A State of Many Stories
Victoria’s rich literary history is revealed on The Writers’ State: A Literary Map of Victoria, with many of the big names and big stories of Australian Literature inspired by or set in the country towns of Victoria and the city of Melbourne. This beautiful map is also a comprehensive reflection of UMA’s own collections.
The writers map places many of the authors held within the UMA collection firmly in Australia’s literary canon. Their evocative styles imbue a sense of time and place; Margaret Kiddle arouses the spirits of the first pastoralists in Victoria’s Western Districts in her book Men of Yesterday; Ray Ericksen entices you to connect with the beach and bush of Cape Otway in Cape Solitary. John Morrison and Helen Garner’s portrayals of inner Melbourne life reflect the gritty but no less poignant side of Victoria’s capital city.
We recently collaborated with Currency Press for their educational App about Ray Lawler’s seminal play about Melbourne life in the 1950s, Summer of the Seventeenth Doll. Within the dramatically large Melbourne Theatre Company collection we unearthed a cache of set designs, production notes, photographs, posters and ephemera from the 1955 premiere, up until the 1981 production.
And of course, where would Australian literature be without CB Christensen and Meanjin? Our collection of his editorship of the journal equates the significance in the literary world of Victoria, and Australia.
The Writers’ State: A Literary Map of Victoria is a telling portrait of the literary gold that has been inspired by Victoria, its landscape and its people. It not only reveals some of the treasures of our publishing and literary collections but serves as a reminder to re-discover the writers and works who may have been left by the roadside.
Hilary McPhee transferred the vast McPhee Gribble collection in 1999. With over 400 boxes of material, the collection contains author files, manuscripts, minutes, administrative and financial files, correspondence with editors, publishers and agents, as well as documents pertaining to the sale to Penguin.