MS 7972
Papers of John Bechervaise (1910- )



Scope and Content Note

  • 1922-90
  • 12.7 metres (44 boxes)
  • Available for reference
This collection was arranged and annotated by John Bechervaise. It consists of 135 files, 107 of which are of the lever-arch type. The collection was purchased by the National Library in 1989

Biographical Note

John Bechervaise was born in 1910 and educated in Melbourne and England. Trained as an artist and print maker, he became a schoolteacher, poet, historian, architectural writer, explorer and mountaineer. He taught at St. George's School, Harpenden, England during the 1930s and 1940s, and later at Geelong College. He has written 28 books, was the first man to climb Federation Peak in Tasmania, and has led exploring and mountaineering expeditions to Central Australia, the Himalayas and Central America. He is probably best known as the leader of three Australian expeditions to the Antarctic and Heard Island in the 1950s.

Series List

  1. Daybooks, 1930-88
  2. Treading on earth, 1922-90
  3. Correspondence, 1936-88
  4. Papers re published works, 1967-85
  5. Lectures, articles and radio scripts, 1945-75
  6. Reference material/Subject files, 1953-85

Box List

Series 1: Daybooks

Box 1           1930-42                              (files 1-8)          
Box 2           1937-44                              (files 9-11)         
Box 3           1944-47                              files 12-14)         
Box 4           1947-50                              (files 15-17)        
Box 5           1950-53                              (files 18-20)        
Box 6           1953-56                              (files 21-24)        
Box 7           1955-57                              (files 25-27)        
Box 8           1958-64                              (files 28-31)        
Box 9           1965-70                              (files 32-35)        
Box 10          1970-74                              (files 36-38)        
Box 11          1975-77                              (files 39-42)        
Box 12          1977-78                              (files 43-45)        
Box 13          1978-79                              (files 46-48)        
Box 14          1979-81                              (files 49-51)        
Box 15          1981-84                              (files 52-54)        
Box 16          1984-86                              (files 55-57)        
Box 17          1986-88                              (files 58-60)        

Series 2: Treading on earth

(Autobiographical extracts from daybooks, published papers, memorabilia etc.)

Box 18          1922-47                              (files 61-63)        
Box 19          1948-65                              (files 64-66)        
Box 20          1965-88                              (files 67-70)        
Box 21          1988-90 s                            (files 71-73)        
                + supplement                                              

Series 3: Correspondence

Box 22          A-B                                  (files 74-77)        
Box 23          C-J                                  (files 78-81)        
Box 24          K-Z                                  (files 82-85)        
Box 25          1944-46 +                            (files 86-88)        
                various 1960s-1980                                        
Box 26          Various 1970s-1980s                  (files 89-91)        
                                                                          
Box 27           Various 1970s-1980s                 (files 92-94)        

Series 4: Papers re Published Works

(Includes manuscript and typescript drafts, research notes, correspondence, artwork and newscuttings)

Box             way, 1970-71                         (files 113-115)      
Box 37          Discovering Victoria's goldfields,   1980                 
                Bendigo sketchbook,                  1970                 
                The Bendigo book, 1982               (files 116-117)      
Box 38          Men on ice in Antarctica,            1970-78              
                Antarctica (Readers Digest), 1985    (files 118-120)      
Box 39          University of Melbourne, 1977-85     (files 121-122) 28   
                Australia: world of difference,      (files 95-96)        
                1967                                                      
Box 29          Mountains and rivers of Australia,   1968,                
                In the eye of the sun,               1968                 
                Mountaineering,                      1969                 
                Grampians sketchbook,                1969                 
                                                     (files 97-98)        
Box 30          Goldfields sketchbook,               1971                 
                Ballarat sketchbook                  (files 99-100)       
Box 31          Castlemaine and Maldon sketchbook                         
                Goldfields sketchbooks               (files 101-102)      
Box 32          Everest this way, 1970-76            (files 103-104)      
Box 33          Blue Mountains sketchbook,           1971-74              
                Grampians sketchbook, 1971-75        (files 105-106)      
Box 34          Old pubs of Victoria, 1974-75        (files 107-109)      
Box 35          Old Melbourne hotels, 1972           (files 110-112)      
Box 36          Wilson's Promontory,                 1974-75              
                The Last horizon,                    1979                 
                Everest this                                              

Series 5: Lectures, Articles and Radio Scripts

Box 40          Various, 1945-75                     (files 123-125)      
Box 41          Various, 1961-75                                          
                Lectures and notes on                                     
                Albatross behaviour, 1975            (files 126-128)      

Series 6: Reference Material/Subject Files

Box 42          China, Tibet, India, Nepal,          1982-85              
                Antarctica,                          1953-64              
                Himalayas (including plans and                            
                 photographs), 1975-76               (files 129-131)      
Box 43          Antarctica, 1957-65                  (files 132-134)      
Box 44          Fiji, 1972                           (file 135)