Guide to the Papers of Bruce Pascoe


MS 9746, MS Acc05.069, MS Acc08.165

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Collection Summary

Bruce Pascoe
Papers of Bruce Pascoe
Date Range
Collection Number
MS 9746, MS Acc05.069, MS Acc08.165
5.55 metres (37 boxes)
Language of Materials
National Library of Australia


Scope and Content

The main part of the collection comprises papers relating to the editing and publishing of issues No. 36 to No. 61 of Australian short stories. There is correspondence with contributors and edited drafts of stories, all of which provide a good representation of the life and history of the magazine. There is also correspondence and edited drafts relating to several books published by Pascoe Publishing and edited drafts and correspondence relating to books written by Pascoe himself.

Conditions Governing Access

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

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Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions.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 Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.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


The papers were acquired by the Library from Bruce Pascoe in two instalments, one in 1998 and one in 1999. Further papers were added in 2005 and 2008.


The papers have been placed into series by the Library, and the correspondence sorted into chronological order by year.

Biographical Note

Bruce Pascoe was born in Richmond, Victoria, on 11 October 1947. After graduating from Melbourne University with a Bachelor of Education, he taught as a secondary teacher and was a Curriculum Development Officer with the Victorian Education Department.

With his wife, Lyn Harwood, Pascoe manages Pascoe Publishing, a small company that has published works in a variety of genres including novels, anthologies of poetry and short stories, history, biography and Aboriginal culture.

In 1982 Pascoe and Harwood founded the quarterly magazine, Australian short stories, which they edited and published until 1998.

Pascoe has written twelve books, including four novels and won the Fellowship of Australian Writers' Literature Award in 1999.

As a member of the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative, Pascoe is very involved in indigenous issues and conducts guided Koori tours around his home area of Apollo Bay and Cape Otway in Victoria.

Item Descriptions

Class MS 9746. Original Consignment

Comprises papers relating to the editing and publishing of issues no. 36-no. 61 of the journal, Australian short stories. There is correspondence with contributors and edited drafts of stories, all of which provide a good representation of the life and history of the magazine. There is also correspondence and edited drafts relating to several books published by Pascoe Publishing and edited drafts and correspondence relating to books written by Pascoe himself.

Contained in 29 boxes (MS 9746 Boxes 1-29).

Series 1. Correspondence, 1983-1998

Contained in this series is correspondence, mainly with contributors to Australian short stories and relating to projects undertaken by Pascoe Publishing. Correspondents include Barry Dickens, Elizabeth Jolley, Ian Middleton, Ba Phillipps and Thomas Shapcott. There is correspondence relating to a project involving Pascoe and Chester Eagle, who were approached by Professor Zhu Jiong Qiang, from Hangzhou University in China, to produce an anthology of Australian short stories in Chinese translation. Funding for the project was received from the Literature Board of the Australia Council. The book was published by Zhejiang Publishing House, Hangzhou in 1992. There are also four audio-cassette tapes of 'letters' (1994-1995) from the New Zealand author, Ian Middleton, who is blind.

Correspondence, 1983-1986 (File 1)
Correspondence, 1987-1991 (File 2)
Correspondence, 1992 (File 3-4)
Correspondence, 1993 (File 5)
Correspondence, 1994 (File 6-8)
Middleton audio cassette tapes, 1994-1995 (File 8a)
Correspondence, 1995 (File 9-12)
Correspondence, 1995-1997 (File 13)
Correspondence, 1996 (File 14-15)
Correspondence, 1997 (File 16-17)
Correspondence, 1998 (File 18-21)
Correspondence relating to Chinese translations of Australian short stories, 1990-1992 (File 22)

Series 2. Australian short stories, 1991-1998

In 1982 Bruce Pascoe and Lyn Harwood founded the quarterly magazine Australian short stories. The magazine published a wide range of quality short stories by Australian authors and provided a forum for promoting the genre. Over the years, the works of over 500 authors, both established and emerging, were published in the magazine. Many of these authors, for example Gillian Mears, Matthew Condon, Steven Carroll and Tom Flood, went on to become well-known names in Australian literature. The final issue under their editorship was No. 61, which was published in 1998.

The bulk of this series comprises papers relating to the editing and production of issues No. 36 (published in 1991) to No. 61 of the magazine. There is correspondence with contributors and edited drafts of stories. There are also administrative files relating to sponsorship and television advertising and a file relating to alleged plagiarism by the author of one of the short stories published in the magazine.

Note: no papers were received for issue No. 55.

