MS 8429
Papers of Dan Sprod



Scope and Content Note

  • Papers
  • 1955-97
  • 4.48 m (32 boxes) and 4 folio boxes
  • Access not yet determined

Dan Sprod presented the bulk of his papers to the National Library in 1990 under the Taxation Incentives for the Arts Scheme. Further papers were added in March 1999.

The collection contains material on the Blubber Head Press and Sprod's career as a librarian (National Library of Australia and Morris Miller Library at the University of Tasmania) and author and editor of numerous books. There are also papers relating to his professional and research interests, including Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board, Tasmanian Historical Research Association, Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts and the Taxation for the Arts Scheme.

The papers include correspondence, research material, notes, handwritten drafts, typescripts, financial papers, minutes of meetings and reports.


Biographical Note

Dan Sprod was born in South Australia in 1924. He served in the Royal Australian Navy (1942-46), attended Adelaide University and graduated Bachelor of Arts (1948-50), before joining the National Library in 1951. He held a number of senior positions, including Liaison Officer, New York (1957-60), Chief Cataloguer (1964-65) and Principal Librarian, User Services (1966). Upon leaving the National Library, he was appointed University Librarian, Morris Miller Library, University of Tasmania in 1966 and held this position until his resignation on 31 July 1976.

Sprod founded the Blubber Head Press in 1978 and became its manager. He was also the owner of the bookshop Astrolabe Books in Hobart, specialising in antiquarian books relating to Australia.

Dan Sprod has been active on committees in a range of areas associated with his professional and research interests. The many organisations with which he was associated include the Library Association of Australia, the Australian Advisory Council on Bibliographical Services, the Tasmanian Historical Research Association, the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts and the Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board.


Series List

Series
1 General correspondence, 1973-90
2 Blubber Head Press: general papers, 1977-97s
3 Blubber Head Press: drafts of publications
4 Blubber Head Press: miscellaneous, 1972-97
5 Books by Dan Sprod: correspondence, 1975-80
6 Books by Dan Sprod: drafts
7 Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board, 1982-90
8 Tasmanian Historical Research Association, 1971-84
9 National Library of Australia, 1955-64
10 Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts, 1985-88
11 Morris Miller Library, University of Tasmania, 1966-75
12 Publishing consultant, 1979-85
13 Taxation Incentives for the Arts Scheme, 1979-95
14 Other activities, 1976-95


Series Descriptions

Series 1. Correspondence, 1973-90

This series contains correspondence relating mostly to Sprod's activities, including Keith Sinclair's paper delivered at the First Louis Triebel Memorial Lecture (University of Tasmania July 1986) entitled 'Laplace at Hobart Town and Sydney Town', the Early Imprints project, Chris Long's paper entitled 'The Frith Brothers, Tasmania photographic pioneers' and the Journal of Frederick Walker.

The correspondents include Keith Sinclair, Chris Long, James Bennett Group, Kenneth Hince, State Libraries of New South Wales, Tasmania and Victoria, the National Library and booksellers (such as Leo Berkelouw and Margareta Webber).

Other groups of correspondence may be found in Series 2, 5, 8, 9 and 10. Folders 28 and 29 contain papers that were donated to the Library in March 1999.

Folder
1-6 1-6 Correspondence, 1976-78
7 Correspondence concerning 'The cruise of the whaler Gipsy', 1987
8 Correspondence concerning the Early Imprints project, 1983-84
9 Correspondence with Chris Long concerning 'The Frith Brothers', 1983
10 Correspondence concerning The great circle: journal of the Australian Association of Maritime History, 1980-82
11 Correspondence concerning From Hudson Bay to Botany Bay, 1987-88
12-14 Correspondence concerning miscellaneous projects, 1964-84
15 Overseas trip, 1973
16 Correspondence with Maggie Weidenhofer concerning Port Arthur: a place of misery, 1978-79
17-23 Correspondence concerning the publicity of Blubber Head Press publications, 1979-84
24 Correspondence with Keith Sinclair concerning his paper 'Laplace at Hobart Town and Sydney Town', 1987
25 Correspondence concerning Travellers under concern, 1979
26 Correspondence concerning the journal of Frederick Walker, 1976
27 Correspondence concerning With the pioneers, 1979-80
28 Correspondence with James Dally, 1978-82
29 Correspondence with Literature Board of the Australia Council, 1978-90

Series 2. Blubber Head Press: correspondence, 1977-97

The series includes business correspondence, financial papers, research material, notes, drafts and mock-ups of books. Most of the books were published by Blubber Head Press.

The correspondents include Joanna Richards, Alan Andrews, Vivian Rae-Ellis, C. Craig, E. Bracegirdle, Australia Council, Kenneth Hince, Griffin Press, Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board and State Library of Tasmania.

Folders 60 - 82 contain papers that were donated to the Library in March 1999.

