Guide to the Papers of Peter Pierce [MSS 027]

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Manuscript Name Papers of Peter Pierce
Manuscript Number MSS 027
Last Updated October 2021
Extent 18 boxes + 8 folios
Location Special Collections, UNSW Canberra
Abstract Literary papers, consisting of material used in the compilation of The Oxford Literary Guide to Australia (1987). This includes correspondence, photographs, drafts and proofs.

Collection Subject Type


Scope and Content

A collection of literary papers of Peter Piece. The collection consists of material gathered in the preparation of The Oxford Literary Guide to Australia (1987), for which Pierce was the General Editor. The collection consists in the main of three kinds of material, but there is also other material that fall outside of these categories.

1) Correspondence, submissions, comments and other writings by authors and other contributors, researchers, and organisations. Figures represented in this include CJ Koch, Margaret Scott, Les Murray, Colin Thiele.

2) Drafts, galley proofs, typed manuscripts and similar production material. This includes authors’ comments and annotations. The material represented demonstrates the editing process right up to the final setting of the book.

3) Photographs, slides, and other audio-visual material such as tape recordings. Not all of these are fully identified, but there is a large number; five of the boxes are mostly this sort of material.

Date Range of Content


Biographical Note

Peter Pierce was an Australian academic, writer and literary critic. He held degrees in literature from the University of Tasmania and the University of Oxford, before spending a career championing Australian literature. At his death in 2018, he was Adjunct Professor at Monash University, having spent the previous ten years as Professor of Australian Literature at James Cook University.

He edited or co-edited a number of books on Australian literatures, including The Cambridge History of Australian Literature (2009), The Penguin New Literary History of Australia (assistant editor, 1988), Vietnam Days: Australia and the Impact of Vietnam (1991), Clubbing of the Gunfire: 101 Australian War Poems (1984). He was also a regular literary critic for the Age, Bulletin, Canberra Times and The Sydney Morning Herald.

In 1987, Oxford University Press published The Oxford Literary Guide to Australia. Dr Pierce served as the General Editor. An illustrated guide, the Guide widely discusses Australian literatures including genres ‘of popular and serious fiction’ as well as booksellers and patrons of literature.

Pierce died in September, 2018.

Author record, Peter Pierce, AustLit (, St Lucia: The University of Queensland, 2002-. [Retrieved from, 29/01/2019].

Sullivan, J. (2018, September 28). Turning Pages: In praise of the late Peter Pierce, champion of Australian writing. The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved from, 29/01/2019.


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: Copying of material authored by Peter Pierce for private study and research is approved.

Preferred Citation

Papers of Peter Pierce, Special Collections, UNSW Canberra, Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra, MSS 027, Box [Number], Folder [Number].


The collection was acquired from Peter Pierce in 1987.


Subject Keywords


Australian authors, Australian academics, Australian literature, 20th century literature

Personal Names

Peter Pierce 1950-2018

Peter Frank Pierce

Corporate Names



Academic, writer, editor


Container List

Box 1

Folder 1 - 3
The Oxford Literary Guide to Australia (OLGA) by Peter Pierce, Rosemary Hunter and Ken Stewart - legal correspondence; clippings, etc.

Folder 4 

Folder 5 
Western Australian Author Criteria.
‘Literary Guide to Australia’ by A.W. Upfield.
New South Wales - C.J. Koch additions.


Folder 6 - 7
Tasmania - editing, corrections, additions.


Box 2

Folder 9 - 10 
‘Work in Progress’

Folder 11
Melbourne - corrections - copy edition.

Folder 12 
South Australia and New South Wales - correspondence; page proofs.

Folder 13 - 14 
Tasmania - autography draft entries by Margaret Scott.

Folder 15
New South Wales additions.
Australian Territories - Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.

Folder 16
Australian Territories - edited early revision.

Folder 17
Entries of miscellaneous authors.


Box 3

Folder 18 - 20
Victoria - last stage of editing.

Folder 21
South Australia - ‘work in progress’.

Folder 22 - 23
Victoria - correspondence - Historical Societies.

Folder 25 - 26
New South Wales - Sydney - last stages of editing.


Box 4

Folder 27 - 28
New South Wales editing.

Folder 29
The Oxford Literary Guide to Australia - master copy.

Folder 30
Author index.

Folder 31
Galleys - miscellaneous.
Plus photograph (1).

Folder 32
Graphics copy


Box 5

Folder 33
Unbound pages of The Oxford Literary Guide to Australia.

Folder 34 - 37
Photographs - Tasmania.

Folder 38
Photographs - Queensland.

Folder 39
Photographs - Western Australia.


Box 6

Folder 40 - 41
Photographs - Victoria.