Issue No. 36 (File 1)
Issue No. 37 (File 2-3)
Issue No. 38 (File 4-5)
Issue No. 39 (File 6-7)
Issue No. 40 (File 8-10)
Issue No. 41 (File 11-13)
Issue No. 42 (File 14-15)
Issue No. 43 (File 16)
Issue No. 44 (File 17)
Issue No. 45 (File 18)
Issue No. 46 (File 19-22)
Issue No. 47 (File 23-24)
Issue No. 48 (File 25-28)
Issue No. 49 (File 29)
Issue No. 50 (File 30-32)
Issue No. 51 (File 33-34)
Issue No. 52 (File 35-36)
Issue No. 53 (File 37-38)
Issue No. 54 (File 39)
Issue No. 56 (File 40)
Issue No. 57 (File 41-42)
Issue No. 58 (File 43-44)
Issue No. 59 (File 45-46)
Issue No. 60 (File 47-48)
Issue No. 61 (File 49-50)
Television advertising, 1991-1992 (File 51)
Sponsorship, 1995-1996 (File 52)
Publicity flyers (File 53)
Correspondence regarding plagiarism charges, 1992 (File 54)
A small number of drafts of miscellaneous short stories (File 55)
Six x 3 ½" computer discs (including printouts) and one audio-cassette tape containing short stories. (File 56)

Series 3. Pascoe Publishing, 1987-1999

Pascoe Publishing is a small publishing firm operated by Pascoe and his partner, Lyn Harwood. This series contains papers relating to various publications by Pascoe Publishing. They comprise mainly edited drafts, together with some correspondence with authors.

See also Series 4 for papers relating to Cape Otway: coast of secrets.

The babe is wise: contemporary stories by Australian women, edited by Lyn Harwood, Bruce Pascoe and Paula White. Published in 1987. Correspondence (1986-1987) and edited drafts. (File 1-4)
Three uneasy pieces, Patrick White. Published in 1987. Proofs. (File 5)
Beyond the pale, Robin Sheiner. Published in 1989. Correspondence, 1988-1989. (File 6)
The factory, Lyn Hughes. Published in 1990. A small amount of correspondence (1989-1990) and a segment of typescript. (File 7)
Women of the centre, edited by Adele Pring. Published in 1990. Correspondence (1987-1992) and edited drafts. (File 8-10)
Brain death capital, Molly Guy. Published in 1991. Edited drafts. (File 11-12)
Border country: poetry, Irene Allan. Published in 1991. Correspondence (1988-1992), edited typescripts and proofs. (File 13-15)
A family under the jackboot, Hans Roland. Published in 1993. Small amount of correspondence (1990-1993) and edited drafts. (File 16-22)
Luna Park at night, Judith Clarke. Published in 1991. Small amount of correspondence (199-1991), edited typescripts and publicity material. (File 23-24)
Post Office Restaurant and other stories, Barry Dickens. Published in 1992. Edited drafts. (File 25-26)
Bahra Bay, George Watt. Published in 1992. Edited drafts. (File 27-28)
Folly, Dany Falconer Flint. Published in 1993. Small amount of correspondence (1991-1994), synopsis and edited drafts. (File 29-33)
Fabulous at 50, edited by Bruce Pascoe and Lyn Harwood. Published in 1995. Anthology of short stories to mark the 50th edition of Australian short stories. Correspondence relating to publicity and the launch of the book and edited drafts and proofs. (File 34-40)
Wathaurong: too bloody strong: stories and life journeys of people from Wathaurong, edited by Bruce Pascoe. Published in 1997. Correspondence, papers relating to an unsuccessful grant application to the Australia Council and edited drafts and proofs. Sixteen audio-cassette tapes containing oral histories relating to the project (1994-1995) (File 41-47)
Ribcage: all you need is $800,000 - quickly, by Leopold Glass. Published in 1999. Manuscript draft. (File 48)
Miscellaneous publicity material relating to publications by Pascoe Publishing (File 49)

Series 4. Writings of Bruce Pascoe, 1993-1999

As well as editing and publishing the work of others, Pascoe has had his own works published. This series comprises manuscript and typescript drafts of three books written by Pascoe and one, Cape Otway: coast of secrets, written by both Pascoe and Lyn Harwood. There is also a small amount of correspondence, mostly with Pascoe's publisher, Magabala Books, in particular with Bruce Sims, regarding editing and publication of his books. Magabala Books is a publishing house specialising in publishing works which have major Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander involvement.

Ruby-eyed coucal (File 1-12)

Published by Magabala Books, Broome, WA in 1996. Correspondence (1993-1998), rough notes, newspaper cuttings edited typescripts and proof copy. Three computer discs containing drafts.

Cape Otway: coast of secrets (File 13-16)

Published by Pascoe Publishing in 1997. Edited manuscript and typescript drafts and promotional material for attractions in the Cape Otway region.

Shark (File 17-21)

Published by Magabala Books, Broome, WA in 1999. Correspondence (1994-1999) relating to editing and publication, together with edited manuscript and typescript drafts and proofs. One computer disc containing drafts.

Earth (File 22-23)

Published by Magabala Books, Broome, WA in 2001. Manuscript and typescript drafts, 1996-1999.

