MS 9957 comprises papers of Walter Burley Griffin, mostly relating to his life and work in Australia. The collection includes writings in Griffin's hand, typescripts of articles he wrote, newspaper cuttings relating to Griffin and his work, including the establishment of Canberra and plans for the development of Leeton and Griffith. There is a small amount of material relating to projects in Melbourne such as Newman College, Palais de Dance and the Capitol Theatre. Other papers relate to the building of incinerators in Sydney and the development of Castlecrag, including the the knitlock process. Papers of Marion Mahony Griffin include a set of notebooks containing lists of plantings, coded by colour. There is a small amount of material relating to Griffin's work in the United States and India (14 boxes, 1 fol. box).
Architect. Eric Milton Nicholls was an architect associate, colleague and friend of Walter Burley and Marion Mahony Griffin. Nicholls was born in Linton, Victoria, in 1902 and attended Swinburne Technical College. He trained as a draftsman, obtained employment at the offices of Walter Burley Griffin, and became an associate of the practice following his registration as an architect in 1924. In 1931 he was made a partner in Griffin and Nicholls Architects. At this time, the firm was involved in the design of a series of municipal incinerators. In 1932 Nicholls moved to Sydney with his family to manage the office there and was in charge of the practice during the Griffins' absence in India. In Castlecrag, where they lived, Nicholls and his wife Mary became active members of the community.
Following Walter Burley Griffin's death in 1937, Nicholls continued the practice under the same name. Later he operated under his own name and then as Nicholls Elliot and Nicholls. Anthroposophy became a major influence in his life, as it did for the Griffins. He joined the Anthroposophical Society of Australia in the early 1930s, becoming its general secretary in 1948. With Sylvia Brose, he established the first Rudolph Steiner School in Australia, also designing a number of its buildings. During Nicholls' lifetime he kept custody of a large collection of Griffin's papers and photographs. On his death in 1966, this custody passed to his children, Marie and Glynn, from whom the collection was acquired by the National Library of Australia in 2006.