Folder  
1-3 Blaxland - Lawson - Wentworth, 1813 (1979), 1978-79
4-7 A journey from Sydney to the Australian Alps (1979), 1978-81
8-12 Louisa Anne Meredith: a tigress in exile (1979), 1977-83
13-14 Mr Punch in Tasmania (1980), 1980-81
15-16 The story of Port Dalrymple (1980), 1980-82
17-19 Backhouse and Walker, 1824 (1981), 1981
20-21 Hume and Hovell (1981), 1980-85
22-31 Search for the Tasmanian tiger (1981), 1981-83
See also Series 3, Folio 11
32-37 The Baudin expedition and the Tasmanian Aborigines, 1802 (1983), 1982-84
38-40 Kennedy, the Barcoo and Beyond (1983), 1982-84
41-42 The devil's wilderness (1984), 1982-84
43-45 Simpkinson de Wesselow (1984), 1981-85
46-47 Stapylton with Major Mitchell's Australia Felix Expedition, 1836 (1986), 1986-87
48-55 Weep in silence (1987), 1986-87
56-59 The Tregurtha log (1980), 1977-84
60 Louisa Anne Meredith: a tigress in exile (Reprinted by Tasmania Government Printing Office in 1990), 1990-94
61 Pioneers of the West Coast (1988), 1987-91
62 Down Wapping: Hobart's vanished wapping and old wharf districts (1988), 1986-89
63-64 Proud intrepid heart: Leichhardt's first attempt to the Swan River, 1846-47 (1989), 1976-97
65-66 Open to talent: the centenary history of the University of Tasmania, 1890-1990 (Published by University of Tasmania in 1990), 1988-97
67 The convict probation system, Van Diemen's land 1839-1854… (1990), 1990-91
68-70 Jorgen Jorgenson and the Aborigines of Van Diemen's Land… (1991)
71 The Whitehead letters: Tasmanian society and politics 1871-1882… (Edited by Michael Sprod and published by Tasmanian Historical Research Association in 1991), 1990-92
72-73 Cascade: a taste of history (Published by Cascade Brewery in 1992), 1991-92
74-77 Tasmanian insights: essays by Geoffrey Stilwell (Published by the State Library of Tasmania in 1992), 1989-92
78 Letters and papers of G.P. Harris, 1803-1812 (Published by Arden Press in 1994), 1993-94
79-82 A mortal flame: Marie Bjelke Petersen (1994), 1994-96

Series 3. Blubber Head Press: drafts of publications

This series includes handwritten drafts, typescripts, printer's proofs and notes relating to Blubber Head Press publications.

Folder
1-3 Blaxland - Lawson - Wentworth, 1813 (1979)
4 Louisa Ann Meredith (1979)
5-17 The Tregurtha log (1980)
18 Search for the Tasmanian tiger
19-23 The Baudin expedition and the Tasmanian Aborigines, 1802 (1983)
24-27 Kennedy, the Barcoo and beyond (1983)
28-32 Simpkinson de Wesselow (1984)
33-40 Stapylton with Major Mitchell's Australia Felix expedition (1986)
41-42 Pioneer of Tasmania's West coast (1988)

Series 4. Blubber Head Press Miscellaneous, 1972-97

This series comprises correspondence, notes, drafts and cuttings relating to various publication proposals and requests from the general public to publish their books. The correspondents include Alan E.J. Andrews, Susan Chamberlain and the general public.

Folders 3 - 14 contain papers that were donated to the Library in March 1999

Folder
1, 5-7 Papers relating to the 'Todd journal'
2 Papers relating to the proposed publication of 'Colonial Queensland'
3 Correspondence with Alan E.J. Andrews concerning Kosciusko: the mountain in history, 1980-82
4 Correspondence with Susan Chamberlain concerning a proposal to publish her thesis on the Hobart whaling industry, 1987-89
5-7 Notes and drafts for the 'Todd journal'
8-10 Notes and correspondence, 1981-97, concerning various 'tentative projects'. Some of the projects were never completed.
11-13 Miscellaneous correspondence of Blubber Head Press, 1972-94
14 Miscellaneous correspondence of Blubber Head Press, 1981-96

Series 5. Books by Dan Sprod: correspondence, 1975-80

Sprod has written five books entitled Victorian and Edwardian Hobart from old photographs (Sydney: J. Ferguson, 1977) and Alexander Pearce of Macquarie Harbour (Hobart: Cat & Fiddle, 1977). The series comprises correspondence with the two publishers, proofs and financial papers.
4 folders

Series 6. Books by Dan Sprod: drafts

This series includes typescripts, notes and research material relating to Victorian and Edwardian Hobart from old photographs and Alexander Pearce of Macquarie Harbour.
3 folders

Series 7. Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board, 1982-90

Sprod was the Chairman of the Literature Panel of the Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board (1982-88) and also a member of the Tasmanian Writers Union and the National Book Council. This series includes minutes of meetings and applications for grants.

Folder
1-15 Literature Panel: meetings, 1982-87
16-21 State Community Literature Officer's Management Committee meetings, 1985-90
22-38 Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board: meetings, 1985-88
39-43 Applications for grants

Series 8. Tasmanian Historical Research Association, 1971-84

Sprod was the Chairman and a Council member of the Tasmanian Historical Research Association. The papers in this series include minutes of meetings, committee reports and correspondence relating to three titles published by the Association, namely Governors' ladies (1987), The Journal of Charles O'Hara Booth (1981) and Sam Thomas and his neighbours (1975).

