Collection UQFL485 - Trevor Shearston Papers

Identity area

Reference code



Trevor Shearston Papers


  • 1966-2015 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

27 boxes, 2 parcels

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Trevor Shearston was born in Sydney and graduated from University of Sydney in 1967. He spent seven years teaching and travelling in Papua New Guinea between 1968 and 1976, and has visited the country several times since In the 1970s and 80s he taught English and performed as a folk-singer. His experiences in New Guinea inform all his writing from his first collection of short stories Something in the Blood (1979) through his subsequent novels Sticks That Kill (1983), White Lies (1986), Concertinas (1988), A Straight Young Back (2000), Tinder (2002) and Dead Birds (2007) and his writing for screen and radio.

Archival history

Collection previously titled as: Papers, c1977-ca. 2002
Collection alternatively titled as: Trevor Shearston Collection.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Drafts, correspondence, research notes, and photographs for novels, screenplays and a short story written by Trevor Shearston. There are drafts for his radio documentary feature 'The New Guinea letters of John Green', aired in 1984. The screenplay for 'Snowdrop' (later filmed as 'Envy') had various working titles. Sticks that kill was initially preceded by a stage play call "Goaribari". A straight young back had the working titles of "The old magic touch" and the "Walk novel".

Arranged into Series :
Series A: Something in the blood [short story collection] (1979)
Series B: Sticks that kill [novel] (1983)
Series C: White lies [novel] (1986)
Series D: Correspondence with University of Queensland Press
Series E: A straight young back [novel] (2000)
Series F: Drafts for 'Walk novel'and 'The old magic touch' (A straight young back [novel])
Series G: Tinder [novel] (2002)
Series H: Dead birds [novel] (2007)
Series I: Concertinas [novel] (1988)
Series J: Snowdrop [screenplay] - filmed as Envy [motion picture] (1999)
Series K: New Guinea letters of John Green [radio documentary] (1984)
Series L: Short stories and dramatic works, published and unpublished, 1966 to 1995
Series M: Research files on Papua New Guinea
Series N: Game [screenplay]
Series O: Game [novel] (2013)
Series P: Photographs for Game [screenplay]
Series Q: Ben Hall realia

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Where possible, arranged according to original order.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Unrestricted access except for permanent restriction to forensic photographs in Box 13, Folder 6: material may be viewed by researcher; material may not be reproduced or exhibited.

Conditions governing reproduction

Permanent restriction to forensic photographs in Box 13, Folder 6: material may be viewed by researcher; material may not be reproduced or exhibited.

Language of material

  • English
  • Tok Pisin

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Photocopies on heat sensitive paper have been discarded as unable to be read.
Collection contains: colour and b&w photographs, slides, videocassette, and microcassette.

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

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Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)



Alma Local System Number


Millennium Local System Number


Libraries Australia ID

63073136; 45792079

OCLC Number


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Description control area

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Rules and/or conventions used



Level of detail


Dates of creation revision deletion

Revised, Linda Justo, 1-Oct-2019; Migrated from LMS: April 2019, P.A.




Accession area

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Physical storage

  • Box: UQFL485 Box 1
  • Box: UQFL485 Box 2
  • Box: UQFL485 Box 3
  • Box: UQFL485 Box 4
  • Box: UQFL485 Box 5
  • Box: UQFL485 Box 6
  • Box: UQFL485 Box 7
  • Box: UQFL485 Box 8
  • Box: UQFL485 Box 9
  • Box: UQFL485 Box 10
  • Box: UQFL485 Box 11
  • Box: UQFL485 Box 12
  • Box: UQFL485 Box 13
  • Box: UQFL485 Box 14
  • Box: UQFL485 Box 15
  • Box: UQFL485 Box 16
  • Box: UQFL485 Box 17
  • Box: UQFL485 Box 18
  • Box: UQFL485 Box 19
  • Box: UQFL485 Box 20
  • Box: UQFL485 Box 21
  • Box: UQFL485 Box 22
  • Box: UQFL485 Box 23
  • Box: UQFL485 Box 24
  • Box: UQFL485 Box 25
  • Box: UQFL485 Box 26
  • Box: UQFL485 Box 27
  • Parcel: UQFL485 Parcel 1
  • Parcel: UQFL485 Parcel 2