Manuscript and Archives

Bischoff Manuscript fragments

Special Collections acquired more than one hundred fragments of medieval manuscripts and early printed books from the twelfth to sixteenth centuries. The collection previously belonged to the world-renowned authority on medieval palaeography (the study of handwriting), Professor Bernhard Bischoff (1906-1991). In addition to the Bischoff collection we also hold a Papal Bull from Innocent IV in 1252, a large, illuminated Italian missal leaf from 1475, and a leaf from a Order of Preacher's thirteenth-century Bible.

Other manuscript highlights include:

Peter Lyssiotis Archive

Peter Lyssiotis is a Cypriot born-Australian writer, photographer and photomonteur. Emigrating to Australia in 1956, Peter has  produced and astonishing array of photography and artist's books in the several decades he has been active. His artwork combines a critical engagement with current political issues with his poetry and visual artistry.

Along with his artist books, Special Collections is proud to look after Lyssiotis' working archive from 1982. The archive includes draft and proof copies of his works, photographs, photocopies of his photographs, notes, correspondence (including copies of correspondence from Patrick White and Manoly Lascaris), video, issues of publications containing pieces of his work (including Meanjin and Southerly), posters, book covers, rolls of film negatives, metal type and CD inserts, political ephemera, and much more. For access to the collection, please contact us directly.

John Fraser Smith WWI Archive

Private John Fraser Smith served in the ambulance corps, attached to the 3rd Australian General Hospital. Small archive donated by John (Jack) Smith's niece Marjorie Marris. Includes a collection of papers, correspondence to his sister, photographs, and ephemeral material from World War I. Highlights include the postcards and a small collection of French embroidered stitchery souvenirs.

Nutcote Papers

The Nutcote Trust was set up by by Ian Wilson, AM and Jeffrey Prentice, along with the North Sydney Council to manage May Gibbs’ home Nutcote at Neutral Bay on Sydney Harbour. An enthusiastic group of supporters nationally had saved this historic home and its gardens from demolition. This collection includes newsletters, correspondence, Trust papers, articles from newspapers and magazines, blueprints, minutes from meetings, and monthly financial statements. The archive is mostly comprised of the papers of Prentice and Wilson.

African Research Collection of John Arundel Barnes

John Barnes's collection was collated in 2008 by Dr. Paul Cocks, a former La Trobe University doctoral student and was originally held by the former African Research Institute at La Trobe University. The 8 boxes of materials in the collection includes manuscripts, maps, field notes (on Ngoni, Kausha, Israyeli natives), villages' census records, dictionary, photographs, letters, typed and handwritten notes on various topics such as marriage, divorce, political structure, government publications on Northern Rhodesia.

Papers of Kathleen Harvey Relating to Vietnam

Compiled and donated by Kao Shen, the two boxes consist of  correspondence and publications, press cuttings on Vietnam. Kathleen Harvey advocated for the anti-conscription campaigns of the Save Our Sons, a Sydney organisation of conscientious objectors. It contains correspondence with many of the anti-war movement in Australia such as Jim Cairns, John Perceval when he was a student, Daniel Curtin M.P., and Malcolm Fraser. Also, there are many 'letters to the editor' of various newspapers, a few issues of "United People" written by Rev. C.P. Bradley, and papers concerning the William White campaign, the Ex-services Association of Australia, the Lara Movement, and the Victorian Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.