The papers of Australian writer Iris Milutinovic (1910-) consist chiefly
of correspondence and literary manuscripts documenting her career 1946-1984
(bulk 1955-1978). Also included are published materials, clippings, diaries,
scrapbook material, financial information and audio recordings.
The papers are arranged in three series: Correspondence, 1946-1984,
Literary Works, 1955-1978, and Miscellaneous, 1963-1980.
Correspondence is subdivided into personal and literary correspondence.
Arrangement within these subseries is alphabetical by author with relevant
copies of outgoing correspondence filed with the appropriate incoming
correspondence. Correspondence specifically related to a manuscript is
generally filed outside this subseries with the literary work concerned. All
correspondence (888 items) is indexed in the incoming (777 items) or outgoing
(111 items) correspondence indexes which form a part of this finding aid.
The personal subseries consists of correspondence from family and
friends, as well as letters concerning personal business matters. Mrs.
Milutinovic's concerns and opinions are expressed in letters to various
newspaper editors, broadcasters and government officials. The correspondence of
literary organizations, other Australian and Tasmanian writers, editors,
publishers, broadcasters and fans comprise the literary subseries and serves to
document Milutinovic's struggle to write and publish despite poor health and
economic difficulties. The bulk of the literary correspondence involves
Milutinovic's extensive radio scripts aired by the Australian Broadcasting
Correspondents include a number of persons at the Australian
Broadcasting Commission (A.B.C.), Richard Beilby (author), Muriel Binding
(step- niece), Irene Burgess (local writer), Mary Durack (author), Phyll Evan
(writer and teacher), Zoe Evans (music teacher), Norma Ferris (A.B.C.), Jane M.
Fleming (A.B.C.), Irene Gibson (teacher and radio broadcaster), Margaret
Giordano (Tasmanian writer), Anne Godden (of Thomas Nelson Australia Ltd.),
Cherry Grimm (writer), Dorothy Hewett (poet, playwright), A.J. Holdsworth
(editor), Dorrit Hunt (local writer), Nancy Keesing (author), Catherine King
(A.B.C.), Dame Enid Muriel Lyons (cousin, writer, politician), Amy Macaulay
(artist), John D. McLaren (editor), Oscar Adolf Mendelsohn (writer), Ian Morgan
(A.B.C.), Phyllis Moss (artist), Stephen Murray-Smith (editor), Pat Osborne
(sister-in-law), Hal Porter (writer), Pamela Relton (columnist), Vincent
Serventy (naturalist, writer), Valerie Sisson (writer), Robert Stephens (local
historian), Katherine Strehlow, T.G.H. Strehlow (educator), Erica Underwood
(A.B.C.), Freda Vines (writer), Beverly Wardle (writer, broadcaster), and Helen
Helga Mayne Wilson (writer).
Literary Works are filed alphabetically by title irrespective of genre
or whether published or not. Cross references are included for identified
variant titles, though the researcher should be aware that much of
Milutinovic's writing was autobiographical in nature and many of her works are
closely associated or somewhat related to one another. Stories were also
sometimes rewritten from one genre to another, so that a radio talk might also
appear as a short story, or vice-versa. As is the case with correspondence, any
contracts or financial documents relating to a particular work have also been
filed with the literary work.
Occupying 7 boxes, this subseries comprises the heart of the collection
and consists of articles, short stories, a large number of radio talk
manuscripts, a radio play(
"Grandmother Pritchard's Victory"), and two
"The Street of Seven Tongues" and
Talk English Carn't Ya) in various stages of
production (notes, holograph drafts, typescripts, setting copy, galleys,
proofs). There are a small group of unidentified writings and some lists of
writings compiled by Milutinovic.
The subject matter of the writings ranges widely among Milutinovic's own
experiences in western Australia and Tasmania, local history, family lore,
contemporary mores, social issues, current events and such diverse topics as
cats, cookery, fishing, gardening, language, immigrants and cultural
assimilation, and whaling. Milutinovic believed her
Scope radio broadcasts in particular would
interest Americans because it is virtually "a small, clear
window on Australian ideas and beliefs."
The Miscellaneous series includes audio recordings, miscellaneous
clippings, and financial information arranged chronologically insofar as
possible. Of special interest are the audio recordings, which include a letter
recorded by Milutinovic and a taped broadcast of her short story
"The Blonde Cat," which is read by Alistair
It should be noted that Mrs. Milutinovic selected what she felt were
appropriate items to form this collection of papers. Frequently she annotated
correspondence, manuscripts and other materials to identify persons, explain
circumstances, importance, etc.
For a fuller description of this collection, the following is
McLaren, John D.
"Iris Milutinovic--Between Two Worlds," in
The Library Chronicle of the University of Texas at
Austin, New Series, Nos. 42/43 (1988): 143-159. Also issued as
Perspectives on Australia: Essays on Australiana in
the Collections of the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, edited
by Dave Oliphant.