Charles Thomas Osborne: Correspondence and Papers

Scope and Content

A. Books by or edited by Osborne (boxes 1-4)

The material, covering 1954-1986, includes manuscripts or typescripts of first drafts, correspondence with publishers and with contributors in cases where Osborne acted as editor, royalty statements, and background material, such as working notes, translations, and photographs. There are also proofs, which have been retained in instances where they help to provide an understanding of the completed work.

B. Contributions to newspapers and literary periodicals (boxes 15-18)

Several hundred typescripts or manuscripts of articles, reviews, lectures, radio scripts, notes for record sleeves, etc., with related correspondence.

C. Radio scripts (boxes 19-33)

The script for Ned Kelly, a play by Osborne, 1971; Hail, Horrors, Hail, annotated scripts prepared by Osborne, 1975; c. 400-500 scripts by Osborne, in the form of manuscripts, typescripts and photocopies, for broadcasts on literary and musical subjects, c. 1955-1980.

D. Lectures, conferences, foreign tours, and miscellaneous publications (boxes 24-26)

Correspondence, programmes, press cuttings, and scripts, 1957-1984.

E. Arts Council papers (boxes 27-28)

A large quantity of unsorted papers deriving from Osborne's work at the Arts Council.

F. Miscellaneous (box 28)

Correspondence, press cuttings, scripts, and typescripts, relating to various projects, 1961-1984.

G. Correspondence (boxes 29-38)

Two boxes of correspondence with individuals (boxes 29-30) and three boxes of correspondence with writers: A-G, H-Q, and R-Z (boxes 31-33). There are also around 2000 items of unsorted personal and Arts Council correspondence, memoranda, committee papers, and other material, dating from the 1950s to 1980s (boxes 34-38).

Administrative / Biographical History

Charles Thomas Osborne (1927-1986), author and theatre critic, was born in Brisbane, Australia. He was literary director of the Arts Council of Great Britain, 1971-1986.


The collection was received arranged in broad subject categories and this arrangement has been retained, despite some overlapping of the material between sections.

Access Information

Section E and Section G, Box 30, are closed to readers, pending sorting. The rest of the collection is open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Purchased 1987.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue.