Papers of Sir Keith Arthur Murdoch (1886-1952)
Keith Arthur Murdoch (1886-1952) journalist and Australian newspaper
magnate, was born in Melbourne, son of Rev. Patrick John and Annie Brown
Murdoch late of Aberdeenshire, Scotland. He was educated at Camberwell Grammar
School and the London School of Economics. He began a journalist career with
the Melbourne Age, as a correspondents for the district of Malvern. 1907
Murdoch left for London were he attended the London School of Economics
1910 Murdoch returned to the Age as a staff reporter for two years.
1912 he became political correspondent for the Sydney evening Sun. 1915
Denison transferred Murdoch to London as managing editor of the United Cable
Service of the Sun and the Melbourne Herald. He was than
commissioned by Fisher and Pearce to go to Gallipoli as war correspondence to
investigate Australian Imperial Force mail service and associated matters.
He was knighted in 1933 and appointed Trustee of the National Gallery,
Victoria in the same year; Director-General of Information, June-December 1940;
President Australian-American-Association (Victorian Section) 1941-46; Chairman
of Directors Herald and Weekly Times from 1942 and director of Herald, Sun
News-Pictorial and associated publications.
Murdoch married Elisabeth, daughter of Rupert Greene in 1928. They had
one son, Keith Rupert and three daughters.
Murdoch died in 1952
- General Correspondence, 1908-1952
- War Correspondent (1914-1918) and Journalist
- Herald and Weekly Times and Newspaper Publishing, 1917-52
- University of Melbourne, 1944-55
- National Gallery of Victoria, 1941-49
- Director-General of Information (June-December 1940)
- Speeches and Broadcasts, 1942-51
- Newspaper Clippings 1919-26, 1952
- Printed Material, 1925
- C.E. Sayers notes and correspondenc, 1908-67
Series 1: General correspondence, 1908-1952
This series contains miscellaneous cuttings and correspondence with
politicians, artists and other prominent Australians on various subject
matters. Including the publication of W.M. Hughes Speeches, Lionel Lindsay's
appointment as art critic for the Herald, the establishment of the Chair
of Fine Art at Melbourne University, Australia's position prior the outbreak of
World War I and other war matters. The correspondents include Alfred Deakin, W.
H. Hughes, Arthur S. Spurgeon, Dame Nellie Melba, Lionel Lindsay, Sir Robert
Menzies, Arthur Stretton, Harold Cox and C. Coles.
See Appendix I for more
Series 2: War Correspondent, 1914-1918
Murdoch was a war correspondent in the Middle East during World War I.
This series comprises correspondence including the "Gallipoli letter" to Andrew
Fisher, transcripts and cuttings. The correspondents include Sir William
Birdwood and W.M. Hughes on conscription, George Pearce, Sir Ian Hamilton, Sir
John Monash Brudenall White, and C.E.W. Bean relating to Murdoch's war service
See Appendix II for more
Series 3: Herald and Weekly Times and newspaper
Murdoch working in London for the Times. He returned to
Australia in 1921 as editor of the Melbourne Herald. This series
contains correspondence with H.R. Denison, Theodore Fink, Lord Northcliffe and
Murdoch's managing editors notes.
See Appendix III.
Series 4: University of Melbourne, 1944-55
Keith Murdoch founded the Herald Chair of Fine Arts at the University
of Melbourne in 1944. This series comprises mainly correspondence between
Murdoch and Professor Joseph Burke. (3 Folders).
Series 5: National Gallery of Victoria, 1941-1949
Murdoch was appointed as a trustee of the Victorian Public Library in
1933. This was later split into four administrative trusts, one of which is the
National Gallery of Victoria. In 1945 Murdoch was made Chairman of the National
Gallery of Victoria's trustees. This series contains correspondence relating to
the Gallery's administration such as staffing matters and the Felton Bequest.
The correspondents include Daryl Lindsay, Sir Kenneth Clark, Randolph Schwabe,
H.S. Bailey and J.S. Donald.
See Appendix IV for more
Series 6: Director General of Information, June -December 1940
The Prime Minister Robert Menzies, appointed Murdoch to
Director-General of Information in 1940. This series contains correspondence,
notes of discussion of the War Cabinet, a speech by Murdoch and newspaper
cuttings. The correspondents are Robert G. Menzies, Sir Robert Garren and Ivor
Birtwistle. (3 Folders)
Series 7: Speeches and Broadcasts, 1942-51
This series contains mostly Murdoch's notes and text of speeches,
Series 8: Photographs
Five photographs, including two of Murdoch in uniform during the
Gallipoli period, and a portrait of Keith and Annie Murdoch (1 Folder and 1
Series 9: Newspaper clippings, 1919-26, 1952
Newspaper clippings, including Gallipoli press cutting albums, 1919-29,
and one press cutting album containing tributes and obituaries on Keith
Murdoch's death. (3 folders, 5 scrapbooks, and 1 folio scrapbook)
Series 10: Printed Material
One article 'Labor papers Limited': A concise history of the struggle
for Union owned chain of newspapers, 1925. (1 Folder).
Series 11: C.E. Sayers
Sayers was Murdoch's biographer and this series contains research
material, notes, extracts of letters from his father Patrick John Murdoch,
newspaper cuttings and correspondence with Walter Murdoch. and other family
members concerning the biography 'A life of Keith Murdoch.
Series 1: Correspondence, 1908-1952
1. Two letters from Alfred Deakin to Murdoch, 13 April
1908 and 7 July 1915
2 Correspondence between W.M. Hughes and Murdoch and
Arthur S. Spurgeon concerning the publication of
Hughes speeches, 1913-40.
3. Letters from Melba and a letter from Beverley Nichols
about an article by Melba, 1922.
4. Correspondence between Joseph Lyons and Murdoch,
5. Correspondnece with Lionel Lindsay, including his
appointment as art critic for the Melbourne Herald,
his knighthood, comments on the conduct of the War
and the establishment of a Chair of Art at Melbourne
University, 1944. Other correspondents include
Arthur Stretton, 1935-47.
6. Correspondence with R.G. Menzies, Harold Cox, A.G.
Cameron, J.A. Alexander, Roy Morgan, 1935-47.
7. Correspondence relating to Sol Green Housing Trust,
8. Correspondence with George J. Coles, and Professor F.
Wood-Jones, Dr. Ross McOmish, 1936-41
9. Notes from Murdoch to his personal secretary, Miss
10. Letters from Ivon and Alan Murdoch, J, C. Watson
(Labor Papers Limited), Lord Beaverbrook, and Ross
Smith, and a certificate from The London School of
11. Letters, cables and transcripts on Federal elections,
J. A. Lyons, Australia's position prior to the
outbreak of war, broadcasting of B.B.C. News. Other
correspondents include E.F. Harrison. Don Cameron,
W.R. Rolph, Clive Bailleau, W.S. Robinson, Sir Harry
12. Letters, cable and press cuttings on war matters.
Correspondents include Irvine Douglas, C.J.A. Moses,
W.J. Cleary, Hugh Denison, Clive Turnbull, Lord
Birdwood, Lord Mountbatten, 1940-52
13 Miscellaneous letters and newspaper cuttings
concerning Wantabagery and Booroomba pastoral
properties. A letter of condolence to Elisabeth
Murdoch from Lloyd Dumas. Other correspondents
include W.C. Wentworth and George Masterman,
Series 2: War correspondent and Journalist 1914-18
1. Correspondence and documents including the
"Gallipoli letter" 21 June-29 Dec. 1915.
2. Three notes from Lord Northcliffe to Murdoch,
Correspondence with Andrew Fisher, Sir George
Pearce, Sir Ian Hamilton, Harold Asquith, J. Milner,
3. Correspondence, transcripts and clippings concerning
the Dardenelles Commission and Ian Hamilton's diary,
4. A printed version, taken from a microfilm, of the
"Gallipoli letter" from Murdoch to Andrew Fisher as
it appears in the Northcliffe papers
5. Correspondence with C.E.W. Bean, Brudenell White and
Sir William Birdwood, June 1916-December 1917.
6. Correspondence between Lt. General Sir William
Birdwood and Murdoch, 1918-1919
7-8. Correspondence with W.M. Hughes and Lt. General Sir
William Birdwood, 1916-18.relating to conscription
9. Command of the A.I.F. Correspondence with Lt. General
Sir William Birdwood, General Sir John Monash,W.M.
Hughes, Brudenall White, C.E.W. Bean, 1916-19.
10. Letters from Lord Fisher, Rudyard Kipling, A. Bonar
Law, Sir George Pearce also cablegrams and passport,
11. Letter resulting from Murdoch's visits to war fronts
and matters of censorship, 1917-18.
12. Five letters from Sir George Pearce, Earl Grey,
General Robertson (Chief of Imperial Staff), L.S.
13-17. Five small press cutting albums of articles sent to
the Sun and Herald newspapers, 1915-18
Series 3: Herald and Weekly Times and Newspaper publishing,
1 Correspondence with H.R. Denison, concerning Keith
Murdoch's appointment as editor of the Herald
2 File of letters mostly from Theodore Fink to Murdoch,
November 1915-July 1919.
3-4 Correspondence between Fink and Murdoch relating to
Melbourne Herald and Sydney Sun's internal politics,
5-6 Letters and telegrams between Murdoch and Fink,
7 Correspondence, notes and newspaper clippings between
Murdoch and Lord Northcliffe, including Northcliffe's
comments on the make-up and contents of the Herald,
8 Lord Northcliffe's "Messages from the Chief",
9 Letters, notes, newspaper clippings, memos and cables
relating to the winding down of the Evening Sun
10 Correspondence, notes and newspaper clippings
concerning the purchase of the Morning Post, 1927.
