Guide to the Papers of Alan and Jean Salisbury [MSS 078]

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Manuscript Name Papers of Alan and Jean Salisbury
Manuscript Number MSS 078
Last Updated October 2021
Extent 38 cm (3 boxes)
Location Special Collections, UNSW Canberra
Abstract This collection comprises photocopies from the National Archives of Australia of Sir Frederick Shedden's World War II War Cabinet War Cabinet notebooks from 27 September 1939 to 1946, and War Cabinet [and] Advisory War Council notes on the loss of HMAS Sydney, together with a copy of the 'Transcriptions of Sir Frederick Shedden's War Cabinet notebooks' and 'The loss of H.M.A.S. Sydney', transcribed by Mrs Jean Salisbury, OAM.

Collection Subject Type


Scope and Content

The papers include photocopies held by the National Archives of Australia of Sir Frederick Shedden's World War II 'War Cabinet notebooks', from which he and his assistants compiled the minutes of the meetings of the War Cabinet from 5/2/1940 to 19/1/1946. Also included are photocopies of 'Minutes of Advisory War Council Meeting' and 'Notes - War Cabinet [and] Advisory War Council'.

Also included is CRS A5954/2 [Item 734/1], 'War Cabinet meetings notes', 27 September 1939 to 25 January 1940, not included in volume 1 of Shedden's 'War Cabinet notebooks'. These notes were contained in F.G. Shedden's box No. 536. In 2004, these notes were transcribed by Jean Salisbury, personal stenographer to Shedden during World War II. The pages have been numbered FGS Page 1 to FGS Page 45, 27/9/39 to 25/1/40.

This collection originally included the following works which have been catalogued separately, and added to the Library's collection at:
Bound copy and compact disc of the 'Transcriptions of Sir Frederick Shedden's War Cabinet notebooks', transcribed by Mrs Jean Salisbury, OAM - bound copy location: Folio collection, Call number folio D767.8 .S42 2005; CD-ROM location: AV CDROM (Multi-Media), Call number av cd D767.8 .S42 2005
'The loss of H.M.A.S. Sydney' - location Special Collections, Call number Special D 767.8 .S42 2008.

Date Range of Content


Biographical Note



Administrative Information


Access and Copying Conditions

Access: Check with Curator

This collection contains a variety of copyright material. Copyright is held by the creator of each item. Specific conditions for this collection are listed below. If no conditions are stipulated then the standard terms of the Copyright Act apply for published and unpublished items. Digitised material from manuscript collections is provided to clients by UNSW Canberra in good faith for private study and research only, and may not be published or re-purposed without the express and written permission of the individual legal holder of that copyright. Refer also to the UNSW copyright, disclaimer and takedown policy. 

Copying: Check with Curator

Preferred Citation

Papers of Alan and Jean Salisbury, Special Collections, UNSW Canberra, Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra, Box [Number], Folder [Number].


The collection was donated by Mrs Jean Salisbury, OAM to the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, UNSW Canberra, then to the Academy Library, UNSW Canberra in December 2006 and July 2008, in memory of her husband Alan George Salisbury, ISO.

Additional Information

Separated Material

Further records relating to World War II and Alan Salisbury, ISO, and Sir Frederick Shedden, KCMG, OBE, are held by:
The National Archives of Australia in Series A5954 items 803/1 to 811/2, series A2679, series A6250 and series A9240.

John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library (JCPML), Curtin University of Technology, Perth in Records of Alan Salisbury, CRE1026; Personal papers of Alan & Jean Salisbury in Series SER0162, and Records of Frederick Shedden in Series SER0351.

The National Library of Australia holds 6 digital audio tapes of an interview with Alan Salisbury entitled Interview with Alan Salisbury, senior public servant in the Federal Dept. of Defence, 1934-72, with his wife Jean, personal secretary to the Departmental Secretary of Defence, 1942-45, interviewer John Farquharson (2001), call number: ORAL TRC 4757.