1-3 Minutes of meetings, miscellaneous correspondence and reports, 1977-79
4-7 Papers relating to The journal of Charles O'Hara Booth, 1980-84
8 Papers relating to 'Sam Thomas and his neighbours', 1971-73
9 Papers relating to 'The Governors' ladies'
10-11 Papers relating to A Solomons sojourn, 1977-78

Series 9. National Library of Australia, 1955-64

Sprod joined the staff of the National Library in 1951. He held various senior positions, including Liaison Officer, New York (1957-60), Chief Cataloguer (1965-65) and Principal Librarian, User Services (1966). This series includes correspondence, reports and conference papers.

Series 10. Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts, 1985-88

In 1985 Sprod was invited by the Tasmanian Minister of Education, John Beswick, to serve as a member of the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts Management Committee.

The series includes correspondence with the Department of Education, agenda and minutes of meetings, and copies of State Library of Tasmania's annual report.
2 folders

Series 11. Morris Miller Library, University of Tasmania, 1966-75

Sprod was appointed University Librarian of the Morris Miller Library at the University of Tasmania in 1966 and held this position until his resignation in 1976. The series contains some copies of his correspondence during this period.

Folders 1,2 and 5 contain papers that were donated to the Library in March 1999.

Folder
1-2 Correspondence, 1966-73
3-4 Correspondence, 1971-73
5 Correspondence, 1971-75

Series 12. Publishing consultant, 1979-85

The series contains notes, drafts and correspondence relating to Sprod's activities as publishing consultant.

Folder
1 Correspondence with Andrew David concerning H.M.S. Herald Project, 1985
2 Typescript of The history of the Tasmanian Royal Botanical Gardens, 1818-1986 by Marcus Harburgh
3 Photocopy and part of a transcript of Rev. Knopwood's diary kept on a voyage from Portsmouth to Port Jackson in 1803, sent to Sprod by Maggs Brothers of London, 1982
4-5 Drafts and correspondence relating to The Hutchins School, Macquarie Street years, 1816-1965 by Geoffrey Stephens, 1978-79
6 Drafts, notes and correspondence with W.N. Oats concerning The rose and the waratah, 1979-83

Series 13. Taxation Incentives for the Arts Scheme, 1979-95

Sprod was a valuer for the Taxation Incentives for the Arts Scheme (now known as the Cultural Gifts Program). The series comprises papers relating to this activity.

Folders 2-8 contain papers that were donated to the Library in March 1999.

Folder
1 Valuation of the Van Diemen's Land Company records, 1988-89
2-4 Valuation of the Mt. Lyell Company records, 1985
5-8 T.I.A.S. valuations, 1979-95

Series 14. Other papers, 1976-95

The series comprises papers documenting Sprod's other activities, including his involvement with the Australian Book Publishers Association, Federation of Australian Historical Societies and Industries Assistance Commission. The papers include correspondence, cuttings, notes and photographs.

Folders 1, 4-6, 8 and 10-11 contain papers that were donated to the Library in March 1999.

Folder
1 Art works for Sprod's book
2 Australian Bicentennial Authority, 1988
3 Australian Book Publishers Association and photographs of Sprod
4 Australian Book Publishers Association: statistics, 1988-94
5 Australian Book Publishers Association: leaflets, 1991-94
6 Australian Book Publishers Association: AGM papers, 1993
7 Exhibition at Australia House, London (n.d.)
8 Federation of Australian Historical Societies, 1985-89
9 Industries Assistance Commission. Inquiry into Book Production, 1985
10 Tasmanian Historical Research Association: correspondence concerning its cumulative index, 1991-95
11-12 Talks on book collecting and rare books, 1976
14 Photographs
15 Miscellaneous papers of Cat and Fiddle Press, 1977-78

Box List

Box Series Folder/item
1 1 1-9
2 1 10-18
3 1 19-27
24 1 28-29
4 2 1-7
5 2 8-14
6 2 15-21
7 2 22-31
8 2 32-40
9 2 41-47
10 2 48-55
11 2 56-59
24 2 60-63
25 2 64-71
26 2 72-80
27 2 81-82
11 3 1-3
12 3 4-10
13 3 11-22
14 3 24-30
15 3 34-42
15 4 1-2
27 4 3-8
28 4 9-14
16 5 1-4
16 6 1-3
17 7 1-8
18 7 9-15
19 7 16-23
20 7 24-31
21 7 32-40
22 7 41-43
22 8 1-5
23 8 6-11
23 9 1-2
24 10 1-2
28 11 1-2
29 11 3-5
29 12 1-5
30 12 6
30 13 1-7
31 13 8
31 14 1-7
32 14 8-15

Folio Box Series Folder/item
1 3 14-17
2 3 18; 23
3 3 26-27; 31-32
4 3 39-40
July 1992
Revised April 2001