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Papers of Francis James, 1932-1992 [manuscript]
Bib ID 165385
Format ManuscriptManuscript
James, Francis, 1918-1992
Related Online
Access Conditions Available for research. Not for loan. 
Description [1932-1992] 
11.10 m. (15 boxes) + 16 A3 cartons + 1 small box. 

MS 8657 comprises papers relating to the Australian National University including articles, addresses, balance sheets for 1948 and 1949, and the Australian National University Act, amendments, statutes and rules. Also includes six letters from Sir James Darling to Francis James, 1958-1967 and undated, and a cuttings book of photocopied articles by and about Francis James, 1932-1992, with introductory matter by his son, Alfred.

The Acc04/138 instalment includes diaries, letters in, flying log books and photocopies of James' writings, and papers relating to the Department of Health and Social Security (U.K.), Anglo-Australian Fisheries Co. Ltd., The Anglican newspaper and the Packer takeover in 1960, China, Cyprus, and books and Blackwells, the book supplier used by James.


Pilot, journalist, and espouser of causes. Alfred Francis Phillip James was born at Queenstown, Tasmania on 21 April, 1918. James joined the RAAF in 1936 but left soon after and took up teaching. Travelling to England James joined the Royal Air Force and was taken prisoner when his Spitfire was shot down over northern France in 1942. After the war James was admitted to Oxford on a scholarship but after two years he was sent down from Balliol. Returning to Australia in 1949 James became managing director of Anglo-Australian Fisheries Co. Ltd., a fishing operation off the Western Australian coast that was wound up in 1955. He then joined The Anglican newspaper as its education correspondent and religious editor.

On a return journey from Europe, and travelling on a Russian passport, James was detained in China from 1969 to 1973 for alleged spying. In 1986 the Chinese government exonerated James and he was given an extensive, all expenses paid, tour of China. After his release in January 1973 James resumed flying and regained his private pilot licence. From 1973 James continued in journalism and reviewed books for several newspapers and journals both in Australia and overseas. James' private library, said to be one of the largest in Australia, reflected his interest in the history, wars and politics of Europe over the past two centuries. James died at Sydney on 24 August, 1992.


Manuscript reference no.: MS 8657, MS Acc04/138.

Reproduction Some photocopies. 
Subjects James, Francis, 1918-1992 -- Archives.  |  Darling, J. R. (James Ralph), 1899-1995 -- Correspondence.  |  Australian National University.  |  Journalists -- Australia -- Archives.  |  Air pilots -- Australia -- Archives.  |  Book collectors -- Australia -- Archives.
Time Coverage 1932-1992 
Occupation Journalists.  |  Aircraft pilots.  |  Book collectors.
Other authors/contributors Darling, J. R. (James Ralph), 1899-1995
Terms of Use Copying of Francis James' copyright material requires permission for research purposes. 


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    Members of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Maori communities are advised that this catalogue contains names and images of deceased people. All users of the catalogue should also be aware that certain words, terms or descriptions may be culturally sensitive and may be considered inappropriate today, but may have reflected the author's/creator's attitude or that of the period in which they were written.