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Papers of Sir Harold White and Lady Elizabeth White, 1911-1992 [manuscript]
Bib ID 514768
Format ManuscriptManuscript, OnlineOnline
Author
White, Harold Leslie, Sir, 1905-1992
 
Online Versions
Related Online
Resources
Access Conditions Part available for research; part not available for research. Not for loan. 
Description [1911-1992] 
19.1 m. (116 boxes) + 1 large fol. box + 1 elephant fol. 
Summary

MS 7599 includes diaries, speeches, articles, administrative files, invitations, official and personal correspondence, press cuttings, publications, awards, photographs, slides, film and notes documenting the lives of Sir Harold White and Lady Elizabeth White, especially Sir Harold's career in the Commonwealth Parliamentary Library and National Library of Australia, and Lady Elizabeth's community work particularly for the care of the elderly (116 boxes, 1 fol. box, 1 elephant fol.)

Biography/History

Harold Leslie White was born on 14 June 1905 in Numurkah, Victoria, the third child of James and Beatrice White. He was educated at Invergordon State School, Wesley College (Melbourne) and the University of Melbourne and graduated with a Masters degree with first class honours in French. He was recruited to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Library in 1923 at the instigation of his headmaster, a friend of the first Parliamentary Librarian Arthur Wadsworth. He was appointed deputy librarian in 1927. On 18 October 1930 he married Elizabeth Wilson at the Chapel of Queen's College, Melbourne, where White had resided as a student, at a ceremony officiated by the Master, Dr E.H. Sugden. In 1939 White received a grant from the Carnegie Corporation to conduct an extensive study tour of libraries in the United States and Europe. He succeeded Kenneth Binns as Parliamentary Librarian in 1947, retaining this role jointly with that of National Librarian after the establishment of the National Library of Australia in 1960. He relinquished the former role in 1968, and retired as National Librarian in 1970.

He was a member of the National Film Board and the Commonwealth Archives Committee (1947-1970) and chairman of the UNESCO Committee on Drama, Theatre and Literature (1951-1958). During the 1960s he undertook extensive travel to Asia to expand the National Library's collecting activities in that region. White was active in the Canberra community promoting the arts and education through bodies such as the Canberra Society of Arts and Literature, University Association of Canberra, and the Humanities Research Council. He was a founding member of the Australian Institute of Librarians in 1937, and literary editor of the Australian National Review, a monthly magazine of the late 1930s edited by William Farmer Whyte. He was also an active member of the Rotary Club of Canberra. Following his retirement he served as UNESCO Consultant advising on the establishment of a national library in Malaysia, the advisory board for the Australian Encyclopaedia, and the National Memorials Committee. He was appointed CBE in 1962 for service to government, and was knighted in 1970. The National Library of Australia's fellowship scheme was named in his honour in 1985. He died on 31 August 1992.

Elizabeth Ogilvie White (nee Wilson) was born in Melbourne on 16 December 1907, daughter of Richard and Annie Wilson, and was educated at Tintern Girls' Grammar School and Presbyterian Ladies' College Melbourne. Upon matriculation she worked as a teacher and governess. She married Harold Leslie White on 18 October 1930 at Queen's College Chapel. Harold and Elizabeth White were among the first residents of Red Hill, where they took up a three-acre block at 27 Mugga Way. They had four children, David (1931-2004), Judith (1933-2010), John (1935-2006), and Katharine (1937- ). Elizabeth White was active in community affairs for most of her life, particularly in women's organisations and the care of Canberra's elderly. As a member of the National Council of Women she was involved in the establishment of the Thursday Club (later the Senior Citizens' Club) and the construction of its permanent building in Turner. She played an important role in the establishment of the Goodwin Homes in Ainslie. Active in public speaking societies, she was awarded life membership of the Penguin Club. She was also a member of the Women's International Club, the Inger Rice Foundation, and the Pan Pacific and South East Asia Association. Elizabeth White was honoured by an OBE in 1962 for service to the community. She died on 18 June 1988.

Notes

Manuscript reference no.: MS 7599.

Associated materials: Papers of Sir Harold White, 1962-1976 MS 2899.

Associated materials: Papers of Sir Harold White, 1946-1990 MS 3665.

Also available online http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-283898824

Related Material Interview with Sir Harold White, former National Librarian; Located at; National Library of Australia Oral History collection ORAL TRC 2305.  Interview with Sir Harold White, librarian; Located at; National Library of Australia Oral History collection ORAL TRC 3065 Side B. 
Index/Finding Aid Note Finding aid available in the Special Collections Reading Room and online. 
Subjects White, Harold Leslie, Sir, 1905-1992 -- Archives.  |  White, Elizabeth, Lady, 1907-1988 -- Archives.  |  National Library of Australia -- Officials and employees -- Archives.  |  National Library of Australia -- History.  |  Librarians -- Australia -- Archives.  |  National librarians -- Australia -- Archives.  |  Public officers -- Australia -- Archives.
Time Coverage 1911-1992 
Occupation Librarians.  |  Public officers.
Other authors/contributors White, Elizabeth, Lady, 1907-1988  |  National Library of Australia

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