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Across the curator's desk: Anarchist newspapers of John Arthur Andrews

Anarchist publications by John Arthur Andrews

Anarchist publications by John Arthur Andrews

What is this item? 

A range of newspapers, booklets and handwritten drafts by the late 19th century anarchist journalist John Arthur Andrews (1865-1903).

Why is it important? 

John Arthur Andrews produced a number of anarchist publications in Melbourne and Sydney in the late 19th century, with names such as The Revolt and A Handbook of Anarchy. Each of these publications led to Andrews spending time in gaol - A Handbook of Anarchy, which was published in Sydney in 1894, led Andrews to receiving the charge of 'publishing without a printer's imprint' whilst for The Revolt, also published in 1894, Andrews received 5 months' gaol for the charge of sedition. These publications are rare, with only a few copies of each newspaper still in existence. The Library appears to have the only surviving copy of the seditious edition of Revolt. 

Why is it on your desk? 

To research an upcoming curator talk on subversive literature in the library's collections. 

How did it get here?

This copy of A Handbook of Anarchy was forwarded to the Library by Judge Charles Heydon in February 1900. He had it in his possession from 1894, when it was sent to him to investigate whether Andrews should be prosecuted. The Revolt seems to be a legal deposit copy. The handwritten drafts for Andrews' newspaper articles (including those for the 1897 paper The Balmain Anarchist) were bequeathed to the Library as part of the Sir William Dixson collection in 1952. 


Anna Corkhill, Curator, Research and Discovery


Further information about the curator talk on 19 May can be found here:

Bitesize curator's talk: Subversive literature in the Library with Anna Corkhill

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