.

Depression articles, 1974-1982 (File 18)

'Education', c. 1966-1968, 1981 (File 19)

Papers relating to Lowenstein's library studies and employment by the Victorian Department of Education.

'Folk', c. 1954-1988 (File 20)

Includes correspondence, publications, poems, songs and discography lists. Correspondents include Alan Scott, Bill Scott, Ron Edwards, Barry McDonald and Keith McKenry. Also includes a letter from Ronnie Gilbert of the Weavers about an Australian tour.

Folk-collecting and government assisted conferences, 1973-1974 (File 21)

Folk Lore Society of Victoria - correspondence, 1957-1962 (File 22)

Contents of a ring file in alphabetical order by name. Correspondents include John Meredith, Alan and Gay Scott, Peter Hamilton of Wattle Recordings, Simon McDonald, Edgar Waters and Bill Wannan.

Folk music, 1956, c. 1965-1984 (File 23)

Includes song lyrics (some bawdy) and correspondence. Correspondents include Warren Fahey, Danny Watson, John Manifold, Graham Seal, Ron Edwards and Alan Scott.

Folk - photographs and cuttings, c. 1964-1970 (File 24)

Freelance - writing, public speaking, projects, c. 1979-1982 (File 25)

Humour, c. 1974-1982 (File 26)

Mainly photographs and writings of Andy (Leonard Andrew) Anderson.

The immigrants, c. 1976-1979 (File 27)

Informants - Weevils at work, c. 1996 (File 28)

Includes a draft excerpt from The immigrants.

Informants - Weevils in the flour, c. 1974-1979 (File 29)

Karratha, c. 1987 (File 30)

Includes interview transcripts (touching on the Robe River dispute) and tape summary.

Labour history, c. 1973-1992, 2000 (File 31)

Includes a copy of an obituary for Muriel Heagney.

National Library - correspondence, 1983-1985, 1991-1992 (File 32)

Oral history, c. 1973-1992 (File 33-34)

Oral history - pieces, c. 1963, 1974-1987 (File 35)

Includes a copy of Ned Kelly : previously unpublished letters and documents (1984?).

'Outrage', c. 1975-1978 (File 36)

Peace, c. 1983-1998 (File 37-38)

Includes publications, publicity material and correspondence, some unrelated to the peace movement.

Peace - art, c. 1985-1990 (File 39)

Includes artwork by Lofo (Rolf Hermann) for Palm Sunday '90.

Photographs, c. 1964-1975 (File 40)

Photographs mainly of folk musicians, including Danny Spooner, Gordon McIntyre, Shirley Andrews, Pete and Toshi Seeger, Martyn Wyndham-Read, Ron Edwards, Clem Parkinson, Gary Shearston and Alan Marshall.

Pilbara, 1984-1987 (File 41)

Correspondence, fliers and printed material relating to Lowenstein's Pilbara oral history project.

Poll tax (protest against Kennett government proposal), 1992-1993 (File 42)

Publishers, c. 1973-1983, 1990 (File 43)

Contains articles, mainly by Lowenstein.

Richmond ('Growing up in Richmond' project by Morag Loh), 1979 (File 44)

Robe River, Pilbara, 1986-1988 (File 45)

Includes copies of 'The Robe River story' by Wendy Wise and the contents of a ring file, including songs, poems and copies of articles and correspondence relating to the 1986 Peko-Wallsend dispute.

Robe River transcripts, 1987-1988 (File 46)

Includes a description of the Pilbara workers oral history recording project, transcripts of interviews and copies of company correspondence and 'The Robe River story' by Wendy Wise.

Round Australia tour (1969), 1968-1970 (File 47)

Includes an article written by Lowenstein for Women's Weekly about the tour, letters to Shirley Andrews documenting the trip and letters to suppliers requesting assistance.

