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Angus & Robertson Collection

This collection from one of Australia's oldest publishers, Angus & Robertson, contains manuscripts and letters from some of Australia's best known writers.

What's in the collection

Publishers Angus & Robertson played a central role in developing uniquely Australian literature and published many classics by authors including Banjo Paterson, Henry Lawson, May Gibbs, Miles Franklin, Norman Lindsay, C. J.  Dennis and C. W. Bean.

There are three comprehensive collections of their material including: original manuscripts, author and publisher’s correspondence, original artwork and sketches, business records and 134 volumes of press book reviews of books published.

There is significant pictorial material containing original drawings and jacket designs by Australian artists to illustrate Angus & Robertson's publications.

The Angus & Robertson story

In February 1882, a young Scotsman named George Robertson started work at a Sydney bookshop just four days after arriving in Australia. Eleven months later, fellow Scot David Angus joined the team but after two years decided to branch out on his own. In 1884 he opened his first store in tiny premises at 110 Market Street, Sydney. From this humble start, David Angus established an enterprise that was to grow in size and influence far beyond his expectations.

The emblems of the store include a thistle for Scotland and a waratah for Australia. Initially the partnership sold books only, however its publishing role began in 1888 with three books: A Crown of Wattle by Sydney solicitor H. Peden Steele; Ishmael Dare’s book of verse Sun and Cloud on River and Sea; and Facsimile of a Proposal for a Settlement on the Coast of New South Wales written by Sir George Young in 1785.

During the 20th century Angus & Robertson Limited became one of Australia's most important bookselling and book-publishing firms. The Angus & Robertson collections charts the development of Australian literature, providing extensive and valuable resources for the study of Australian writing and publishing.

You can find more information on the Angus & Roberston Collection in our manuscripts and pictures catalogue