Guide to the Papers of Thomas Shapcott


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Manuscript Name Papers of Thomas Shapcott
Manuscript Number MSS 114
Last Updated July 2007
Extent 1.27 m (11 boxes, 4 folios, 3 posters)
Location Academy Library, UNSW Canberra
Abstract The papers include notes, research material, manuscript and typescript drafts, scrapbooks, photographs, audio cassettes and posters relating to Shapcott's literary and musical endeavours, predominantly in the years 1985-1989.

Scope and Content

The papers include notes, research material, manuscript and typescript drafts, scrapbooks, photographs, audio cassettes and posters relating to Shapcott's literary endeavours, predominantly in the years 1985-1989. There are papers relating to the works 'Travel light, leave no debts' [1976], Hotel Bellevue (1986), Travel dice (1987), Limestone and lemon wine (1988), The Literature Board, a brief history (1988), The search for Galina (1989) and The art of Charles Blackman (1989). The collection also includes drafts for several short stories, dramas and dance pieces, some of which remain unpublished. One strength of the collection is a scrapbook, 1970-1984, which contains publicity for Shapcott's books, copies of reviews written by or about Shapcott, and other related material. There are also 12 audio cassettes in the collection which feature recordings of concerts for which Shapcott wrote libretti.


Organization

The original order of the collection has largely been maintained by the Library.

Biographical Note

Thomas (William) Shapcott was born on 21 March 1935 in Ipswich, Queensland. He attended Ipswich Grammar School, leaving in 1951 to work in his father's accountancy firm. He continued his education at the University of Queensland, completing a degree in accounting in 1961, and a degree in Arts in 1967. Shapcott established his own accountancy firm in 1972, specialising in taxation for writers, artists and academics. In 1978 he became a full time writer, receiving a number of literary grants and fellowships to continue his writing. Shapcott served as Director of the Literature Board of the Australia Council from 1983-1990, and was the Executive Director of the National Book Council from 1991-1997. In 1997 he became the inaugural Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Adelaide.

In 1989 Shapcott was awarded the Order of Australia for his services to literature, as well as an Honorary Doctorate of Literature from Macquarie University.

Shapcott has been awarded:
Harold White Fellowships, 2005. Note: to examine the papers of Ray Mathew
Patrick White Award, 2000
New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards, Special Discretionary Award, 1996
Wesley Michel Wright Prize for Poetry, 1996: winner
FAW Christopher Brennan Award, 1995
Canada-Australia Literary Award, 1978
C.J. Dennis Memorial Poetry Competition, Open Section, 1976: commended for The five senses
Myer Award for Australian Poetry, 1967: winner for A taste of salt water : poems by Thomas W. Shapcott
Grace Leven Poetry Prize, 1961: winner for Time on Fire.

References:
AustLit : The Resource for Australian Literature, March 2005.

Administrative Information


Access

This collection is available for research.


Restrictions on Use

No copying is permitted without the permission of the copyright owners.


Preferred Citation

Papers of Thomas Shapcott, Academy Library, UNSW Canberra, Australian Defence Force Academy, MS 114, Series [Number], Folder [Number].


Provenance

The collection was acquired by the Library from Shapcott in February 1990.

Additional Information


Related Material

Further papers relating to Thomas Shapcott are held by the Academy Library, UNSW Canberra at MS 152 Guide to the Papers of Craig Powell, Series 2 Correspondence with Thomas Shapcott, 1966-1990.


Separated Material

Further papers relating to Thomas Shapcott are held by the National Library at MS 5577, and by the Fryer Library, University of Queensland, at UQFL 56.

Access Terms


Personal Names

Shapcott, Thomas W. (Thomas William), 1935- -- Archives.


Topical Subjects

Authors, Australian -- 20th century -- Archives.

Australian literature -- 20th century.


Occupations

Novelists

Series List and Descriptions

 

Series 1 Novels

This series contains letters, notes, research material, typescript drafts and reader's reports for Shapcott's novels Hotel Bellevue (1986) and The search for Galina (1989), together with an apparently unpublished novel 'Travel light, leave no debts' [1976].

1.1 'Travel light, leave no debts' [1976]

This subseries contains a typescript draft and a reader's report for the novel, which appears to be unpublished.

Folder 1
Original typescript, 235 p.; reader's report from Craig Munro of University of Queensland Press, April 1976

1.2 Hotel Bellevue (1986)

This subseries contains letters, notes, research material, typescript drafts and a reader's report for the novel, which was first published in 1986 by Chatto & Windus, London.