11 Correspondence between Lloyd Dumas and Murdoch
concerning Dumas appointment to the Adelaide office,
12 Correspondence with W.J. Duggan concerning the
Boycott of the Herald by the Melbourne Trade Hall
13 Correspondence concerning staff changes to The Star
and the Herald Melbourne, 1933.
14 Correspondence with C.E.W. Bean , 1933-1934.
15 Correspondence with J.A. Lyons, R.G. Menzies, E.J.
Harrison and A.H. Stuart regarding establishing the
Australian Newsprint Mill Industry, 1937-1941
16 Correspondence with Claude McKay, Stan Cross and V.G.
Kelly concerning negotiation with Smith's newspapers,
17 Correspondence with Colin Bednall, R. Simmonds, John
Bennett, Adrian Ball and Malcolm Forsyth regardin
staff matters, 1938-1949.
18 Correspondence with Captain H.C. Curmi regarding
gunners of Malta, 1942.
19 Correspondence with R.K. Palmer, E.K. Smart, J.J.
Simmonds and J.F. Williams, 1942-1947.
20 Correspondence and newspaper clippings concerning
death of Roydon Keith Palmer, 1943
21 Correspondence with S.G. Holland, Edward Boot, Roy
Howard, C. J. Morley and John Hetherington,
22 A.A.P. independence letter from Simmonds to Murdoch,
1947 also correspondence with Gillis Purcell,
Canadian Press, 1947-1949.
23 Correspondence between G.F. Guthrie, Colin Grigg,
W.C. Wentworth, Patrick Gibson, Harold Cox and
24 Empire Press Union Conference, correspondence
relating to selection of delegates, 1950.
25-26 Murdoch Managing Editors notes, 1924-1925, 1929and
27 Three catalogues of art exhibition sponsored by the
Herald and the Advertiser, Adelaide, also a file of
Murdoch's visit to Washington and New York, June
28 Microfilm print-outs of letters between Murdoch and
Lord Northcliffe and extracts from the Northcliffe's
papers in the British Museum, 1915-922.
Series 5: National Gallery of Victoria, 1940-1952
1 National Gallery Concerts, correspondence with the
A.B.C., W.C. Cleary C.C. Wicks and Tom Holt,
2 Correspondence with Leighton Irwin (Architects)
3 Correspondence concerning exhibitions, 1943.
4 Correspondence and reports on post war reconstruction
5 Kent Collection of Oriental Art:: report and
correspondence to trustees, 1942-1945.
6 Correspondence concerning staff matters and
7 Controversy about proposed new National Gallery.
Extracts from newspapers correspondence and newspaper
8 Correspondence concerning separation of the Victorian
Public Library into four institutions, including the
National Gallery of Victoria, 1944
9-10 Correspondence concerning Daryl Lindsay's Overseas
11-12 Felton Bequest Committee concerning buying policy,
correspondence with Sir Kenneth Clark, Randolph
13 Report of the Trustees of the Public Library, Museum,
and the National Gallery. Correspondence with Seddon
Galleries and other administrative matters, 1946.
14 Minutes and reports of special meeting of the
National Gallery Trustees, 1944.
15 Minutes of meetings, 1947
16 Correspondence concerning Sir Kenneth Clark's visit,
also exchange of exhibition with South Australia,
17 Correspondence with Lionel Lindsay relating to
collection of Charles Keen's drawings, 1949-50.
18 Correspondence with Daryl Lindsay, General Ramsay,
Colin G. Rigg and others, concerning staff and
administrative matters, 1951-52.
Series 11: C.E. Sayers
1 Correspondence with Walter Murdoch concerning
2 Correspondence with Ralph Simmonds, British Museum
relating to Northcliffe and Murdoch's papers, 1966.
3 Correspondence with Claude McKay, Peter Haydon,
George Pearce, 1966-1967.
4 Correspondence, notes and copies of letters
concerning the life of K. Murdoch
5 Extracts of letters of Keith Murdoch to his father
6-8 Sayers notes and outline of biography.
Biography by C.E. Sayers: "A life of Keith Murdoch,
Newspaper Reporter (3 Volume typescript) held in
Box Series Folder
1 1 1-9
2 1 10-13
2 2 1-5
3 2 6-14 (items 13 and 14 are
4 2 15-17 (3 volumes)
4 3 1-5
5 3 6-14
6 3 15-23
7 3 24-26
7 4 1-3
8 5 1-9
9 5 10-18
10 6 1-4
10 7 1-3
10 8 1 and folio
11 9 1-9 (items 4-9 are volumes)
10 1 Folio item
12 11 1-8