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Papers of Brenda Niall, 1911-1991 [manuscript]
Bib ID 2263568
Format ManuscriptManuscript
Niall, Brenda, 1930-
Related Online
Access Conditions Available for research. Not for loan. 
Description [1911-1991] 
2.83 m. (14 boxes) + 1 folder + 1 fol. box. 

The papers in MS 7401 include 40 letters received by Brenda Niall while researching her book Australia through the looking-glass: children's fiction 1830-1980; drafts of her book Martin Boyd: a life and correspondence relating to its publication; copies of official documents and papers accumulated while researching Martin Boyd; copies of notes by other researchers, particularly Terry O'Neill; interview transcripts, photographs and copies of Boyd's novels, short stories and poems. The correspondents include Nance Donkin, Simon French, Eleanor Spence, Colin Thiele, Patricia Wrightson, Ruth Park, Desmond O'Grady, Arthur and Yvonne Boyd, Geoffrey Dutton, Alan Shadwick, Terry O'Neill and Graham Pollard (14 boxes, 1 fol. box).

The Acc06.113 instalment comprises the typescript of an interview conducted in 1985 by Desmond O'Grady with Luciano Tombini, an Italian boy who was very important to Martin Boyd when he settled in Rome (1 folder).


Writer and academic. Brenda Mary Niall was born in Melbourne in 1930. She gained her Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Melbourne prior to moving to the Australian National University where she graduated as a Master of Arts. In 1964, she took up an appointment as a teaching fellow with the English Department at Monash University where she gained her PhD. She became a senior lecturer in 1975 and a reader in 1994. Niall has held visiting fellowships at Michigan and Yale Universities. She was American Council of Learned Societies visiting research fellow in 1975 and visiting scholar in the Humanities Research Centre at the Australian National University in 1983 and 1987. She retired from her position as reader in English literature at Monash University in 1995.

Niall is the author of Seven little billabongs: the world of Ethel Turner and Mary Grant Bruce (1979), The Boyds: a family biography (2002), Judy Cassab: a portrait (2005), and The riddle of Father Hackett: a life in Ireland and Australia (2009), among other works. She has also co-edited with John Thompson The Oxford book of Australian letters (1998). Niall was the recipient of the Nettie Palmer Award for non-fiction in the Victorian Premier's awards for Georgiana: a biography of Georgina McCrae, painter, diarist, pioneer (1994). Her biography, Martin Boyd: a life (1988) received the National Book Council (Banjo) Award in 1989. In 2001, Niall was awarded the Centenary Medal and in 2004 she was made an Officer (AO) in the Order of Australia for service to literature as an academic, biographer and literary critic.


Manuscript reference no.: MS 7401, MS Acc06.113.

Related Material Telling our own truths: 2008 Kenneth Binns lecture given by Brenda Niall; Located at; National Library of Australia Oral History collection ORAL TRC 5990/1. 
Index/Finding Aid Note Finding aid available in the Special Collections Reading Room and online. 
Subjects Niall, Brenda, 1930- -- Archives.  |  Monash University. English Department -- Employees -- Archives.  |  Authors, Australian -- 20th century -- Archives.  |  Biographers -- Australia -- Archives.  |  Women biographers -- Australia -- Archives.  |  College teachers -- Australia -- Archives.  |  Australian literature -- 20th century -- Women authors.  |  Children's stories, Australian -- History and criticism.  |  Australia -- In literature.
Time Coverage 1911-1991 
Occupation Biographers.  |  Children's authors.  |  Academics.


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    MS Acc06.113 Special Collections Reading Room - Prior notice required
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