Guide to the Papers of Elizabeth Chipman


MS 9635

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: ©2003.

Collection Summary

Chipman, Elizabeth, 1934
Papers of Elizabeth Chipman
Date Range
Collection Number
MS 9635
2.24 metres (17 boxes + 2 folio boxes)
Language of Materials


Scope and Content

The collection comprises papers relating to Chipman's career with the Australian Antarctic Division and the research for her books Australians in the frozen south (1978) and Women on the ice (1986). They include photographs, transparencies, diaries, edited typescripts of her two books, correspondence, reviews, questionnaires, newspaper cuttings and card index.


Please refer to the collection's catalogue record for the access conditions (

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Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions.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 Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.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


The collection was purchased by the Library from Elizabeth Chipman in September 1998, with further papers added in 2011.


Chipman had kept much of the papers in labelled files. Some of the press cuttings and photographs have been kept in scrapbooks and albums. The cards index and slides are in boxes. The Library has put the papers into manuscript files, but the original arrangement within each file and Chipman's file titles have been retained. Where there were preservation issues, the photographs were removed from the albums and transferred to files.

Biographical Note

Chipman worked for the Antarctic Division of the Department of Science in Melbourne between 1954 and 1977, where she had a varied career as a typist, information officer and scientific administrator.

She visited Macquarie Island with the Australian Antarctic Research Expeditions (ANARE) during summers of 1966-1967, 1971-1972, and 1975-1976. She was the first woman member of the ANARE Club and one of the first Australian women to set foot on the Antarctic mainland.

She is the author of two books: Australians in the frozen south (1978) and Women on the ice (1986).

Chipman now lives in Melbourne.

Item Descriptions

Class MS 9635. Original Consignment(s)

Series 1. Diaries and correspondence, 1967-1996

The series contains one file of diaries, correspondence and other papers.

Chipman recorded her daily activities while living on Macquarie Island in 1967, 1971-1972 and 1975 in three notebooks, used as diaries. They include references to the people with whom she worked, impressions and descriptions of the places she visited.

The correspondence files relate mostly to Chipman's research and the publication of her books. Copies of some of Chipman's letters are included. Other papers include handwritten drafts, typescripts and notes. The correspondents include Cleo magazine, Thomas Nelson Australia, Heinemann Publishers and Tim Bowden.

Diaries 1967-1975 (incomplete) (File 1)
Correspondence and papers relating to 1975 trip (File 2)
Correspondence, 1978-1996 (File 3)
Correspondence, c. 1980-1984 (File 4)
ERC expeditions correspondence, 1975-1976 (File 5)

Series 2. Antarctic Division, 1956-1998

The series includes notes, photocopies, copies of the Antarctic Treaty, newsletters and other papers of the Australian Antarctic Foundation, information booklets published by the Antarctic Division of Department of Science and Environment and information on ANAREDEX database.

Antarctic Division: administration, office personnel, 1965-1975 (File 1)
Antarctic Division: administration, office personnel, 1970-1984 (File 2)
Antarctic Division: living, clothing supplies, food, 1966-1979 (File 3)
Antarctic Division: ships, shipping, passenger lists and cargo, 1956-1976 (File 4)
Antarctic Division: miscellaneous information (File 5)

Transport, field work, loading schedule, barge, science news July 1976, media release Dec. 1975, handwritten notes, flora and fauna information, information leaflet no. 8 'Australian Science in Antarctica'

Antarctic Division: women, 1975-1976 (File 6)
Antarctic Division - Treaty of co-operation, 1972-1977 (File 7)
Geography, climate, stations, 1957-1972 (File 8)
Australian Antarctic Foundation - newsletters, 1992-1993 (File 9)
Papers relating to the ANARE Jubilee celebrations in June and October, 1997 (File 10)
ANARE Club - correspondence and subscription, 1984 (File 11)
ANAREDEX, 1996 (File 12)

Series 3. Questionnaires, 1980-1984

In researching for her book, Women on the ice, Chipman sent out questionnaires to the women who had worked in the Antarctic. The series contains the completed forms and some correspondence.

Questionnaires, 1980-1984 (File 1-3)

Series 4. Australians in the frozen south (1978), 1976-1985

The book was published by published by Thomas Nelson Australia in 1978. The series comprises an author's proof, correspondence (including contract) with Thomas Nelson Australia, reviews and other papers.

Author's proof (File 1-5)
Correspondence, 1976-1978 (File 6)
Correspondence, 1979-1985 (File 7)
Miscellaneous papers (File 8)
Press clippings of reviews and other papers (File 9)
Photographs and other papers (File 10-12)

Series 5. Women on the ice (1986), 1979-1991

Chipman received a Special Purpose Grant from Australia Council in 1982 to write Women on the ice, which was published by Melbourne University Press in1986. The book tells the story of the women who went to the Antarctic, set against the historical background of exploration, exploitation and scientific research.

