Collection UQFL203 - Papers relating to Xavier Herbert

Identity area

Reference code



Papers relating to Xavier Herbert


  • 1963-1981. (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

16 boxes.

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Laurie Hergenhan was appointed Reader in the Department of English at the University of Queensland in 1971. He made a major contribution in the research and teaching of Australian literature. He was founding Director of the Australian Studies Centre, University of Queensland, 1979-1982; foundation editor of Australian Literary Studies; and has written widely on Australian literature. In 1992 he received the A.A. Phillips Award for his contribution to the study of Australian literature; in 1993 he became a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities; in 1994 he became an Officer of the Order of Australia; in 1995 he was made an Emeritus Professor. He retired from the University of Queensland in 1993. He died on 21 July 2019.

Name of creator


Biographical history

In 1930, while returning to England after a failed marriage Sarah (Sadie) Cohen, nee Norden met Albert Francis Xavier Herbert. They returned to Australia in 1932, settled in Redlynch, near Cairns, Queensland, in 1951 and married at the Cairns Court House on 26 June 1953. Sadie Herbert died on 29 September 1979.

Name of creator


Biographical history

Xavier Herbert was born in Geraldton, Western Australia, and grew up there and in Fremantle. He trained as a pharmacist and worked and lived in Melbourne, Sydney, Darwin and then England where he married and wrote his first novel 'Capricornia' which was finally published by P R Stephensen in 1938. Herbert returned to Australia in 1932 and in 1946 he settled with his wife Sadie at Redlynch, near Cairns, Queensland. Herbert's other works include the autobiographical 'Disturbing Element' (1963), the novel 'Soldiers' Women' (1961), the novella 'Seven Emus' (1959) and the short story collection 'Larger than Life' (1963), as well as short stories and many articles expressing his strongly held opinions on various aspects of Australian life. His last work 'Poor Fellow My Country' was published in 1975 and won the Miles Franklin Award that year. Since his death two collections of Herbert 's writings have been published: 'Xavier Herbert' (1992), edited by Peter Pierce and Frances De Groen, which includes extracts from novels with other fiction, nonfiction and correspondence, and 'South of Capricornia' (1990), edited by Russell McDougall, which reprints stories written before 1934 and often published under pseudonyms. Xavier Herbert was awarded honorary doctorates by the Universities of Queensland and Newcastle.

Archival history

Collection previously titled as: Papers relating to Xavier Herbert, 1963-1981
Collection alternatively titled as: Laurie Hergenhan and Xavier Herbert Collection.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Correspondence Xavier Herbert to Sadie Herbert, Xavier, 1901-1984 Herbert & Sadie Herbert to Laurie Hergenhan; manuscripts, papers, and audiotapes relating to "Poor fellow my country".

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Section 1 (Box 1): Letters Xavier Herbert to Sadie Herbert, from Atherton Hospital 1964-1965;
Section 2 (Box 1): Letters Xavier Herbert to Sadie Herbert from Maryborough 1963-1966;
Section 3(a) (Box 2-6): Drafts of "Poor fellow my country";
Section 3(b) (Box 7): Diaries and logbooks, mostly relating to "Poor fellow my country";
Section 4 (Box 8-9): Letters Xavier Herbert to Laurie Hergenhan, 1970-1981;
Section 5 (Box 10): Letters Sadie Herbert to Laurie Hergenhan, 1971-1974;
Section 6(a) & (b) (Box 11-12): Miscellaneous;
Section 7 (Box 13): Tapes;
Section 8 (Box 14-15): Manuscript of "Poor fellow my country"; Box 16: Tapes.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Unrestricted access.

Conditions governing reproduction

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

Related units of description

Further manuscript material relating to Xavier Herbert held in UQFL83 Papers of Sadie and Xavier Herbert

Related descriptions

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used



Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Migrated from LMS: April 2019, P.A.




Accession area