Folder 1
'The golden orb' (early title) original typescript draft, approximately 100 pages; manuscript outline; letter to Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium, 16 July 1981; notes and research material, including photocopied newspaper clippings, 1977-1979, concerning demolition of the Belle Vue Hotel and an alleged Belmont slave camp

Folder 2
'In the park: a prelude chapter to the novel Hotel Bellevue' typescript draft, 5 p.

Folder 3
'Hotel Bellevue' heavily annotated typescript fifth draft, 241 p., 1984; letter from Ross Fitzgerald, February 1985; manuscript reader's report, 4 p.

Folder 4
Annotated typescript and typescript photocopy draft

Folder 5
Annotated typescript draft, 227 p.

Folder 6
'Replacement pages rewritten to avoid libel problems', pages 81-87, 170-171, 20 December 1985

Folder 7
Heavily edited typescript draft, 227 p.; sample page proofs; letter from Chatto & Windus and The Hogarth Press, November 1986

Folder 8
Heavily edited typescript photocopy final draft, 227 p.

1.3 The search for Galina (1989)

This subseries comprises typescript drafts for the novel, which was first published in 1989 by Chatto & Windus, London. The second edition was published in 1990 by Angus & Robertson, North Ryde, New South Wales.

Folder 1
Typescript photocopy draft, 319 p., May 1988-June 1989

Folder 2
Typescript draft, 308 p.

Folder 3
Typescript photocopy second draft, 242 p.

Folder 4
Typescript photocopy draft, 240 p.

 

Series 2 Short Stories

Shapcott's short story collection Limestone and lemon wine was first published in 1988 by Chatto & Windus, London. The second edition was published in 1990 by Black Swan, Sydney. The series includes drafts and page proofs for Limestone and lemon wine, together with early drafts and revisions for many of the short stories published in the collection. There are also drafts of other short stories, some of which may be unpublished.

2.1 Limestone and lemon wine (1988)

This subseries contains typescript drafts and page proofs for the short story collection. The stories published in Limestone and lemon wine include 'The phantom baiter', 'The competition portrait', 'Territories', 'Small town story', 'Firemen's helmets', 'George's centre', 'The honey drum', 'Long service accrual', 'G. H.', 'Water and blood', 'Pianist and mother', 'Hec Williams', 'Lessons', 'Lemon wine', 'Canada', 'I own the game' and 'Telephones'.

Folder 1
'Telephone links' (early collection title) annotated typescript and typescript photocopy draft, with note 'sent to RC and JB to read'

This draft includes 'Telephones', 'Lessons', 'The competition portrait' (marked as 'sent to Arnold Earnshaw and Coast to Coast 27/5/86'), 'Small town story', 'The phantom baiter', 'Territories' and 'Firemen's helmets'

Folder 2
Annotated typescript and typescript photocopy revised draft, marked as 'sent to Carmen Callil and Chatto & Windus'

This draft includes 'The competition portrait', 'The pianist's mother' (early title), 'I own the game', 'Territories', 'Small town story', 'The phantom baiter', 'Firemen's helmets', 'Lessons', 'Water and blood', 'Lemon wine', 'Long service accrual' and 'Telephones' (marked as 'Also sent to Geoffrey Dutton, July 1986')

Folder 3
'Lemon wine' (early collection title) typescript photocopy draft, marked 'Canada (to come)', 28 August 1986

This draft includes 'The phantom baiter', 'The competition portrait', 'Small town story', 'The honey drum', 'Firemen's helmets', 'The pianist's mother' (early title), 'Lessons', 'Feather and claw' (not included in final collection), 'Water and blood', 'Lemon wine', 'George's centre', 'G. H.', 'Hec Williams', 'Long service accrual', 'Leaves' (not included in final collection), 'I own the game', 'Telephones' and 'Territories'

Folder 4
Typescript photocopy draft, with note to Rose [?], 1 April 1987

This draft includes 'Progressive barn dance' (not included in final collection), 'Water and blood', 'Hec Williams', 'Lemon wine', 'The honey drum', 'The phantom baiter', 'Firemen's helmets' and 'Long service accrual'

Folder 5
'Lemon wine' (early collection title) typescript photocopy draft, 21 January 1987, marked as 'Pianist and mother missing (sent to Women's Weekly)' and 'Canada with Tim [Read], 11/2/87'