The series comprises correspondence (including copies of Chipman's letters), research notes and typescripts. The correspondents include the New Zealand Antarctic Society, Scott Polar Research Institute (Cambridge), National Science Foundation (Washington), National Institute of Polar Research (Tokyo), British Antarctic Survey, Expéditions Polaires Francaises, Barbara Land, Phillip Law, National Maritime Museum (London), Royal Geographical Society, J.M. Caffin, Instituto de Estudios de Chile (Santiago), Melbourne University Press, Australia Council and Churchill Fellowship (Chipman applied for, but was not awarded, a Fellowship). The Library has kept the arrangement of papers within the files and their titles.

Correspondence, 1979-1980 (File 1)
Correspondence, 1981-1982 (File 2)
Correspondence, 1983 (File 3)
Correspondence, 1984 (File 4)
Correspondence, 1985 (File 5)
Correspondence, January to June 1986 (File 6)
Correspondence, July to December 1986 (File 7)
Correspondence, 1991 (File 8)
Correspondence, 1991 (File 9)
Correspondence with Melbourne University Press and the Australian Society of Authors, 1985-1992 (File 10)
Research and reference (File 11)
Research notes (File 12)
Typescript pages 1-199 (File 13)
Typescript pages 200 to end (File 14)
Master copy pages 1-199 (File 15)
Master copy pages 200 to end (File 16)
Reviews / advertising (File 17)
Summary and list of possible purchasers (File 18)
Rights and notification agencies (File 19)
Australia Council (File 20)
Churchill Fellowship (File 21)
Proof copy (File 22)

Series 6. Research material, 1972-1989

The series comprises notes, cuttings, a card file and photocopies used by Chipman in writing her books. The card file contains information on the people involved in ANARE. The Library has kept the arrangement of papers within the files and their titles.

Research material on Antarctica and the Arctic (File 1-5)
Research notes (File 6)
Polar and maritime biographies, 1977-1989 (File 7-9)
Arctic Women - Research, c.1972 (File 10)
Copies of articles (File 11)

'Emperors of the Ice' (National Geographic, March 1996) Dispatches from the Arctic Ocean by Will Stager and A Land of Isolation No More Antarctica by Bryan Hodgson.

Card file (File 12)

Series 7. Press Cuttings

Antarctic general: press cuttings, 1957-1977 (File 1)
Antarctic general: press cuttings, 1978 (File 2)
Antarctic general: press cuttings, 1979 (File 3)
Antarctic general: press cuttings, 1980 (File 4)
Antarctic general: press cuttings, 1981 (File 5)
Antarctic general: press cuttings, 1982 (File 6)
Antarctic general: press cuttings, 1983 (File 7)
Antarctic general: press cuttings, 1984 (File 8)
Antarctic general: press cuttings, 1985 (File 9)
Antarctic general: press cuttings, 1986 (File 10)
Antarctic general: press cuttings, 1987 (File 11)
Antarctic general: press cuttings, 1988 (File 12-13)
Polar and maritime: general press cuttings, 1989 (File 14-19)
Polarmar press cuttings, 1990 (File 20-21)
Polarmar press cuttings, 1991 (File 22)
Polarmar press cuttings, 1992 (File 23)
Polarmar press cuttings, 1993 (File 24)
Polarmar press cuttings, 1994 (File 25)
Polarmar press cuttings, 1995 (File 26)
Polarmar press cuttings, 1996 (File 27-29)
Polarmar press cuttings, 1997 (File 30)
Polarmar press cuttings, 1998 (File 31)
Three women in Antarctica press clippings, 1975 (File 32)
First Australian women leaving for Antarctica - Press release and newspaper cuttings, 1976 (File 33)
Antarctic women: polar and maritime press cuttings, 1947-1959 (File 34)
Antarctic women: polar and maritime press cuttings, 1960-1969 (File 35)
Antarctic women: polar and maritime press cuttings, 1970-1974 (File 36)
Antarctic women: polar and maritime press cuttings, 1975-1979 (File 37)
Antarctic women: polar and maritime press cuttings, 1980-1989 (File 38)
Environmental concerns: press cuttings, 1989-1990 (File 39)
Environmental concerns: press cuttings, 1991 (File 40)
Environmental concerns: press cuttings, 1992 (File 41)
Environmental concerns: press cuttings, 1993 (File 42)
Environmental concerns: press cuttings, 1994 (File 43)
Environmental concerns: press cuttings, 1995-1998 (File 44)
Scrapbook of press cuttings relating to Falklands Islands War, 1982 (File 45)
Scrapbook of press cuttings relating to Falklands Islands War, 1982-1985 (File 46)
Scrapbook of press cuttings relating to Falklands Islands War, 1983-1997 (File 47)

Series 8. Photographs, 1967-1976

Photo Album 'Macquarie Island, March 1967...', some negatives and a card file (Item 1)
Slides of Macquarie Island and a card file (Item 2)
Colour transparencies 'Casey and Macquarie Island-summer 1975-1976' and card file (Item 3)
Miscellaneous negatives (Item 4)

