Collection UQFL117 - James Birrell Papers

Identity area

Reference code



James Birrell Papers


  • [1948-197-] (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

13 boxes, ca. 1500 plans.

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

James Birrell was educated at the Melbourne Technical College (1945-1949) while working for the Victorian State Works Department (1947), for R.G. Warren (1948) and the Commonwealth Works Department (1948-1950). He transferred into a fourth year course in the School of Architecture at the University of Melbourne. Following his graduation in 1950, he returned to the Commonwealth Works Department and worked for them in Melbourne, Canberra and Darwin. He was appointed Architect in charge of the Architectural Branch in the Brisbane City Council (1955-1961). He resigned to become Staff Architect to the University of Queensland (1961-1966). He commenced his own practice in 1966, with offices at various times in Brisbane, Townsville, Port Moresby, and Maroochydore with various partners (including Lorant Kulley, Philip Conn, Richard Stringer and Lindsay Mack). He died on 20 September 2019, aged 90.

Name of creator


Biographical history

Architect Walter Kerrison was born in Walthamstow, England in 1902. He gained his Diploma in Architecture in 1925 and registered to practice in Queensland in 1929. From 1939, he was in partnership with Harold Morton Cook as Cook and Kerrison, the firm which first employed Karl Langer when he arrived in Australia. He died in 2000.

Name of creator


Biographical history

Harold Morton Cook was born on 7 July 1901 at Sunny Corner, New South Wales. He graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture in 1924; registered as an architect in Queensland in 1929; was in partnership as F.R. Hall and Cook from 1930 to 1939 and then Cook and Kerrison from 1939. He died on 16 February 1968 at Buderim, Queensland.

Name of creator


Administrative history

Brothers, Frederick Abraham Scorer (1907-1966) and Nelson Charlton Scorer (1908-?), formed the firm Scorer and Scorer. From 1960 Nelson Scorer was registered at a different address to the firm and in 1964 his registered address was the Department of Works. Fred Scorer had a traffic accident in 1966 and asked Birrell to oversea his practice until he recovered but he died six weeks later. Upon the death of Fred Scorer, the firm was purchased by James Birrell and the was renamed as James Birrell & Partners.

Name of creator

Administrative history

Archival history

Collection previously titled as: Papers, [1948-197-]
Collection alternatively titled as: James Birrell Collection.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Drawings of residential and commercial buildings, job files, correspondence incoming and outgoing, newspaper cuttings, maps, photographs and research material for his book on Walter Burley Griffin. Includes plans by Scorer and Scorer, and Cook and Kerrison.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

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

Related descriptions

Notes area


This collection is currently under review as part of the Fryer Library Projects and is unavailable. Estimated time for completion is 8 February 2021.

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