This draft includes 'The phantom baiter', 'The competition portrait', 'Territories', 'Small town story', 'Firemen's helmets', 'George's centre', 'The honey drum', 'Long service accrual', 'G. H.', 'Water and blood', 'Hec Williams', 'Lessons', 'Lemon wine', 'I own the game' and 'Telephones'

Folder 6
'Limestone and lemon wine' annotated typescript final draft

This draft includes 'Progressive barn dance', 'The phantom baiter', 'Lemon wine', 'Canada', 'I own the game', 'The competition portrait', 'Territories', 'Small town story', 'Firemen's helmets', 'George's centre', 'The honey drum', 'Long service accrual', 'G. H.', 'Water and blood', 'Pianist and mother', 'Hec Williams', 'Lessons' and 'Telephones'

Folder 7
'Limestone and lemon wine' corrected page proofs, 183 p., 17 September 1987

2.2 Early drafts of short stories appearing in Limestone and lemon wine (1988)

This subseries contains various drafts of the short stories that were included in Limestone and lemon wine (1988). The stories were generally written in the years 1984-1988, although many are undated. They are listed in the order in which they appear in the collection.

Folder 1
'The phantom baiter' annotated typescript photocopy draft; 'The competition portrait' four annotated typescript photocopy drafts

Folder 2
'Territories' five annotated typescript and typescript photocopy drafts; 'Small town story' three annotated typescript and typescript photocopy drafts, including one originally titled 'Agencies'

Folder 3
'Firemen's helmets' eight annotated typescript and typescript photocopy drafts

Folder 4
'George's centre' three annotated typescript and typescript photocopy drafts; 'The honey drum' four annotated typescript and typescript photocopy drafts, including one originally titled 'Cyril and Euphemia May'

Folder 5
'Long service accrual' nine annotated typescript and typescript photocopy drafts, including one originally titled 'The sack'

Folder 6
'G. H.' three annotated typescript and typescript photocopy drafts, including one originally titled 'H. G.'; 'Water and blood' four annotated typescript and typescript photocopy drafts

Folder 7
'Pianist and mother' five annotated typescript and typescript photocopy drafts, including drafts originally titled 'The pianist's mother'; 'Hec Williams' three annotated typescript and typescript photocopy drafts

Folder 8
'Lessons' four annotated typescript and typescript photocopy drafts

Folder 9
'Lemon wine' seven annotated typescript and typescript photocopy drafts

Folder 10
'Canada' nine annotated typescript and typescript photocopy drafts

Folder 11
'I own the game' four annotated typescript and typescript photocopy drafts, including drafts originally titled 'Leon'; 'Telephones' five annotated typescript and typescript photocopy drafts

2.3 Other Short Stories

This subseries contains drafts of the short stories 'Alex Sanger', 'Feather and claw', 'The Habsburg mouth', 'Progressive barn dance', 'Russian diary' and 'Visiting James Dickey, 1986'. Each story has a number of revisions but no date. The stories are listed in alphabetical order.

Folder 1
'Alex Sanger' typescript draft; 'Feather and claw' annotated typescript photocopy draft; 'The Habsburg mouth' (originally titled 'The Habsburg nose') four annotated typescript and typescript photocopy drafts, including two drafts dated 11-18 July 1985, together with a letter to Rosemary Creswell, 17 July 1985 and a reader's comment by Jean [?]

Folder 2
'Progressive barn dance' seven annotated typescript and typescript photocopy drafts; 'Russian diary' three annotated typescript and typescript photocopy drafts, together with a note to Rose [?], 31 December 1985; 'Visiting James Dickey, 1986' annotated typescript photocopy draft

 

Series 3 Poetry

This series contains manuscript and typescript drafts of Shapcott's poetry collection Travel dice (1987), which was published by the University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, Queensland.

Travel dice (1987)

Folder 1
Manuscript and typescript drafts of numerous poems in various stages, many heavily annotated

Folder 2
Typescript photocopy draft of collection

Folder 3
Typescript photocopy draft of collection, with note marked 'Rose - this is the ms I gave Laurie Muller'

 

Series 4 Dramas and Dance Pieces

This series includes papers relating to Shapcott's radio drama The litanies of Julia Pastrana (1983), together with two dramas 'Motel room: a play in one act' and 'Public bar: a play in one act', and a dance piece 'Dhang Hyang Kapulugan: dance of an old tiger'. The litanies of Julia Pastrana (1983) was originally produced as a dance piece in collaboration with Graham Jones, c. 1981. A recording of Shapcott's radio drama A canticle for Karoly Pulszky (1982) is included in Series 8.

