Manuscripts, oral history and pictures catalogue
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  • Title
    Mena Calthorpe - further papers, 1951-1994
  • Creator
  • Call number
    MLMSS 3088 ADD-ON 2185
  • Level of description
  • Date

    1951 - 1994
  • Type of material
  • Reference code
  • Physical Description
    5 boxes - 0.85 Meters
    Textual Records
    Textual Records - (typescript)
    Textual Records - (typescript, carbon)
    Textual Records - (typescript, photocopy)
    Textual Records - (printed)

    Mena Calthorpe, author, was born in Goulburn N.S.W. in 1905. She became interested in writing at an early age and continued to write, mainly short stories, throughout her life. Some of her short stories have been published in newspapers, literary journals and magazines but most of them remain unpublished. She taught in small country schools prior to moving to Sydney, where she worked mainly as a secretary or clerk. Calthorpe published three novels. Her first novel, The dye house(1961), describes the working conditions and harsh lives of the working class. The novel was short listed for the Miles Franklin Award, has been translated into German and Czech and was published as a serial in a Viennese daily newspaper. It was republished in 1982. Her second novel, The defectors(1969), deals with a power struggle in the trade unions and the Australian Labor Party. Her third novel, The plain of ala(1989), is a saga spanning four generations of an Irish immigrant family and tells of their struggle to find a better life in a strange land. The novel was written with the help of a grant from the Literature Board, Australia Council. Calthorpe was a feminist, a socialist, a long-time member of literary societies and clubs, and a life long student. She taught creative writing and played an active role in the local Australian Labor Party. In her late 70s she was still attending classes at the Department of Adult Education, University of Sydney. Calthorpe died in 1996.
  • Scope and Content
    Personal papers, 1951-1994
    Literary papers, 1956-1992
  • System of arrangement
    This collection comprises 2 record series. You may navigate to a more detailed description of each series from this record.
  • Source
    Presented by R. J. Field in 1996
  • Access Conditions

    This material is held offsite and can take up to four days to retrieve.
  • General note

    Arranged and described by Maie Barrow, a student in the Master of Information Management (Archives/Records) course at the University of New South Wales, Oct. 1997
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