Guide to the Papers of Edith Speers [MSS 234]

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Manuscript Name Papers of Edith Speers
Manuscript Number MSS 234
Last Updated June 2021
Extent 5 boxes
Location Special Collections, UNSW Canberra
Abstract Correspondence, drafts of poems published in By Way of a Vessel (1986), unpublished fiction, and other prose works by Edith Speers

Collection Subject Type


Scope and Content

This collection relates to poet and author Edith Speers and includes prose works such as ‘Murder in the Wrong Place’ and ‘Murder Where it Doesn't Hurt’ along with unpublished fiction including ‘Thylacine’ and ‘Goats’, and drafts of poems and short stories. A small amount of correspondence with Pat Michell (a fellow Tasmanian writer) and Jack Michell is also included

Date Range of Content


Biographical Note

Edith Speers was born in Canada in 1949 and studied biochemistry before moving to Australia in 1974. Her first collection of poetry, By Way of a Vessel was published in 1986, and in addition to publishing two more books of her own, she has appeared extensively in anthologies, journals, and magazines. As well as teaching creative writing in many Tasmanian high schools, Speers has edited and published poetry, short stories, novels and history as Esperance Press (1996-2019)

Austlit : Edith Speers retrieved 28 August 2020

Esperance Press : Edith Speers retrieved 1 September 2020


Administrative Information


Access and Copying Conditions

Access: Open Access

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 If no conditions are stipulated then the standard terms of the Copyright Act apply for published and unpublished items.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collections is provided to clients by UNSW Canberra in good faith for private study and research only, and may not be published or re-purposed without the express and written permission of the individual legal holder of that copyright.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 Edith Speers, Special Collections, UNSW Canberra, Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra, MSS 234, Box [Number], Folder [Number].


Check with Curator


Subject Keywords



Edith Speers, 1949- — Archives

Australian poetry — 20th century

Australian short stories — 20th century

Personal Names

Edith Speers, 1949-





Container List


Box 1

Folder 1

By Way of a Vessel - corrected proofs, 1986 (44 pages)

Folder 2

Poetry - typewritten drafts

Correspondence - Edith Speers to Pat Michell, 1978

Folder 3

Poetry - typewritten and handwritten drafts

Correspondence - Edith Speers to Pat Michell, 1978 - 1980

Folder 4

Poetry - typewritten draft : ‘Black Cockatoo’, carbon copy

Correspondence - Edith Speers to Pat and Jack Michell, 1980 - 1982

Envelopes - packed separately

Folder 5

Poetry - typewritten drafts, 1978 - 1981

Folder 6

Poetry - typewritten drafts: ‘Thylacine’

Folder 7

Short stories - typewritten drafts 1986

Folder 8

‘Ruby in Gold’ - typewritten drafts - Parts I and II

‘Almost Final’ - draft - carbon copy, Parts I, II, III (Carbon copy sent to Pat Michell 1980)


Box 2

Folder 9

Short stories - first drafts, typewritten, 1986

Folder 10

‘Goats’, novel – manuscript

Folder 11

‘Goats’, novel – manuscript

Folder 12

‘Goats’, novel – manuscript

Folder 13

‘Goats’, novel – manuscript

Folder 14

‘Goats’, novel – manuscript


Box 3

Folder 15

‘Murder in the Wrong Place’ - first printout of chapters 1-22 with handwritten corrections

Folder 16

‘Murder in the Wrong Place’ - second printout (complete manuscript) plus two discs (five and a quarter inches) of chapters 1-22

Folder 17

‘Murder in the Wrong Place’ - third printout (complete manuscript) plus two corrected printouts - pages 1-12 and 1-15

Folder 18

‘Murder in the Wrong Place’ - fourth printout, heavily edited

This manuscript was Very Highly Commended in the 1992 Tom Howard Mystery Novel Contest


Box 4

Folder 19

Literary drafts

‘Sonnets 1-60 Final Draft’ – manuscript, unpaginated

‘Murder Where It Doesn’t Hurt’, manuscript, 150 pages with some annotations

‘The Font of Dyanna – final drafts’ – manuscript, 33 pages

Folder 20

‘Murder in the Wrong Place’ – manuscript, 263 pages

Folder 21

‘Murder Where It Doesn’t Matter’ – manuscript, 150 pages

Folder 22

‘Final Draft of Short Stories 1986’ – manuscript, unpaginated

‘Final Draft of Short Stories 1986’ – manuscript, unpaginated


Box 5

Folder 23

Literary drafts

‘Goats' – final draft pages 1-53 – manuscript

‘Goats' – final draft pages 54-90 – manuscript

‘Goats' – final draft pages 91-132 – manuscript

Folder 24

Literary drafts

‘Goats' – final draft pages 133-188 – manuscript

‘Goats' – final draft pages 189-266 – manuscript

Folder 25

Literary drafts

‘Goats' – final draft pages 267-327 – manuscript

‘Goats' – final draft pages 328-390 – manuscript

‘Goats' – final draft pages 391-450 – manuscript

Folder 26

Literary drafts

‘Goats' – final draft pages 451-508 – manuscript

‘Goats' – final draft pages 509-548 – manuscript

‘Goats' – final draft pages 549-603 – manuscript

Folder 27

Literary drafts

‘Goats' – final draft pages 604-667 – manuscript

‘Goats' – final draft pages 668-728 – manuscript