Sales, c. 1995-1998 (File 48)

Self-publishing without pain, 1990 (File 49)

Songs, c. 1964-1978 (File 50)

Includes lyrics and music to songs, largely hand-written, by Ralph de Boissiere, Harry Robertson, Clem Parkinson and Lyell Sayer.

Strikebound and Eviction (films), 1979 (File 51)

Includes a cutting about Eviction and a prospectus for Strikebound.

Talks, 1968, 1981, 1990 (File 52)

Correspondence relating to writers', oral history and folklore events.

Under the hook artwork, 1979-1985 (File 53)

Includes correspondence as well as artwork and fliers relating to the book.

Unemployed, c. 1979-1982, 1996-2000 (File 54)

University essays, c. 1960-1969 (File 55)

Weevils in the flour - play, 1987 (File 56)

Includes financial papers, script and correspondence documenting Lowenstein's role in the production. See also Series 3, Files 55-56, for further Albert Hunt correspondence.

Weevils in the flour - film, c. 1971-1987 (File 57-58)

Includes a draft proposal, screenplay and correspondence relating to the film, as well as a letter from Lowenstein regarding the distribution of box office takings from the Weevils play and a testimonial by Lowenstein for John Meredith.

Women, c. 1970-1972 (File 59)

Work and children (File 60)

Work - project for ABC (not accepted), 1973, 1983, 1992-1995 (File 61)

Includes a proposal and transcripts.

Writings (mostly by Lowenstein), c. 1967-1970, 1980-1992 (File 62)

Includes articles, cuttings and correspondence with editors and publishers.

Series 3. Weevils in the flour, c. 1973-1987

Lowenstein's book about experiences of Australian workers in the 1930s depression was largely based on interviews conducted by Lowenstein between 1973 and 1978. Files 1-41 consist of a run of files of interview transcripts and correspondence arranged by interviewee name (by first name where surname is not given). Not all interviews were included in the book. Where notes relating to more than one person have been filed together the extra names have been added in the relevant file description. In 1987 a Weevils in the flour play based on the book was staged at La Mama Theatre in Melbourne. The script was largely developed by English writer-director, Albert Hunt, with some input by Lowenstein. Files 55-56 contain correspondence and legal documents relating to the play and the Lowenstein-Hunt relationship (see also Series 2, File 56).

Interviewees' files - A (File 1)

Includes Kathleen Kane.

Interviewees' files - B (File 2-4)

Interviewees' files - C (File 5-9)

Includes Rosie Lincoln, Rosemary Walker and Anne Jeffrey.

Interviewees' files - D (File 10-11)

Interviewees' files - E (File 12-13)

Includes Jim (Bob?) Heggen and Tom Spears.

Interviewees' files - F (File 14-15)

Includes Betty, Marjorie, Geoffrey, Kim Keane, Joe Chambers and Jack Debert.

Interviewees' files - G (File 16-17)

Interviewees' files - H (File 18-21)

Includes Rod Bretherton.

Interviewees' files - I (File 22)

Interviewees' files - J-K (File 23)

Includes Mary Thompson and Shirley Andrews.

Interviewees' files - K-L (File 24)

Interviewees' files - L-M (File 25)

Includes Frank Huelin and Jim Sinclair.

Interviewees' files - M (File 26-28)

Includes Donald Grant.

Interviewees' files - N-O (File 29)

Interviewees' files - P (File 30-32)

Includes Jim Munro.

Interviewees' files - R (File 33-34)

Includes Betty Down.

Interviewees' files - S (File 35-37)

Includes Mrs Edith Taylor, Noel Counihan, Bill Miller, Shirley and Graham Robertson, (Mr?) Hamilton and Nora Farrall (Nora Karaminides).

Interviewees' files - T (File 38)

Interviewees' files - T-W (File 39)

Interviewees' files - W (File 40)

Includes Geordie Burns.

