Guide to the Papers of Harold Blair
National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record
- Harold Blair
- Papers of Harold Blair
- Date Range
- Collection Number
- MS 8950
- 0.33 metres (1 box, 2 folios)
- Language of Materials
Scope and Content
The papers cover Blair's musical career, his work on behalf of Aboriginal children, and his speeches and statements on Aboriginal issues. Five albums contain cuttings, programs, photographs and, to a lesser extent, letters, speeches, and leaflets. The three general albums have been indexed. The other two albums cover Blair's 1951 New York tour and his Commonwealth Jubilee tour of Australia in the same year.
Miscellaneous items include three small notebooks with notes and jottings, Australian Broadcasting Commission material, exercise boks from courses attended, and a copy of his biography Dark Man White World.
Conditions Governing Access
Please refer to the collection's catalogue record for the access conditions (http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn2518745).
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Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions.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 Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.
Items from this collection should be cited as '[Title or description of manuscript item], Papers of Harold Blair, National Library of Australia, MS 8950, [series and/or file number]'.
The papers were donated by Mrs Dorothy Blair in 1995
Harold Blair, Aboriginal tenor and activist, was born at the Cherbourg Aboriginal Mission in Queensland in 1924. Encouraged by Marjorie Lawrence he studied at the Conservatorium of Music in Melbourne, and in the United States. In 1949 he married Dorothy Eden, a fellow singing student at the Conservatorium, and went on to teach there from 1956. He was a very popular stage performer.
In 1962 Blair started the Aboriginal Children's project which provided Melbourne holidays for Mission children. He stood as the Labor candidate for the seat of Mentone in the 1964 Victorian Sate elections, losing only on preferences to the sitting member, the Minister for Transport. He died in Melbourne in 1976 at the age of 51.
Album 1972-76 includes correspondence, certificates of appreciation, congratulations on receiving the Order of Australia, death and funeral notices, and obituaries (File 3)
Correspondents include Peter Karmel, B. M. Snedden, and E. G. Dexter. Congratulatory messages include telegrams from Lord and Lady Casey, William McMahon, Ian Viner, and David Combe.
Album of Blair's 1951 New York tour, including his only public appearance at the Town Hall, New York City, 18 March 1951, in a Benefit Preview Concert for the cultural exchange program of the Australian Society of New York. (Item 13)
Album includes photographs, information on the Society, and cuttings.