Series 5. Miscellaneous papers, 1994

This series contains a small group of miscellaneous material accumulated by Pascoe, comprising mostly drafts of writings by others.

Wendy and Allan Scarfe (File 1-2)

Typescript draft (nd) of All that grief: migrant recollections of Greek resistance to fascism, 1941-1949, compiled by Wendy and Allan Scarfe. They had hoped that Pascoe would be interested in publishing the work, but it was published by Hale and Iremonger, Sydney, in 1994. There is also a typescript entitled 'Theodoros Sidiropoulos 'and a copy of Shadow and flowers by Wendy Scarfe, published by Nosukumo, Melbourne in 1984.

Boys and balls (File 3-8)

Papers relating to Boys and balls, written by Brian Nankervis and published by Allen & Unwin in 1994. It appears that Pascoe was involved in editing the text. There are edited typescripts, a small amount of correspondence (1994) and a bound copy of the script of a 55-minute documentary of the same title, written by Nankervis and Sue Thomson.

Various items (File 9)

Bound copy of handwritten travel notes kept by Chester Eagle on a trip to France and Portugal in 1994

One audio-cassette tape entitled 'Food program: Macassan Trepangers in Arnhem Land'

Class MS Acc05.069. Consignment Added 2005

Comprises drafts and research material, principally for Ruby-eyed coucal (1996), Earth (2001), and the unpublished work, Embrasure.

Contained in 5 boxes (MS Acc05.069 Boxes 1-5).

Class MS Acc08.165. Consignment Added 2008

Comprises handwritten drafts and typescripts of unpublished stories, plays, and children's literature, including, Foxies in a firehose: a piece of doggerel from Warragul (2006). Also, drafts of nonfiction works on indigenous affairs, such as, Wathaurong: the people who said no (2003), and, Convincing ground (2007)..

Contained in 3 boxes (MS Acc08.165 Boxes 1-3).

Headless horseman (story), 05.09.08 (File 1) - Box 1 (MS Acc08.165)

Harold where art thou (play), 12.09.08 (File 2) - Box 1 (MS Acc08.165)

Wathaurong: the people who said no (n/f text), 2000s (File 3) - Box 1 (MS Acc08.165)

Fog, a dox (children's novel), 2003s (File 4) - Box 1 (MS Acc08.165)

Foxies in a firehose (children's story), 2005 (File 5) - Box 1 (MS Acc08.165)

Curacoine in chains (story), 2004 (File 6) - Box 1 (MS Acc08.165)

Rene of Rainbird Creek (Belle of Bellbird in fact), 2004 (File 7) - Box 1 (MS Acc08.165)

Where you from (story), 2007 (File 8) - Box 1 (MS Acc08.165)

Red patrol (story), 2006 (File 9) - Box 1 (MS Acc08.165)

Honeypot two shots two pots (story), 2006 (File 10) - Box 1 (MS Acc08.165)

Notes for ocean and earth (novel plans), 2002s (File 11) - Box 2 (MS Acc08.165)

Convincing ground (ms and notes) (history), 2007 (File 12) - Box 2 (MS Acc08.165)

Bloke (MS and early draft) (novel), 2007 (File 13) - Box 2 (MS Acc08.165)

First Australians (Corranderrk chapter), 2008 (File 14) - Box 3 (MS Acc08.165)

Imperial harvest (novel), 2002-2007 (File 15) - Box 3 (MS Acc08.165)

Midnight choir (steak tomato rice Tallahatchie Bridge) (story), 2008 (File 16) - Box 3 (MS Acc08.165)

Container List

Series File/Item Box
1 1-8 MS 9746 - Box 1
1 8a-15 MS 9746 - Box 2
1 16-22 MS 9746 - Box 3
2 1-7 MS 9746 - Box 4
2 8-13 MS 9746 - Box 5
2 14-18 MS 9746 - Box 6
2 19-24 MS 9746 - Box 7
2 25-32 MS 9746 - Box 8
2 33-38 MS 9746 - Box 9
2 39-44 MS 9746 - Box 10
2 45-50 MS 9746 - Box 11
2 51-56 MS 9746 - Box 12
3 1-7 MS 9746 - Box 13
3 8-15 MS 9746 - Box 14
3 16-19 MS 9746 - Box 15
3 20-22 MS 9746 - Box 16
3 23-28 MS 9746 - Box 17
3 29-33 MS 9746 - Box 18
3 34-37 MS 9746 - Box 19
3 38-40 MS 9746 - Box 20
3 41-44 MS 9746 - Box 21
3 45-49 MS 9746 - Box 22
4 1-4 MS 9746 - Box 23
4 5-7 MS 9746 - Box 24
4 8-10 MS 9746 - Box 25
4 11-15 MS 9746 - Box 26
4 16-20 MS 9746 - Box 27
4 21-23 MS 9746 - Box 28
5 1-2 MS 9746 - Box 28
5 3-9 MS 9746 - Box 29