Interviewees' files - W-Y (File 41)

Miscellaneous transcripts and notes (File 42)

Miscellaneous transcripts (File 43)

Tapes index and summaries - tapes 1-49 (File 44-45)

Tape transcripts and summaries, miscellaneous (File 46)

Timeline (File 47)

Research files, songs and book excerpt on Lyons. (File 48)

Drafts and notes, part 1 (1900-1928) (File 49)

Includes Tom Doran transcript.

Draft manuscript ('omitted') (File 50)

Manuscript ('version 2') (Item 51)

Miscellaneous notes (File 52)

Film script, first draft, by Lowenstein and Alex Glasgow, 1985 (File 53)

Film script drafts and scenes list, 1984-1986 (File 54)

Weevils in the flour play, c. 1985-1987 (File 55)

Mainly correspondence with Albert Hunt.

Weevils in the flour play - ring file contents, 1986-1987 (File 56)

Includes correspondence with Albert Hunt.

Series 4. Under the hook, c. 1953-1984

Under the hook was co-authored with Tom Hills, a Melbourne waterside worker. The book is based on oral history interviews of rank and file wharfies. Under the hook was Lowenstein's first self-publishing endeavour, and the second updated edition in 1998 was also published by Bookworkers Press. See Series 5, File 17 for correspondence relating to the financing of the 1998 update.

Early draft, 1981-1982 (File 1)

First draft (Item 2)

Draft (book 2?), c. 1981 (File 3)

Publisher's proof (folio) (File 4)

Miscellaneous papers (early/first draft stage), c. 1981 (File 5)

Includes notes and lists of photographs.

Miscellaneous papers, c. 1953-1984 (File 6-7)

Publications, artwork, drafts, original ballot papers from the 1954 and 1955 Waterside Workers Federation (WWF) Melbourne Branch elections, pamphlets and cuttings from the 1956 wharf strike and letters from Russel Ward and readers. Includes A century of a union by WWF Sydney Branch (1972).

Series 5. Projects and professional activities, 1922-2000 (bulk 1973-2000)

This series documents some of the writing-related activities in which Lowenstein was involved. File 1 contains transcripts of interviews conducted between 1973-1983 in the South Gippsland coalfields. Whilst some of the interviewees appeared in Weevils in the flour, the material was intended for another book, 'Dead men don't dig coal' which was never published. The project was commenced after Lowenstein's filmmaker son, Richard, used the original Weevils interviews in the making of his film, Strikebound, which was released in 1983. Files 5-6 contain material relating to the Robe River industrial dispute by iron ore workers in the Pilbara 1986-1987 (see also Series 2, Files 30 and 45-46). Items 8-9 consist of a printout of Parts I-VIII of Gondwana to Gold : a chronological history of Australia, an RMIT internet database produced in collaboration with Kathleen Dunlop Kane and Marjorie de Saint-Ferjeux in 1996. Files 9-17 were received from Monash University in 2006.

Wonthaggi interviews (Korumburra), c. 1973-1983 (File 1)

Lever arch file contents consisting of interview transcripts arranged alphabetically by name.

Strikebound, 1922, 1936, c. 1965-1983 (File 2-4)

Box file contents including research material, publications, a chronology, transcripts, film scene list and cuttings.

Robe River, Pilbara, 1986-1987 (File 5)

Includes a newsletter produced during the dispute, 'Resist to exist', a chronology and photocopies of other research material.

Pilbara research material, 1986-1987 (File 6)

Gondwana to gold, Parts I-VIII, 1996 (Item 7-8)

Correspondence about projected publication, 'What happened when'? (Gondwana to gold), 1983-1985 (File 9)

Correspondence about Gondwana to gold, 1996-1998 (File 10)

Correspondence, 1979-2000 (File 11)

Mainly with the Australian Society of Authors and Copyright Agency Ltd.

Self-publishing without pain, 1990-1999 (File 12)

Includes correspondence, seminar application forms and excerpts from the book.