Subject Keywords



World War 1939-1945

Personal Names

Sir Frederick Shedden 1893-1971

Alan Salisbury 1917-2004

Jean Salisbury 1922-2014

Corporate Names

Australian Department of Defence, War Cabinet


Public servants


Container List


Box 1

Folder 1
Includes the following items:

Photocopies of Shedden's 'War Cabinet meetings notes' from NAA CRS A5954/2 [Item 734/1], 27/9/39 to 25/1/40
Biographical notes on Alan and Jean Salisbury
Notes on Sir Frederick Shedden and The War Cabinet Secretariat

Folder 2
Photocopies of 'War Cabinet notes', vol. 1, CRS A5954/2 [Item 729/1], 5/2/40 - 19/6/40

Folder 3
Photocopies of 'War Cabinet notes', vol. 2, CRS A5954/2 [Item 729/2], 25/6/40 - 16/1/41

Folder 4
Photocopies of 'War Cabinet notes', vol. 3, CRS A5954/2 [Item 730/1], 22/1/41 - 20/5/41

Folder 5
Photocopies of 'War Cabinet notes', vol. 4, CRS A5954/2 [Item 730/2], 29/5/41 - 26/11/41


Box 2

Folder 6
Photocopies of 'War Cabinet notes', vol. 5, CRS A5954/2 [Item 731/1], 1/12/41 - 19/3/42

Folder 7
Photocopies of 'War Cabinet notes', vol. 6, CRS A5954/2 [Item 731/2], 31/3/42 - 17/12/42

Folder 8
Photocopies of 'War Cabinet notes', vol. 7, CRS A5954/2 [Item 732/1], 25/1/43 - 4/4/44

Folder 9
Photocopies of 'War Cabinet notes', vol. 8, CRS A5954/2 [Item 733/1], 19/4/44 - 15/12/44

Folder 10
Photocopies of 'War Cabinet notes', vol. 9, CRS A5954/2 [Item 733/2], 9/1/45 - 19/1/46


Box 3

Folder 11
Unbound photocopy of the 'Transcriptions of Sir Frederick Shedden's War Cabinet notebooks', transcribed by Mrs Jean Salisbury, OAM, 27/9/39 - 19/1/46

Folder 12
Photocopies of Miss M.J. Nicholson's later Mrs Jean Salisbury's World War II portfolio, 1935-2005

Photographs of the War Cabinet Secretariat, 1943
Photographs of Brassey House and St. John's Church, Reid
Personal memorabilia, including Air Raid Warden identity card, train tickets, identity card, identity discs and photographs
Typescript copy of a letter from John Curtin to Lady Shedden, June 1943
Photocopy of 'Sir Frederick Shedden, 1893-1971 : an appreciation', by Warren Perry; published in The Victorian historical magazine, vol. 42, no. 3, Aug 1971, p. 632-637
Personal correspondence to Miss Nicholson, 1943, 1945 and 1955
Photographs of a picnic at the Cotter, 1944
Typescript notes and a copy of 'An inquiry into a statement that there was a document missing from the Official Files in relation to 'The Brisbane Line'', Royal Commissioner, His Honour Mr. Justice Lowe; together with ms annotations by Mrs Salisbury
Typescript letter on the 'Use of Buick car no. C.1207 for transport of official documents to Canberra', 16/9/43
Invitation to the media launch to mark the release for public access of the 'War Cabinet and Advisory War Council Notebooks', 1993
Photograph of Senator Bob McMullan with Jean and Alan Salisbury, 1993
Newspaper clipping from The Australian, Tuesday December 7, 1993 regarding Shedden's notebooks
'Australia remembers 1945-1995' invitation to Alan and Jean Salisbury from The Hon Con Sciacca, MP, Minister for Veterans' Affairs, June 1995, together with a photograph taken by the Herald sun, 1995
Curtin University of Technology invitation to attend the unveiling of the Foundation Stone of The John Curtin Centre, Bentley, Perth, together with photographs, 1997
Photographs from My melancholy duty exhibition at Old Parliament House, Canberra, commemorating the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II with mannequins of Prime Ministers John Curtin and Robert Menzies in the Cabinet Room, 2 August 2005
Department of Defence Central staff list from the Government gazette, no. 57, 18 Oct 1935, p. 86-91
Programme entitled 'War savings rally', Town Hall, Melbourne, Wednesday, 5th June 1940

Folder 13
'The loss of H.M.A.S. Sydney', 1941-2008

Unbound photocopy of the transcription by Jean Salisbury dated 8/7/2008 of 'The loss of H.M.A.S. Sydney', 19/11/1941 - 4/12/1941, 14 p.
Photocopies of 'Minutes of Advisory War Council Meeting', vol. 3. CRS A5954, 28 November 1941
Photocopies of 'Notes - War Cabinet [and] Advisory War Council', Set 2, vol. 4, CRS A9240/1, 26/11/1941 - 1/12/1941