Special collections relating to John Christian Watson in the National Library of Australia
National Library of Australia
|National Library of Australia|
|Parkes, ACT 2600|
|Phone: +61 2 6262 1250|
|Fax: +61 2 6262 1516|
|Date completed:||15 October 2002|
This guide was created in association with the National Archives of Australia for the Australia's Prime Ministers website.
Scope and Content
In addition to the Watson Papers (MS 451), the Library holds a video and a few other manuscript collections (including microfilm copies) which contain letters or other materials relating to Watson. In this listing, the main collection is listed first, followed by the other sources in alphabetical order.
Catalogue Record : MS 451
The correspondence includes material on political and trade union matters, most of which falls within the period of Watson's term in Federal Parliament from 1901 to 1910. Subjects include the choice of a site for a federal capital, progressive land tax, conscription, and Watson's retirement from the position of leader of the Labour Party in 1907. Correspondents include Sir Edmund Barton, John Langdon Bonython, Alfred Deakin, Henry Bournes Higgins, Sir Isaac Isaacs, Sir George Houston Reid, Thomas Price, William Morris Hughes, G. Beeby, J.S. Collings, J. Curruthers, William Dyson, Lord Novar, B.R. Wise, J. Mansay MacDonald, S.M. Mowle, R. Jebb, J.W. Gregory, A. Walkins, and J.M. Toomey. Also included are various speeches, articles and notes relating mainly to Watson's political career, press cuttings (mainly relating to Watson's retirement), receipts, income tax returns, electoral returns, an account book, leaflets, a pocket diary for 1900, and photographs.
Catalogue Record: MS 6852
These records include Caucus minutes from 1906-1989, which cover some of Watson's time in Federal Parliament, with later material containing references to him.
Catalogue Record: MS 51, Mfm G 27550-27555.
This is the principal collection of manuscripts relating to Barton. It is divided into a number of series, some of which includes correspondence with Watson.
Catalogue Record: MS 560
Sir Thomas Bavin was the private secretary to Barton and Deakin and later became the New South Wales Premier. His papers from 1898 to 1942 include a long series of letters by both men. Bavin's correspondence with Barton and Deakin includes references to Watson, George Reid, Joseph Cook and Andrew Fisher. Bavin's papers are an important source of information about Australian politics and law between 1900 and 1920, as well as documenting his close association with the first two Prime Ministers of Australia.
Catalogue Record: MS 3034
Alfred Buchanan's 'The Prime Ministers of Australia' is an unpublished manuscript comprising biographies of all Prime Ministers from Edmund Barton to Robert Gordon Menzies.
Catalogue Record: MS 8905
Campbell-Jones was the parliamentary correspondent of the Melbourne Argus. 'The Cabinet of Captains: The romance of Australia's first Federal Parliament' contains his unpublished recollections of the Barton Ministry, the establishment of Commonwealth Parliament in 1901 and the first parliamentarians, including detailed accounts of Barton, Deakin, Reid, Cook, Watson, Fisher and Hughes.
Catalogue Record: MS 5243
Crisp was an academic, biographer of Ben Chifley and author of numerous publications on federation and Australian politics. The bulk of the collection consists of subject files on a wide range of topics compiled mainly from newspaper cuttings and journal articles. There are files on all Australian prime ministers from Sir Edmund Barton to Malcolm Fraser.
Catalogue Record: MS 1540, Mfm G 28063-28111
Alfred Deakin, a leading Federation figure, was Australia's first Attorney-General 1901 and Prime Minister three times during the early part of the twentieth century (1903-1904, 1905-1908 and 1909-1910). His papers, dating from 1804-1973 (bulk dates 1880-1919), include diaries, notebooks, cuttings, programs, manuscripts, photographs and correspondence, including with Watson.
Catalogue Record: MS 2919
This is the main collection of Fisher papers. It includes correspondence on family and official matters (including letters of Deakin and William Morris Hughes, with references to Barton, Watson, Cook and Deakin). It also includes departmental minutes and administrative papers, press cuttings, photographs, personal documents, books and pamphlets, and reminiscences by Fisher's daughter Margaret. Much of this material documents Fisher's political career, especially his terms as Prime Minister and his work as High Commissioner in London.
Catalogue Record: MS 1057
A delegate to the Federation Convention, Federal politician and High Court judge. Higgins was appointed Attorney General in Watson's Labor ministry of 1904. The papers include letters of Watson.
Catalogue Record: MS 2755
Sir Isaac Isaacs was a Federation Convention delegate, the Federal Attorney-General (1905-1906), a High Court judge and then Chief Justice (1930), and the Governor-General (1931-1936). This collection includes one letter by Watson.
Catalogue Record: MS 3516
The records of the militant labour organisation, the IWW, include some general correspondence, including letters to and from Watson and correspondence with John ('Jack') Curtin.
Catalogue Record: MS 937
Federal politician and Postmaster-General in the Watson 1904 ministry. The papers include correspondence with Watson. A descriptive list is available.
Catalogue Record: MS 4663
Makin was an ALP federal politician and a Minister in the Curtin and Chifley governments. His historical writings contain references to Watson's retirement as Federal Labor leader.