Contracts and correspondence with publishers, 1974-1999 (File 13)

Letterhead - Tradition Books and Bookworkers Press (File 14)

Literary grants - correspondence and applications, 1974-1995 (File 15)

Writer-in-residence, Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education, 1982-1984 (File 16)

Under the hook, revised edition - correspondence with SEARCH Foundation about finance, 1998-1999 (File 17)

Series 6. Folk Lore Society of Victoria, 1955-1972

In 1955, Lowenstein co-founded the Folk Lore Society of Victoria with Ian Turner. This series contains correspondence, the Society's constitution, minutes, annual reports and financial statements, notices of meetings, membership forms and Singabout programs. Correspondents are only listed in file descriptions where a substantial amount of correspondence to/from that person is present.

Correspondence inward, 1957-1965 (File 1)

Correspondents include Edgar Waters, Peter Hamilton of Wattle Recordings, Shirley Andrews, John Manifold and Bill Wannan.

correspondence outward, 1961-1965 (File 2)

Includes correspondence from Camilla Raab and to Peter Hamilton of Wattle Recordings, as well as a discussion note about Mary-Jean Officer's reasons for resigning from FLSV.

miscellaneous correspondence and cuttings, 1961-1965 (File 3)

Includes a handwritten paper by Harry Pearce on 'The functions of FLSV'.

FLSV constitution (File 4)

Notices of meetings and concerts, c. 1955-1964 (File 5)

Annual reports, committee minutes, financial statements and cuttings, c. 1956-1965 (File 6)

Minute books, c. 1959-1972 (Item 7)

Includes minutes of AGMs and committee meetings, financial reports for 1959-1968, miscellaneous correspondence, 1969, and a report on Australian Tradition, 1972.

Membership applications, c. 1955-1957 (File 8)

Membership applications, c. 1955-1965 (File 9)

Includes a hand-written report to the AGM by Lowenstein, 1964.

Singabout programs, 1961-1969 (File 10)

Series 7. Folklore, 1936-2002 (bulk 1953-1984)

Lowenstein contributed to and edited the Folk Lore Society of Victoria's magazine Gumsucker's Gazette, later Australian Tradition, for fifteen years. This series includes correspondence, festival programs, song lyrics, sheet music, poems, posters and fliers, and research material and lists relating to a discography of Australian folk songs project. Some of the material was clearly created, collected and/or used by Lowenstein in her role as magazine editor whilst the remainder may have been used for this purpose, although this is not evident from the papers themselves.

Port Phillip District Folk Music Festival - minutes and cuttings, 1967-1969 (File 1)

Folk event and Australian Tradition fliers, 1970s-1984 (File 2)

Folk event and Australian Tradition fliers and posters (File 3)

Australian Tradition - correspondence, 1972-1978 (File 4)

Includes correspondence between Lowenstein and Shirley Andrews.

Australian Tradition - correspondence, 1975-1977 (File 5)

Australian Tradition - material for publication, 1971-1974 (File 6)

Includes a copy of 'Folklore and the Communist Party', author unknown.

Australian Tradition - songs and notes for publication, 1965-1976 (File 7)

Australian Tradition - folk songs for publication (File 8)

Folk songs, miscellaneous (File 9-10)

Includes 'Along Sunraysia Way' by F. and M. Callahan.

Photographs, mainly of folk musicians for publication in Australian Tradition (Item 11)

Includes photographs of Glen Tomasetti, Graeme Squance, Phyl Lobl, Bernard Bolan, Gary Shearston, Don Henderson, Pete Seeger, Martyn Wyndham-Read, Brian Mooney, Ron Edwards, Margaret Roadknight, Declan Affley and Gordon McIntyre.

Photographs and negatives, mainly of folk musicians (File 12)

Includes photographs or negatives of Danny Spooner, Con Klippel, Harry Robertson, John Meredith, Phyl Lobl and Pete Seeger.

Publications, programs and record notes., c. 1957-1982 (File 13)

Includes Wattle Recordings songsheets.

