Manuscripts, oral history and pictures catalogue
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  • Title
    John Kingsmill - papers, 1948-2000
  • Creator
  • Call number
    MLMSS 7068
    SAFE/MLMSS 7068/1 (Safe 3/240)
  • Level of description
  • Date

    1948 - 2000
  • Type of material
  • Reference code
  • Physical Description
    0.22 metres of textual material (2 boxes) - manuscript, typescript, typescript, with manuscript annotations, printed

    John Beresford Kingsmill, actor and author, was born in Sydney on 1 September 1920, son of Raymond Beresford Kingsmill and Kathleen Camillus Kingsmill, nee Shankland. Leaving Sydney Boys' High School at the age of fifteen, he became a clerk in a finance company. He qualified as an accountant in 1948, his studies having been interrupted by World War II, when he served in New Guinea as a wireless operator with the Royal Australian Air Force from 1942 to early 1944, and in Darwin prior to demobilisation. Kingsmill spent some time in London during 1950-1952, before returning to Sydney to work as an accountant. In 1963 he became an advertising copywriter, retiring in 1981. He co-founded a charity for the rehabilitation of the mentally ill, became involved in public speaking, and created a course in speaking-and-communication for professionals.

    Kingsmill's publications include Sydney - the harbour city. Paintings by Jeff Rigby; text by John Kingsmill (1988); Australia street: a boy's eye view of the 1920s and 1930s (c. 1991); The innocent. Growing up in Bondi in the 1920s and 1930s (1990); No hero. Memoirs of a raw recruit in World War II (1994); My brief strut upon the stage (2001). Kingsmill also wrote the book and lyrics (with additional lyrics by John McKellar) for the sound recording January the twentysixth, published by the Bank of New South Wales to mark its sesqui-centenary (1967; revised 1975).

    Kingsmill was drawn to the theatre and was, for a short time, a professional actor. He was a member of the original cast of the then controversial play Rusty bugles, by Sumner Locke Elliott, first performed at the Independent Theatre, North Sydney in October 1948. The play was temporarily banned by the Chief Secretary soon after it opened, because of its 'blasphemous' language. After much public debate and some deletions from the script, the play was performed again and subsequently toured other Australian capital cities, except Brisbane.
  • Scope and Content

    1985-2000; Correspondence 'Re: "Sydney, the Harbour City" (Pierson & Co. 1988)...'. Includes correspondence, meeting notes, chapter outline and newscuttings. Correspondents include Eileen Chanin, Charles Pierson, Jeff Rigby and Leo Schofield. PARTLY RESTRICTED. (Call No.: MLMSS 7068/1) (selected carbon copy letters removed and transferred to SAFE/MLMSS 7068/1)

    1988-1993 ; 'Correspondence re "The Innocent" (Collins/A&R'. Correspondence, mainly with publishers Collins Angus & Robertson. Includes Reader's Report, newscuttings and reviews. (Call No.: MLMSS 7068/1)

    1988-1999; 'Correspondence re "Australia Street" (Hale & Iremonger). Correspondence, mainly with publishers Hale & Iremonger. Includes Reader's Report, reviews and newscuttings. Correspondents include Phillip Adams. PARTLY RESTRICTED. (Call No.: MLMSS 7068/1 ) Two letters removed and transferred to SAFE/MLMSS 7068/1)

    1991-1994; 'Correspondence file re "No Hero" (Hale & Iremonger)'. Correspondence, mainly with publishers Hale & Iremonger. Includes reviews. PARTLY RESTRICTED. (Call No.: MLMSS 7068/1) Carbon copy letter removed and transferred to SAFE/MLMSS 7068/1)


    1967-1975; ' "January the Twentysixth" (LP record)'. Includes carbon typescript draft synopsis and variant versions draft typescript with ms. annotations. Also includes drama casting list, related correspondence, research notes, and newscuttings and correspondence relating to stage adaptations by various theatre groups,(including the 1980 Marian Street Theatre, Killara production as Rum for your money). (Call No.: MLMSS 7068/1)

    1985-1988; 'Typescript for "The Innocent" publ. Collins/Angus & Robertson (Imprint Series) 1990'. Includes revisions of various chapters: January 1986; May-June 1987; November 1987; January 1988. Typescript/carbon typescript with ms. annotations, insertions and deletions. (Call No.: MLMSS 7068/1)

    1985-1989; ' "Australia Street" Typescript publ. by Hale & Iremonger 1993'. Includes revisions of various chapters November-December 1987, 1988. Typescript/carbon typescript with ms. annotations, insertions and deletions. (Call No.: MLMSS 7068/1)

    1985-?1993; 'Typescript for "No Hero" publ. Hale & Iremonger 1994'. Includes various revisions. Typescript with ms. annotations, insertions and deletions. (Call No.: MLMSS 7068/1)


    1948-1950; '"Rusty Bugles" by Sumner Locke Elliott. Original (Acting) Script (1948)'. Carbon typescript with ms. annotations. (Call No.: MLMSS 7068/2)


    1948-1950; Scrapbook relating to various performances of 'Rusty bugles'. Includes newscuttings, photographs, programs and telegrams to John Kingsmill from wellwishers including Ruth Cracknell and Diana Perryman. (Call No.: MLMSS 7068/2)
  • Source
    Playscript and scrapbook transferred from Dennis Wolanski Library of the Performing Arts, Sydney Opera House in 1997. Further papers presented by John Kingsmill in 2000.
  • Access Conditions
    Partly restricted
  • Access Conditions

    This material is held offsite and can take up to four days to retrieve. - Applies to MLMSS 7068
  • Copying Conditions
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