Papers include a collection of letters from Melba to her sister 'Tib" (Mrs T. A. Paterson), and her mother. Includes single letters to Tib from Melba's mother and sister Clara, and other letters to Dame Nellie. There are four signed and inscribed portrait photographs, three other portrait photographs, and two postcards of Melba. Also includes an embroidered silk evening bag with the name "Nellie" picked out in spangles, and three commemorative programmes, printed on cloth (Royal Opera, Covent Garden, 23 June 1897; Royal Opera, Covent Garden, 11 June 1907; and Town Hall, Melbourne, 27 September 1902).
Dame Nellie Melba was born in Melbourne in 1861 and took her stage name from that city. A year's study in Paris with the famous Mathilde Marchesi transformed her from a gifted beginner into a brilliant vocalist, soon to be regarded as the most accomplished and most famous soprano of her time. Her purity of voice made her the most famous Diva in the operatic world, throughout which she gave many performances. Between 1904 and 1926 Melba made some 150 records. Her final performance at Covent Garden was in June 1926, with her last Australian performances in Sydney and Melbourne in 1928.