Collection UQFL489 - Caroline Kelly Papers

Identity area

Reference code

UQFL489

Title

Caroline Kelly Papers

Date(s)

  • ca. 1900-1987 (Creation)

Level of description

Collection

Extent and medium

11 boxes, 3 albums.

Context area

Name of creator

(1899-1989)

Biographical history

Emily Caroline (Carrie) Kelly was an actor, director, and dramatist. Born Emily Caroline Watson in Manchester in 1899, she moved to Australia in the 1920s and became involved in the theatre, first in Brisbane and then in Sydney. During this time, she used her mother's maiden name and was known as Carrie Tennant.
In 1929, Caroline married Francis Kelly and took his surname. She founded the Community Playhouse, the first theatre in New South Wales devoted to producing Australian drama, in 1929, followed by the Play Society in 1931. She edited The Community Magazine: Official Magazine of the Community Play-house from 1930 to 1931.
In the 1930s she enrolled in a Diploma in Anthropology at the University of Sydney and went on to conduct anthropological fieldwork in Aboriginal communities at Fraser Island and Cherbourg in Queensland and at Burnt Bridge in New South Wales.
During the Second World War she began a major survey of non-British settlement in Australia for the Commonwealth Government, a project that continued until the late 1940s. Towards the end of her working life, she served as a consulting anthropologist to the State Planning Authority of New South Wales.

Archival history

When Caroline Kelly died in 1989 in northern New South Wales, her personal papers passed into the hands of her friends Grahame and Stephanie Gooding, who recognised their potential value as historical records and carefully preserved them until 2010. In that year, Kim de Rijke and Anthony Jefferies, two postgraduate students in anthropology at the University of Queensland who were researching Caroline Kelly and her work, advertised in local NSW newspapers seeking anyone who might have known her or have records pertaining to her work. Mr and Mrs Gooding responded to their advertisement and gave the papers into their custody. The two postgraduate students contacted James Kelly, Caroline Kelly's son, and told him of the discovery of the papers, of whose existence he was previously unaware. He agreed that the papers should be donated to Fryer Library, which holds an earlier collection of his mother's papers dealing with her theatrical career in Sydney (see UQFL52). Fryer Library is grateful to all three parties involved for allowing this unique and historically important collection to be added to its holdings.
Collection previously titled as: Papers, 1909-1987
Collection alternatively titled as: Caroline Kelly Collection

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Acquired from University of Queensland anthropology graduate students, Kim de Rijke and Anthony Jefferies.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Personal and professional papers of Caroline Kelly, including correspondence; financial and legal papers; unpublished poetry and stories; theatre records and publications; anthropology field notes, reports and articles; photographs and newspaper cuttings.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Accruals

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Unrestricted access, except Series G Sub-series 3, which contains fragile glass slides; and one handwritten letter in Series E File 19.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright applies.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

A published guide to the anthropological material held in this collection was compiled by the University of Queensland Anthropology School prior to donation to Fryer Library:
Kelly, Caroline; Trigger, David S., et al. (2011). The Caroline Tennant-Kelly ethnographic collection : fieldwork accounts of Aboriginal culture in the 1930s. University of Queensland, Brisbane.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

For material related to Caroline Kelly's theatrical work, see the Carrie Tennant Papers, UQFL52

Related descriptions

Notes area

Note

In different periods of her life Caroline Kelly was also known as Caroline Watson, Caroline Tennant-Watson, Caroline Tennant, Carrie Tennant or Caroline Tennant Kelly. To avoid confusion Kelly is used throughout this collection description. It was her legal name from 1929 and her preferred public name from 1937.

Note

Material in this collection may contain culturally sensitive words or descriptions.

Note

This material contains culturally sensitive depictions of Indigenous people.

Alternative identifier(s)

Alma MMS ID

991012459699703131

Millennium Local System Number

.b24550693

OCLC Number

1058648620

Libraries Australia ID

52797270 ; 63077039

Access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

Status

Revised

Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Revised, AM, 19-May-2020.
Migrated from LMS: April 2019, P.A.

Language(s)

Script(s)

Sources

Accession area

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places

Physical storage

  • Box: UQFL489 Box 1
  • Box: UQFL489 Box 2
  • Box: UQFL489 Box 3
  • Box: UQFL489 Box 4
  • Box: UQFL489 Box 5
  • Box: UQFL489 Box 6
  • Box: UQFL489 Box 7
  • Box: UQFL489 Box 8
  • Box: UQFL489 Box 9
  • Box: UQFL489 Box 10
  • Box: UQFL489 Box 11
  • Box: UQFL489 Album 1
  • Box: UQFL489 Album 2
  • Box: UQFL489 Album 3