- 1956 - 2007 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
Name of creator
Thomas William Shapcott was born in Ipswich, Queensland, on 21 March 1935. He attended the Ipswich Grammar School with his twin brother. Shapcott left school at 15 to work in his father's accountancy business. In 1954 Shapcott began to write poetry seriously for the first time. His first published poem appeared in the Sydney Bulletin in 1956. His first collection of poems, Time on Fire won the Grace Leven Poetry Prize for 1961. That year he completed an accountancy degree. In 1967 Shapcott graduated Bachelor of Arts from the University of Queensland. He established an accountancy firm in 1972. In 1971 Shapcott was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to visit America, a trip which led to the autobiographical poems in Shabbytown Calendar (1975). In 1973 he was appointed to the Literature Board of the Australia Council and served as its Director from 1983 to 1990. He served as the Executive Director of the National Book Council from 1991 to 1997, when he became the inaugural Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Adelaide, retiring from the position in 2005. As well as his many volumes of poetry, Shapcott has written many novels, short stories, libretti, plays and reviews. He has received numerous awards for his contribution to Australian literature, including the Canada-Australia Literary Award in 1978, the Yugoslavia Struga International Poetry Festival Golden Wreath Award, 1989, the FAW Christopher Brennan Award, 1995, the New South Wales Premier’s Special Literary Award in 1996 and the Patrick White Award in 2000. In 1989 he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia. He has received honorary Doctorates from Macquarie University and the University of Queensland.
Collection previously titled as: Papers, -
Collection alternatively titled as: Thomas William Shapcott Collection.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Content and structure area
Scope and content
The Thomas W. Shapcott Papers contain original manuscripts and typescripts of a number of his literary works, including poems, short stories, novels, plays and libretti. Other typescripts included relate to editorial work, translations, reviews and reader reports. There are also a number of typescripts by other authors sent to Shapcott for review.
Subject files relating to literary competition and prize judging, conferences and overseas travel in relation to literature and cultural exchange.
Correspondence with Bruce Beaver, Barbara and Charles Blackman, John Blight, Alec Bolton, Colin Brumby, Ilija Casule, Chatto & Windus and The Hogarth Press, Rosemary Cresswell, Rosemary Dobson, Michael Dransfield, Geoffrey Dutton, Ninette Dutton, Michele Field, Rodney Hall, Gwen Harwood, Margaret Hodge (later Shapcott), Janette Turner Hospital, Elizabeth Jolley, Nancy Keesing, Roger McDonald, David Malouf, Olga Masters, Michael Ondaatje, David Rowbotham, Dimitris Tsaloumas, University of Queensland Press (UQP), Chris Wallace-Crabbe, Judith Wright and many others.
Correspondence with and records from a few literary bodies and association, including the Australian Society of Authors and the Literature Board.
Research papers on topics treated in literary works, particularly Karoly Pulszky
School and work-related papers and records such as school and university records, early employment and partnership contracts, job applications and annual financial records, including tax returns.
Scrapbooks, containing newspaper cuttings, ephemera and correspondence.
Papers relating to awards and honours received by Shapcott, including the Struga Prize for Poetry.
The papers also contains some photographs and personal memorabilia, such as book club lapel badges.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Mostly Unrestricted access; correspondence restricted.
Conditions governing reproduction
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
Uploaded finding aid
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
'Guide to the Papers of Thomas Shapcott, The University of Queensland Library, Fryer Library'. (2001). Guide to Australian literary manuscripts. University of Western Australia Library & Australian Literary Manuscript Collections Project.
Subject access points
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Description control area
Rules and/or conventions used
Level of detail
Dates of creation revision deletion
Migrated from LMS: April 2019, P.A.
Revised 18 Jul 2019