Collection UQFL163 - David Malouf Papers

Identity area

Reference code



David Malouf Papers


  • 1948-2016 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

19 boxes, 2 microfilms

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

David Malouf AO, internationally renowned Australian author, was born in South Brisbane in on 20 March 1934 and is of Lebanese Maronite Catholic, Portuguese Sephardic Jewish and English heritage. He was educated at Brisbane Grammar School and graduated from the University of Queensland in 1955 with a Bachelor of Arts. After graduation, he lived in Europe for nearly ten years (1959 – 1968) and worked as a teacher in London and Birkenhead. He returned to Australia in 1968 and lectured in English at Sydney University from 1968 to 1977. In 1991 he was made Doctor of Letters honoris causa by the University of Queensland, having previously been given an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters by the University of Sydney in 1988. He has spent much of his career as a professional writer splitting his time between Australia and Italy.
His novels include Johnno (1975), An imaginary life (1978), Remembering Babylon (1993) and Ransom (2009). He has also written several volumes of award-winning poetry and short stories as well as regularly contributing to the national and international press.

Archival history

Collection previously titled as: Papers, 1969-2001
Collection alternatively titled as: David Malouf Collection

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This collection of David Malouf contains corrected manuscript and typescript drafts of Bicycle and Other Poems, Johnno, An Imaginary Life, Child's Play, Eustace, The Prowler, Fly Away Peter, Harland's Half Acre, Antipodes : Stories, 12 Edmonstone Street, The Great World, Remembering Babylon, The Conversations at Curlow Creek, Every Move You Make, and Ransom.

There are draft typescripts and related documents for Opera Libretti by David Malouf (both published and unpublished): Voss : Opera in Two Acts After the Novel by Patrick White, Invocation to Earth, Remembering Babylon, 'The Aspern Papers', 'You can't think of everything', 'A Winter's Tale', The Fox and the Magpie. In addition there are two versions of 10,000 Miles Away, written by David Malouf for theatre.

This collection has over 1700 letters written to David Malouf from an extensive number of correspondents: Glenda Adams, Luciana Arrighi, Murray Bail, Bruce Beaver, John Bell, Bruce Beresford, Michael Berkeley, John Blight, Michael Brennan, David Brooks, Bille Brown, Felicity Bryan, Carmen Callil, Ian Callinan, Felix Calvino, Nancy Cato, Clem Christesen [writing to Judith Green, later Rodriguez], John Clanchy, Alison Clark, Dymphna Clark, Manning Clark, John Coetzee, Adele Cohen, Matthew Condon, Jim Davidson, Robyn Davidson, Bruce Dawe, Robert Dessaix, Rosemary Dobson, Espie Dods, Eve Duncan, Don Dunstan, Geoffrey Dutton, Nin Dutton, Christopher Edwards, Nick Enright, Michele Field, Helen Garner, Marea Gazzard, Clem Gorman, Lisa Gorton, Kate Grenville, Elizabeth Harrower, Kenneth J Harvey, Dennis Haskell, Ihab Hassan, Shirley Hazzard (Shirley and Francis Steegmuller), Janette Turner Hospital, Brian Howard, Barry Humphries, Ivor Indyk, Elizabeth Jolley, Gail Jones, Nicholas Jose (Nick Jose), Beate Josephi and Andrew Taylor, Nancy Keesing, Thomas Keneally, John Kinsella, Manoly Lascaris, David Leavitt, Gerard Lee, Geoffrey Lehmann, Kathy Lette, Alan Lightman, Stephen McClymont, Mark McKenna, Robert Macklin, Tony Maniaty, David Marr, Mandy Martin, Gillian Mears, Drusilla Modjeska, Frank Moorhouse, Mal Morgan, Les Murray, Philip Neilson, Cees Nooteboom, Mark O’Connor, Carlo Olivieri, Margaret Olley, Michael Ondaatje, Tony Page, Peter Porter, Pixie Pratt [Pixie O’Harris], Judith Rodriguez, David Rowbotham, Ethel Rowbotham, Lilian Roxon, John Ralston Saul, Jaya Savige, Scripsi (Michael Heyward and Peter Craven], Penelope Seidler, Tom Shapcott, Lidija Simkus-Pocius (Lidija Simkute), Ian Sinnamon, Norah Smallwood, Jeffrey Smart, Christina Stead, Lurline Stuart, John Tranter, James Tulip (Jim Tulip), UQP [Frank W Thompson, Roger McDonald, Craig Munro], Christopher Wallace-Crabbe (Chris Wallace-Crabbe), Robin Wallace-Crabbe, Jacki Weaver, Peter Weir, Gough Whitlam, Phyllis Webb, Patrick White, and many others.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Unrestricted access.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright applies.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

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Related descriptions

Publication note

Materials subsequently published as novels, novellas and poetry collections, including:
Malouf, D. (1975). Johnno. St. Lucia : University of Queensland Press
Malouf, D. (1978). An Imaginary Life. New York: George Braziller.
Malouf, D. (1982). Fly Away Peter. New York: George Braziller.
Malouf, D. (1981). Child's play. The bread of time to come : two novellas. New York: George Braziller.
Malouf, D. (1999). Child's play with Eustace and The prowler. London: Chatto & Windus.
Malouf, D. (1984). Harland's Half Acre. New York : Knopf
Malouf, D. (1990). The Great World. London: Chatto & Windus.
Malouf, D. (1993). Remembering Babylon. London: Chatto & Windus.
Malouf, D. (1985). Antipodes : stories. London: Chatto & Windus.
Malouf, D. (1970). Bicycle and Other Poems. St. Lucia : University of Queensland Press
Malouf, D. (1985). 12 Edmondstone Street. London: Chatto & Windus.

Publication note

Liberetto for operas:
Voss (1986) - with Richard Meale (composer). Performed at the Sydney Opera House in 1987 with Australian Opera, Sydney Symphony Orchestra and recorded by ABC. Recording available via the National Film and Sound Archive.
Invocation to Earth (1973) - with Dianne Blom (composer).

Publication note

Material from this collection has been cited in:
Christina Spittel (2014). Nostalgia for the Nation: The First World War in Australian Novels of the 1970s and 1980s. The Great War in Post-Memory Literature and Film (pp. 255--272).
Hamilton, V.M. 2001 , 'Aspects of metamorphosis in the fiction of David Malouf', Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.
Smith, Yvonne. In the Beginning: David Malouf's An Imaginary Life. Australian Literary Studies, Vol. 22, No. 2, Oct 2005: 160-174.
Smith, Yvonne Joy. Brightness Under Our Shoes: the Redress of the Poetic Imagination in the Poetry and Prose of David Malouf, 1960-1982. PhD Thesis. University of Sydney. School of Letters, Art and Media, Department of English.

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)



Millennium Local System Number


OCLC Number

1096560378 ; 222653397

Libraries Australia ID

62993010 ; 21259655

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Dates of creation revision deletion

Revised, Linda Justo, 23-Nov-2021. Migrated from LMS: April 2019, P.A.




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Physical storage

  • Box: UQFL163 Box 1
  • Box: UQFL163 Box 2
  • Box: UQFL163 Box 3
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  • Box: UQFL163 Box 19