Folder 42
Photographs - South Australia.

Folder 43
Photographs - Australian Territories and for introduction.

Folder 44 - 45
Photographs - New South Wales.

Folder 46
Photographs - Tasmania.

Folder 47
Photographs - miscellaneous.


Box 7

Folder 48
Photographs - miscellaneous.

Folder 49
Photographs - miscellaneous (include Adelaide).

Folder 50
Photographs / slides - Western Australia.

Folder 51
Photographs - Queensland.

Folder 52
Photographs - miscellaneous.

Folder 53
Photographs - Western Australia - booklets, negatives.

Folder 54
Photographs, negatives, slides.

Folder 55
Photographs - Sydney, New South Wales.

Folder 56
Photographs - A.D. Hope, Queensland, Canberra site and Opening.


Box 8

Folder 57
Photographs - Victoria and Western Australia.

Folder 58
Photographs - Northern Territory.

Folder 59
Photographs - New South Wales.

Folder 60
Photographs - South Australia and Tasmania.

Folder 61
Photographs - South Australia.

Folder 62
Photographs - New South Wales.

Folder 62
Authors’ entries - Western Australia.

Folder 64 - 65
Miscellaneous writers’ progress, includes photographs.


Box 9

Folder 66
The Oxford Literary Guide to Australia - photocopy.

Folder 67
Tasmanian corrections - Margaret Scott.

Folder 68
Queensland place entries - photocopy.

Folder 69
Western Australia place entries (as originally supplied by Western Australian contributors).

Folder 70
The Oxford Literary Guide to Australia (OLGA) - editors comments.


Box 10

Folder 71
Author’s index.

Folder 72
Tasmania - last stages of editing.

Folder 73 - 75
Victoria - Gippsland material.

Folder 76 - 77
Victoria - The Oxford Literary Guide to Australia - galleys.


Box 11

Folder 78
Western Australia - corrected proofs.

Folder 79
Antarctica and Australian Capital Territory proofs.

Folder 80
Victoria - proofs.

Folder 81
South Australia - last stage of editing.

Folder 82 - 84

Folder 85
Proofs - includes index of authors.


Box 12

Folder 86 - 87
Western Australia and Victoria - proofs.

Folder 88 - 89

Folder 90
New South Wales.

Folder 91 - 93
Victoria - marked for major cuts.


Box 13

Folder 94 - 97
Miscellaneous - includes correspondence from authors, place information.

Folder 98
The Oxford Literary Guide to Australia - photocopy.

Folder 99
The Oxford Literary Guide to Australia - unbound marked copy.


Box 14

Folder 100
Authors’ file - A - K.

Folder 101
Author’s file - L - Z.

Folder 102
Australian Territories - copyright agreement.

Folder 103
New South Wales.

Folder 104
Photocopies of photograph plates.

Folder 105 - 106
Western Australia.


Box 15

Folder 107
Oxford University Press ‘blurb’.

Folder 108 - 110
Correspondence and miscellaneous papers.

Folder 111
South Australia - booklets and cassette.

Folder 112 - 113
South Australia - correspondence.

Folder 114
Early list of authors and draft of author index.


Box 16

Folder 115
New South Wales - referral.
Western Australia - correspondence.

Folder 116
ASAL contract.
Queensland - correspondence (M. O’Connor, includes photograph).
New South Wales - correspondence.

Folder 117
File on Historical Societies.
Queensland - authors’ data.

Folder 118
Tasmania - author information.

Folder 119
New South Wales and Sydney additions from Les Murray.
Queensland - correspondence.

Folder 120
Queensland - early photocopy.

Folder 121 - 122
Queensland - corrections and comments.


Box 17

Folder 123 - 125
New South Wales - corrections and additions.

Folder 126
The Oxford Literary Guide to Australia  - unbound copy.

Folder 127 - 128
The Oxford Literary Guide to Australia (OLGA) - photocopy of Guide with editors’ notes.

Folder 129
Reference for illustrations, includes photographs.

Folder 130 - 131
South Australia - corrections, cuts.


Box 18

Folder 132 - 135
The Oxford Literary Guide to Australia (OLGA) - photocopy of Guide, ‘Authors’ proofs collated with Master set.

Folder 136
Photographs, slides.

Folder 137
Material in relation to contents of Folio 3.



Folio 1
Photographs (2) - Victoria.

Folio 2
The Oxford Literary Guide to Australia - layout copy.

Folio 3
Paste-up copy - refer to Box 18, Folder 137.

Folio 4
Photograph - Monaro region.

Folio 5
Cover design - six sheets.

Folio 6
Poster map of Guide.

Folio 5
Layout of book, prior to cutting.

Folio 8
Photograph No. 221, page 278.