Folder 1
The litanies of Julia Pastrana (1983) typescript photocopy first draft of radio version, recorded but not broadcast by the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), September 1983; 'Motel room: a play in one act' typescript photocopy draft; 'Public bar: a play in one act' typescript photocopy draft; 'Dhang Hyang Kapulugan: dance of an old tiger' typescript photocopy fourth draft, 28 p.

 

Series 5 Other Prose

This series contains typescript drafts for two of Shapcott's non-fiction works, The Literature Board, a brief history (1988) and The art of Charles Blackman (1989).

5.1 The Literature Board, a brief history (1988)

Shapcott's history of the Literature Board of the Australia Council, and its predecessor the Commonwealth Literary Fund, was published in 1988 by the University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, Queensland.

Folder 1
'The tip of the tail on the possum: Literature Board funding 1973-1986. A brief history' typescript photocopy draft, 1987

5.2 The art of Charles Blackman (1989)

The art of Charles Blackman was published by Andre Deutsch, London, in 1989. Shapcott's first study of the artist Charles Blackman, Focus on Charles Blackman, was published in 1967 by the University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, Queensland.

Folder 1
'Art of Charles Blackman' typescript photocopy final draft, 93 p.

 

Series 6 Scrapbooks, 1948-1986

This series contains five scrapbooks, which predominantly contains newspaper clippings concerning Shapcott and his work, his writing style and influences, and his place in the Australian literary scene. There are copies of interviews given, reviews of all his books, copies of nearly all book reviews written by Shapcott, articles and criticisms written by Shapcott for journals and newspapers, as well as correspondence. Other items include letters from publishers and newspapers, promotional material and dummy book covers, and programs for musical performances featuring libretti written by Shapcott.

Folder 1-2
Contents of scrapbook

Folio 3-6
Contents of scrapbook

 

Series 7 Photographs, 1941-1971

This series contains a number of photographs concerning Shapcott's childhood and family life, 1941-1950, together with photographs of a production of The seven deadly sins (1971), an opera with which Shapcott was involved.

Folder 1
Photograph album marked 'Tom - snapshots 1941-1950', containing primarily family photos which document holidays, school years, marriages and other special occasions, including approximately 80 captioned black and white photographs

Folder 2
Photograph album entitled 'Opera The seven deadly sins, Queensland Opera Company'

Including:
Uncaptioned black and white photographs of the Queensland Opera Company production (32)
Captioned black and white photographs from a 1969 production at St Johns Cathedral entitled 'Bring out your Christmas masks' (6)
Black and white photograph of Colin Brumby recording The seven deadly sins, 1970

 

Series 8 Audio Cassettes, 1970-1988

This series contains of audio cassettes relating primarily to Shapcott's musical interests. Shapcott began writing libretti for composer Colin Brumby in 1969, collaborating on such works as Five days lost (1970), A ballad for Saint Cecilia (1970), I Tarocchi (1975), Orpheus Beach (1978), Three baroque angels (1979), Tenebrae (1985) and The vision and the gap (1985). He has also collaborated with composers Alan John, Bruce Mills, David Watson and others. Recordings of a number of these works are included in this series.

Folder 1
QUMS Concert (including Orpheus Beach), October 1978

Folder 2
Robert Ashley interview and reading of 'The park' and 'The backyard'

Folder 3-4
Australian Film Special

Folder 5
Tenebrae, Queensland University Chorale conducted by Colin Brumby, recorded in St John's Cathedral, 5 April 1985

Folder 6
A canticle for Karoly Pulszky (1982)

Folder 7
The vision and the gap, QUMS and Queensland Theatre Orchestra conducted by Colin Brumby, 22 May 1985

Folder 8
ABC 'First Edition', presented by Jill Kitson, 25 February 1988

Folder 9
Orpheus Beach; Reading, Kelvin Grove College of Advanced Education, May 1978

Folder 10
Three baroque angels and I Tarocchi

Folder 11
Celebration music by Shapcott for Bruce Mills, Queensland Youth Orchestra, Australian Youth Jazz Band and SCAT, 8 October 1982

Folder 12
A ballad for Saint Cecilia, Twelve bagatelles and Five days lost

 

Series 9 Posters, 1985-c. 1989

Oversize 1-2
Black Swan poster advertising various writers published by them
Poster of Robert Gray, Australian writer in residence, 1985