Collection UQFL97 - Thea Astley Papers

Identity area

Reference code



Thea Astley Papers


  • 1953-2004. (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

23 boxes, 4 parcels.

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Thea Astley, novelist and short story writer, was born in Brisbane on 25 August 1925 and educated at All Hallows Convent and the University of Queensland, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1947. She was a school teacher in Queensland from 1944 to 1948 and in New South Wales from 1948 to 1967. In 1968 she joined the English Department at Macquarie University, Sydney. She retired as Fellow in English, Macquarie University in 1979. She has won numerous awards, including the Miles Franklin Award four times: in 1962 (The Well Dressed Explorer), 1965 (Slow Natives), 1972 (The Acolyte) and 2000 (Drylands). She received the Order of Australia in 1992, and an Hon D. Litt was conferred on her by University of Queensland in 1988. She was made a Creative Fellow of the Australia Council in 1993.

Archival history

Collection previously titled as: Papers, 1953-2004
Collection alternatively titled as: Thea Astley Collection.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Manuscripts, notebooks, correspondence, research notes, literary awards, publishing contracts, diaries, drafts of speeches, some Astley family history material. Includes two portable Hermes typewriters: green, in case 7 x 29 x 31 cm; and cream, in case 8 x 31 x 32 cm.

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

Uploaded finding aid

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

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Publication note

Material from this collection has been cited in:

Grundy A (2022) Editing Fiction, Cambridge University Press, doi:10.1017/9781009039383.

Sheridan, Susan (2011). Nine lives: postwar women writers making their mark. St Lucia, Qld: UQP.

Taylor C (2019) ‘'To my brother': Gay love and sex in Thea Astley's novels and stories’, Queensland review (St. Lucia), 26(2):269–284, doi:10.1017/qre.2019.32.

Taylor C (2021) ‘The Genesis of Thea Astley's The Multiple Effects of Rainshadow’, Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature : JASAL, 21(1):1–24.

Publication note

'Guide to the Papers of Thea Astley, The University of Queensland Library, Fryer Library'. (2001). Guide to Australian literary manuscripts. University of Western Australia Library & Australian Literary Manuscript Collections Project.

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)



Millennium Local System Number


Libraries Australia ID

62993020 ; 21259777

OCLC Number

222654587 ; 40871820

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Description control area

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Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Revised, Linda Justo, 24-Aug-2021. Revised, AM, 01-Jun-2020. Migrated from LMS: April 2019, P.A.




Accession area

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