Press cuttings - folklore, folk musicians and miscellaneous, 1936, c. 1958-1968 (Item 14)

Folklore papers, miscellaneous, c. 1965-1984 (File 15-19)

Includes printed music and song lyrics, cuttings, correspondence, folk festival material, newsletters, and a copy of an article by Ron Edwards, 'Beginning with bandicoots'.

Folk events programs, cuttings and fliers, c. 1953-1980 (File 20)

Includes programs for the 1953 First Australian Folk Festival and for the Australian tours of Peggy Seeger and Ewan McColl, Pete Seeger and Paul Robeson (1960).

Correspondence, 1965-2002 (File 21)

Correspondents include Pete Seeger, Ron Edwards and US folklorists and folklore organisations.

Songs and poems, c. 1982-1997 (File 22)

Includes a four-part arrangement of Weevils in the flour by Ricardo Andino and poems by Keith McKenry.

Folk music and dance history in Australia - articles (File 23)

Includes articles by John Manifold, Ron Edwards, John Meredith and Margaret Walker.

Ron Edwards publications, 1953-1955, 1973 (File 24)

Bandicoot ballads and Checklist of Australian folk song tunes, some copies signed and hand-painted.

Song lyrics, c. 1963 (File 25)

'Australian history through song' proposed project, c. 1976-1979 (File 26)

Includes research notes, correspondence and a contract with Peter Mann Recordings.

Press cuttings - folk music and performers, 1964-1965 (File 27)

Journals, 1954-1955, 1974 (File 28)

Speewa, vols 1-4, 1954-1955 and Folk Song and Dance Society of Victoria Newslwetter, vol 2-2, 1974.

Article by Lowenstein about Ron Edwards and Rams Skull Press, c. 1992 (File 29)

Discography ('The first thirty years : a discography of the Australian folk song revival'), 1957, c. 1979-1991 (File 30)

Material compiled by Lowenstein with the intention of publishing a discography: publications, lists of Australian music recordings by artist name, notes and correspondence, mainly between Lowenstein and Elma Gardner, with whom Lowenstein worked on the project. Includes a booklet produced to accompany a cassette, Portrait of an Australian by Bob Molloy and Mike Thomas (1979).

Discography of Australian folk songs 1950-1980 - research material. (File 31)

Series 8. Arts Action for Peace, 1982-1989

Lowenstein was committed to the peace movement and an active member of Arts Action for Peace (AAP). This series consists of AAP leaflets, posters, name lists, correspondence and papers relating to an International Year of Peace conference and festival 1986.

Leaflets and posters, 1983-1986 (File 1)

Name lists, People for Nuclear Disarmament mailing list and support forms, c. 1986-1987 (File 2)

Correspondence, c. 1982-1985 (File 3)

Includes a short letter from Judith Wright about distributing leaflets, 1982.

Correspondence and name lists, c. 1984 (File 4)

Donation forms, correspondence and lists, c. 1983-1984 (File 5)

Signed anti-nuclear declarations, c. 1982-1983 (File 6)

Includes well-known artists, writers, politicians and musicians such as Patrick White, Rosemary Dobson, Clifton Pugh, George Dreyfus, Eric Bogle, H.C. Coombs, Robin Wallace-Crabbe, Bill Wannan, Manning Clark, Phillip Adams, Judith Wright, Jim Cairns and Alan Marshall.

International Year of Peace (IYP) events, 1986 (File 7)

Peace Arts Conference and Festival records.

Miscellaneous papers, c. 1983-1989 (File 8)

Includes IYP Peace Arts Conference and Festival financial records 1986, papers relating to a Bob Bossin concert 1989, and Friends of the Earth newsletters.

Arts Action for Peace membership lists, fliers, 1985-1986 (File 9)

Series 9. People for Nuclear Disarmament, 1982-2000

Lowenstein was an active member of People for Nuclear Disarmament (PND). This series includes correspondence, PND (Vic) and Prahran Branch newsletters, fliers, financial papers, minutes and membership lists.