Class MS Acc11.071. Consignment added 2011

Contains two lever arch file folders: material re Wilkins' family and background; material covering the years 1904-1913, 1904-1913 (File) - Box 1 (MS Acc11.071)

Contains two lever arch file folders: material re Wilkins and the Canadian Arctic Expedition, 1913-1917 (includes his diaries); Material covering the years 1914-1916, 1914-1916 (File) - Box 2 (MS Acc11.071)

Contains two lever arch file folders: material covering the years 1917-1919; material covering the years 1920-1922, 1917-1919 (File) - Box 3 (MS Acc11.071)

Contains two lever arch file folders: material covering the years 1923-1925; material covering the year 1926, 1923-1925 (File) - Box 4 (MS Acc11.071)

Contains two lever arch file folders: material covering the year 1927; material covering January-June 1928, 1927-1928 (File) - Box 5 (MS Acc11.071)

Contains two lever arch file folders: material covering June-December 1928; material covering January-June 1928, 1928 (File) - Box 6 (MS Acc11.071)

Contains two lever arch file folders: material covering July-December 1929;material covering the year 1930, 1929-1930 (File) - Box 7 (MS Acc11.071)

Contains two lever arch file folders: material covering January-April 1931; material covering May-December 1931, 1931 (File) - Box 8 (MS Acc11.071)

Contains two lever arch file folders: material covering the years 1932-1934; material covering the years 1935-1936, 1932-1934 (File) - Box 9 (MS Acc11.071)

Contains two lever arch file folders: material covering the years 1937-1938; material covering the years 1939-1940, 1937-1938 (File) - Box 10 (MS Acc11.071)

Contains two lever arch file folders: material covering the years 1941-1947; material covering the years 1938-1953, 1941-1947 (File) - Box 11 (MS Acc11.071)

Contains two lever arch file folders: material covering the years 1954-1957; material covering the years 1958-1959, 1954-1957 (File) - Box 12 (MS Acc11.071)

Contains three lever arch file folders: material covering the years 1960-1980; material covering the years 1981 onwards; duplicates of personnel records regarding Wilkins' employment with U.S. Government (n.b. Some of these forms appear to be originals), 1960- c. 2010 (File) - Box 13 (MS Acc11.071)

Material regarding Wilkins' family and Mt Bryan East district; microfiche listing Ohio State University holdings of Byrd, Ellsworth and Wilkins papers; photocopies, etcetera, of biographies of people connected with Wilkins; photocopies handwritten Wilkins' diary 1921-1922 summer (Quest expedition); photocopies of typed Wilkins' diary Canadian Arctic Expedition; research notes re Canadian Arctic Expedition, Stefansson; research/notes, miscellaneous biographies of Wilkins, interviews; research/notes re Wilkins and WWI, 1921-1922 (File) - Box 14 (MS Acc11.071)

Timeline compiled by Elizabeth Chipman, 1904-2010 (File) - Box 15 (MS Acc11.071)

Index of people and places compiled by Elizabeth Chipman; drafts of early chapters for a biography of Wilkins by Elizabeth Chipman; Outgoing correspondence 1988-1996 (ERC to various insitutions and individuals re Wilkins), 1988-1996 (File) - Box 16 (MS Acc11.071)

Outgoing correspondence 1997-2010 (ERC to various insitutions and individuals re Wilkins); bibliography of material consulted; research/notes Canadian Arctic Expedition; research/notes re Suzanne Bennett Wilkins; research/notes on various subjects, 1997-2010 (File) - Box 17 (MS Acc11.071)

Research/notes on various subjects; Incoming correspondence from institutions, individuals (File) - Box 18 (MS Acc11.071)

Incoming correspondence from institutions, individuals (File) - Box 19 (MS Acc11.071)

Photocopies of letters Wilkins to Suzanne; Advertising brochures, etc. For lectures by Wilkins; original letters, Wilkins to Suzanne, letterheads, membership cards; Book: Under the North Pole signed by Hubert Wilkins (File) - Box 20 (MS Acc11.071)

Pages from New York newspaper; poster advertising Wilkins lecture (File) - Box 21 (MS Acc11.071)

Container List

Box Series File/Piece
MS 9635, Box 1 1 1-5
MS 9635, Box 1 2 1-3
MS 9635, Box 2 2 4-12
MS 9635, Box 3 3 1-3
MS 9635, Box 4 4 1-9
MS 9635, Box 5 5 1-7
MS 9635, Box 6 5 8-14
MS 9635, Box 7 5 15-21
MS 9635, Box 7 6 1
MS 9635, Box 8 6 2-10
MS 9635, Box 9 7 1-9
MS 9635, Box 10 7 10-17
MS 9635, Box 11 7 18-24
MS 9635, Box 12 7 25-31
MS 9635, Box 13 7 32-39
MS 9635, Box 14 7 40-47
MS 9635, Box 15 8 1-2
MS 9635, Box 16 8 3-4
MS 9635, Box 17 6 12
MS 9635, Folio Run 4 Folios 10-12
MS 9635, Folio Run 5 Folio 22
MS 9635, Folio Run 6 Folio 11