MS 6428 comprises manuscripts and typescripts of novels, plays, short stories and articles and extensive correspondence. Works among the manuscripts include Bring larks and heroes, Confederates, The cut-rate kingdom, Halloran's little boat, Ned Kelly and the city of bees, Passenger, Season in purgatory, The survivor, A victim of the Aurora, "Bligh", and "Burke and Wills". A large proportion of the correspondence is with publishers, literary agents and editors including Philip Ziegler, Tessa Sayle, James Moad, Thomas Stewart, Peter Grose, Donald Horne, Peter Cross, W.R. Cumming, John Abernethy, Clem Christesen, Tim Curnow, Geoff Barnes, Geoffrey Blainey, Alec Bolton, Barbara Buick, Peter Coleman, Sir William Collins, Xavier Herbert, Leonie Kramer, Les Murray, Cyril Pearl, Grace Perry, Patricia Rolfe, Fred Schepisi, Gavin Souter and Douglas Stewart. Papers relating to Keneally's involvement with the Australian Republican Movement include correspondence, administrative papers, cuttings, publicity material, newsletters and journals (16 boxes, 1 fol. box).
The Acc05.198 instalment comprises correspondence, 1960-2004, including personal and with publishers and institutions, literary manuscripts, drafts, proofs, research material, reviews and related correspondence of books including The great shame, An angel in Australia. A river town, The cut-rate kingdom, Bettany's book, Essington, Sickles (American scoundrel), Flying hero class, Halloran's little boat and Towards Asmara. There are also screenplays, playscripts and scripts for television series. The tapes of interviews, plays and music include Sculthorpe's Child of Australia, with text by Keneally. Other material includes articles, notes and speeches, About town articles, "Memorabilia" relating to Australia and the United States, Australia-China Council papers, Children's summit papers and the manuscripts of other writers (4 boxes, 177 cartons, 1 fol. box).
Writer and playwright. Thomas Michael Keneally was born in Sydney in 1935 and educated at St Patrick's College, Strathfield. He trained for the Catholic priesthood but left the seminary before being ordained. From 1960 Keneally worked as a schoolteacher and, between 1968-1970, as a lecturer in drama at the University of New England. Keneally's first novel was published in 1964 but it was not until his third novel, Bring larks and heroes, that he took up writing as a full-time career. Keneally is one of Australia's most prolific and distinguished writers, having received many awards and been shortlisted for his novels and non-fiction works. He won the Miles Franklin Literary Award in 1967 (for Bring larks and heroes) and 1968 (for Three cheers for the Paraclete), and the Booker Prize (UK) in 1982 (for Schindler's ark). The latter book was adapted by Steven Spielberg as "Schindler's list", which won an Academy Award for Best Picture in 1993. In 1983, Keneally became an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for service to literature, and in 1997 was named an Australian National Living Treasure. Keneally is a strong advocate for an Australian republic, and has published numerous essays and a book, Our republic (1993), on the subject.