Correspondence, c. 1988-1992 (File 1)

PND (Vic) newsletters, 1987-1989 (File 2)

PND (Vic) Prahran Branch newsletters, correspondence, fliers and invoices, 1987-1988 (File 3)

People for Nuclear Disarmament (Vic) Prahran Branch newsletters, meeting minutes and invoices, 1989-1992 (File 4)

PND (Vic) newsletters, AGM minutes, PND (Vic) Prahran Branch correspondence, newsletters and membership lists, 1986 (File 5)

PND (Vic) newsletters, correspondence, fliers, poems and cuttings, 1982-2000 (File 6)

Series 10. Social activism subject files, 1986-1992

Lowenstein supported a range of causes associated with labour, peace, the ecology and civil liberties up until 2003, when illness prevented further involvement. This series contains fliers, posters, newsletters and badges relating to Lowenstein's interests and activism in these fields, including a small amount of material associated with Arts Action for Peace and People for Nuclear Disarmament.

Miscellaneous peace, environment, employment, poverty and democratic reform material, 1983-1993 (File 1)

Includes Arts Action for Peace anti-nuclear declarations, fliers, posters and publications.

Miscellaneous peace and anti-nuclear papers, c. 1988 (File 2)

Miscellaneous anti-nuclear and environment publications, c. 1988-1992 (File 3)

Includes local Victorian PND newsletters.

Miscellaneous peace and political fliers, posters and publications, c. 1990-1991 (File 4)

Miscellaneous disarmament and environment newsletters, c. 1986-1992 (File 5)

Miscellaneous peace and environment papers and badges, c. 1990-1992 (File 6)

Series 11. Shirley Andrews papers, c. 1918-1999

Lowenstein was Shirley Andrews's executor after Andrews' death in 2001. The papers in this series were retained by Lowenstein after lodging the bulk of Andrews' papers at the National Library in 2002. They include death notices, biographical material, obituaries, letters relating to an event celebrating Andrews' life, travel documents, photographs, correspondence and publications. The correspondence includes a postcard from her father dated 1918, letters to Andrews whilst she was attending a World Festival of Youth and Students in Berlin in 1951, a letter from Andrews dated 1999 about an ASIO file and her experiences as a Communist in the 1950s, and correspondence and research material relating to an idea for a ballet based on a Henry Lawson poem, 'Mabel Clare'. This material was received from Monash University.

2 files

Series 12. Posters, c. 1967-2000

A selection of posters and placards reflecting Lowenstein's involvement with social activist organizations in particular People for Disarmament and Arts Action for Peace and other causes in support of labour, peace, the ecology and civil liberties. Some were made and printed by Lowenstein.

3 elephant folios and 1 folio

Series 13. Press cuttings, 1969-1999

Mainly reviews of Lowenstein's books.

1 folio

Container List

Series File/Item Box
1 1-11 1
2 1-7 2
2 8-12 3
2 13-17 4
2 18-23 5
2 24-31 6
2 32-37 7
2 38-45 8
2 46-52 9
2 53-60 10
2 61-62 11
3 1-3 11
3 4-11 12
3 12-18 13
3 19-25 14
3 26-33 15
3 34-42 16
3 43-50 17
3 51-56 18
4 1 18
4 2-3 19
4 4 Folio
4 5 19
4 6-7 20
5 1 20
5 2-6 21
5 7-13 22
5 14-18 23
6 1-6 23
6 7-10 24
7 1-3 24
7 4-11 25
7 12-19 26
7 20-30 27
7 31 28
8 1-6 28
8 7-9 29
9 1-4 29
9 5-6 30
10 1-5 30
10 6 31
11 1-2 31
12 1-2, 4 Elephant folios
12 3 Folio
13 1 Folio