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Papers relating to the song "Waltzing Matilda", circa 1900-1986 [manuscript]
Bib ID 1420754
Format ManuscriptManuscript, OnlineOnline
Macpherson, Christina Rutherford, 1864-1936
Online Versions
Related Online
Access Conditions Available for research. Not for loan. 
Description [ca. 1900-1986] 
0.09 m. (21 pieces) + photographs + 1 folder. 

MS 9065 comprises the original music and lyrics for Waltzing Matilda, in the handwriting of Christina Macpherson, together with related papers. The collection comprises six main items: Item 1. Undated letter to Dr Thomas Wood, author of Cobbers (1934), from Christina Macpherson, explaining the origins of the song (4 p.). Item 2. Lyrics of Waltzing Matilda, handwritten by Christina Macpherson, unsigned (1 p.). Item 3. Original manuscript of Waltzing Matilda music, with lyrics and signed by Christina Macpherson (2 p., incl. 1 double-size folded page). Item 4. Spiral bound authentication report regarding the Waltzing Matilda manuscripts, produced by the Victoria Police, State Forensic Science Laboratory, 3 October 1986 (12 p.). Item 5. Original photograph of Christina Macpherson, ca. 1900, taken by Vandyck, Collins Street, Melbourne. Item 6. Original photograph of Christina Macpherson with her niece "Joan McC. McC." Joan McCall McCowan, undated.

Also housed with the collection is a plastic bag of photographs taken at an official morning tea in the Manuscript Section, 10 January 1997, to mark the presentation of Waltzing Matilda manuscripts to the National Library (21 pieces, photographs, 1 folder).


In 1895, whilst staying with her brother near Winton, Queensland, Macpherson played a tune she had heard the previous year at the Warrnambool races. Banjo Paterson, who was listening, decided to make up some words to the music. In its various forms Waltzing Matilda has become Australia's best known folksong.


Manuscript reference no.: MS 9065.

Associated materials: McArthur-Macpherson family papers, 1844-2009 MS Acc12.019.

Photocopies available for reference.

Also available online

Subjects Macpherson, Christina Rutherford, 1864-1936 -- Archives.  |  Macpherson, Christina Rutherford, 1864-1936 -- Portraits.  |  Wood, Thomas, 1892-1950 -- Correspondence.  |  Paterson, A. B. (Andrew Barton), 1864-1941. Waltzing Matilda.  |  Waltzing Matilda (Song)  |  National songs -- Australia.
Time Coverage 1900-1986 
Occupation Musicians.
Other authors/contributors McCall McCowan, Joan
Also Titled

Waltzing Matilda (Song)

Exhibited Exhibited: "Treasures Gallery", National Library of Australia, 3 December 2012 - 3 May 2013.  Exhibited: "Treasures Gallery", National Library of Australia, 7 October 2011 - 15 December 2012. 

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MS 9065 Special Collections Reading Room - Conditions apply
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MS 9065
Copy: Folder of photocopies
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