Guide to the Letters of David A. Beath (as filmed by the AJCP)



National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2018

Collection Summary

Beath, David A.
Letters of David A. Beath (as filmed by the AJCP)
Date Range
1842 - 1853
Collection Number
3 items
Language of Materials
Australian Joint Copying Project
The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) online portal was created with the assistance of the Australian Public Service Modernisation Fund, 2017-2020. The National Library of Australia gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the other foundation AJCP partners, the State Library of New South Wales and The National Archives of the UK, and all other organisations which supported the work of the AJCP, the world's most extensive collaborative copying project, operating from 1948 to 1997.


Scope and Contents

Three letters from Beath to his father from Melbourne, Moonee Ponds and outside Geelong in Victoria, describing life in the colony. They contain family news as well as descriptions of his farm and stock, records of the prices of food and other commodities, land sales, effects of the gold rush and discussion of a recently built foundry and flour mills.

Conditions Governing Access

Available for Access.

Conditions Governing Use

Many of the records digitised as part of the AJCP are still in copyright. Readers wishing to publish or reproduce documents should seek permission, in the first instance, from the owner of the original material.

Preferred Citation

Acknowledgement of use of this material should refer to the location of the original material and to the Australian Joint Copying Project.

Items from this collection should include references to the location of the original material and to the AJCP nla.obj number, which serves as the online identifier for the digital copy.

Example: M Series: Journal of Capt. James Cook, 18 February 1770, British Library Add. MS 27885 (AJCP ref:

Archival History

Material selectively filmed at the private residence of Mrs N. Beath, Belfast, as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, 1961 (AJCP Reel: M394). Original microfilm digitised as part of the AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.

Existence and Location of Originals

Mitchell Library. State Library of New South Wales, Sydney NSW 2000. Collection reference: MLDOC 53. For further information see: Letters of David A. Beath at the State Library of New South Wales (

The original letters were acquired by the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, in 1961.

Existence and Location of Copies

The original AJCP microfilm of the records filmed from this collection is available at the National Library of Australia [] as well as other institutions holding AJCP microfilm.

Finding-aid Notes

This finding aid is a revised online version of the original finding aid prepared by the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP), published by the National Library of Australia in 2018. The original AJCP finding aids were unpublished typescripts or photocopies available from libraries that held copies of the original microfilm.

Dates used in this finding aid refer to the date range of the records selected for filming rather than to the date range of the Series or Files.


Beath, David A.; Beath, Schiess & Company, Melbourne; economic conditions; Farms and farming: Victoria; Geelong, Victoria; Gold and goldfields: Victoria; Land: Victoria; Melbourne, Victoria; Mercantile firms; Moonee Ponds, Victoria


Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 29, p10.

Biographical / Historical

David A. Beath was a Scottish emigrant to Victoria. By 1862 he had become a partner in a warehousing and clothing firm in Melbourne, which was still operating in 1927 as Beath, Schiess & Company

David Beath later became a partner in a warehouse and clothing firm in Melbourne, which for many years traded as Beath, Schiess and Co.

Item Descriptions

David Beath (Melbourne) to Alexander Beath (Glasgow), 15 August 1842 (File 1)

Letter discusses: acquisition of a farm at Moonee Ponds; stock and crops; description of the house; prices and wages; family news.

David Beath (Melbourne) to Alexander Beath, 3 July 1846 (File 2)

Discusses: receipt of letter; ill-health of his daughter; establishment of flour mills in the country; friends in Scotland.

David Beath (Melbourne) to Alexander Beath, 28 November 1853 (File 3)

Discusses: plans to go to gold diggings thwarted by wet weather; Melbourne's excited population; hopes his father will purchase goods on his behalf; Mr Williamson, a very wealthy man.