Guide to the Papers of Eric Fry

MS 9691

National Library of Australia


Date completed: November 2002
Last updated: November 2002


Table of Contents

Collection Summary

Introduction

Scope and Content

Access

Copying and Publishing

Preferred Citation

Provenance

Biographical Note

Series List and Descriptions

Series 1-3 Folders 1-3, 1964-98

Series 4-5 Folders 4-5, 1946-51

Series 6-9 Folders 6-9, 1947-53

Series 10 Applications for positions, 1950-51

Series 12 Harold White Fellowship, 1991

Series 13-15 Oral history interviews, 1992-96

Series 16 Labour History Society: a memoir, 1999

Series 17 T.A. Coghlan, 1965-70

Series 22-23 Tom Barker and the IWW, 1963-65

Series 24 Theses on Australian History, 1978-81

Series 25-26 Rebels and radicals, 1980-84

Series 27-28 Common cause, 1984-86

Series 29-37 An Airman far away, 1968-98

Series 38 War and peace: Australia 1939-49

Series 39 School history texts, 1963-67

Series 40 Articles and conference papers, 1973-99

Series 41 The maritime strike; a centennial perspective, 1990-93

Series 42 Personal and autobiographical

Box List



Collection Summary

Creator: Fry, Eric Charles, 1921-
Title: Papers of Eric Fry
Date Range: 1947-1999
Collection Number: MS 9691
Extent: 0.64 m. (5 boxes)
Repository: National Library of Australia

Introduction

Scope and Content

The papers document Eric Fry's tertiary education, some phases of his academic career and his historical writings. They include correspondence, references, applications for scholarships and appointments, research notes and copies of documents, drafts of essays, articles and papers, reviews, newspaper cuttings and oral histories. The correspondents include Manning Clark, John Ward, Jim Hagan, Russel Ward, John Merritt, Graeme Powell and Royden Harrison.

Fry retained papers relating to his family and childhood, his early employment in the Commonwealth Public Service, his wartime service, his postgraduate studies at the Australian National University and his many years as a teacher at the ANU.

Access

The collection is available for reference.

Provenance

The papers were purchased by the Library from Eric Fry in 2000.

Copying and Publishing

Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions. For such material, written permission to publish must be obtained from the copyright holder(s). Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissable 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.

Preferred Citation

Items from this collection should be cited as '[Title or description of manuscript item], Papers of Eric Fry, National Library of Australia, MS 9691, [series and/or folder number]'.

Biographical Note

Eric Charles Fry was born in Broken Hill on 21 August 1921. He was educated at North Sydney Boys' High School. In 1938 he joined the Commonwealth Public Service and studied Economics part-time at the University of Sydney, graduating in 1942. Fom 1941 to 1946 he was on military service, first with the Army and later with the RAAF. In 1946 he returned to the Public Service as an Investigation Officer in the Office of Education. In 1947 he gained a Scholarship to study full-time at Sydney University, where he completed an Honours Arts degree in 1950. In 1951 he gained a Diploma of Education and was briefly a schoolteacher. From 1952 to 1955 he was a postgraduate student in the History Department at the Australian National University, graduating as a Doctor of Philosophy in 1956.

Fry's first academic appointment was as a Lecturer in History at the University of Western Australia in 1956. From 1957 to 1959 he was a Lecturer in History at the University of New England and in 1959 he was appointed Senior Lecturer in History at Canberra University College. The College was absorbed into the Australian National University in 1960 and Fry remained a member of the History Department in the School of General Studies until his retirement in 1986. He was promoted to the position of Reader in 1967 and from 1973 to 1975 he was the Dean of the Faculty of Arts.

In 1961 Fry and Robin Gollan founded the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History. Fry was the first Secretary and in time occupied every position in the Society, including President (1984-86). Most of his writings were in the field of labour and urban history. He edited Tom Barker and the I.W.W. (Canberra, 1965), Rebels and radicals (Sydney, 1983) and Common cause; essays in Australian and New Zealand labour history (Sydney, 1986). In his retirement he carried out research on the life of his wife's brother, Charles Williams, who served with Bomber Command and was killed in a 'Dambusters' raid in 1943. This formed the basis of his book An airman far away (Sydney, 1993).

Eric Fry married Sheila Williams on 19 May 1950.



Series List and Descriptions

Series 1-3 Folders 1-3, 1964-98

Letters from friends, academic colleagues, university administrators and students. The subjects include teaching arrangements at the Australian National University, Fry's publications, reports on theses, references for job applications, research undertaken by colleagues and friends, contributions to Labour History and Fry's association with the University of Warwick.

Correspondents include Manning Clark, Russel Ward, David Mitchell, Frank Crowley, C.R. Badger, D.H. Borchardt, R.N. Dalkin, Humphrey McQueen, Jim Hagan, John Merritt, Russell Cope, Geoffrey Serle, Graeme Powell, Michael Cannon, John Saville, Tony Mason, Frank Cain, Ross McCormack, Stuart Macintyre, Bob Reece, Michael McKernan, Campbell Macknight, Lyndall Ryan, Bill Peach, T.G. Parsons, John Molony, Sally Miller, Royden Harrison, Peter Stanley, Bob McMullan, John Burton, Ken Inglis and Don Aitkin. There are reports on theses by Kim Beazley (senior), Susan Magarey, Ian Britain, Bruce Juddery, Humphry McQueen and Gregory Kealey.

Series 4-5 Folders 4-5, 1946-51

The papers comprise job applications and correpondence with the Department of Labour and National Service and the Commonwealth Office of Education, a page from the Government Gazette (17 Nov. 1949), and papers concerning the appointment of diplomatic staff cadets. There is also a photocopy of Fry's personal file which he obtained from the Australian Archives in 1991.

Series 6-9 Folders 6-9, 1947-53

Correspondence and other papers about Fry's enrolment for a Bachelor of Arts degree (1947), his proposed course of study, his possible enrolment for a Master of Arts degree (1951), prizes awarded by Sydney Teachers' College, possible academic appointments, university prizes, and the award of an ANU Scholarship (1952). There are also newspaper cuttings and book reviews concerning figures at Sydney University in that period, a copy of The Teacher Trainee (1951) edited by Fry, and comments written by Fry in 1995 on early drafts of Alan Barcan's book Radical students; the Old Left at Sydney University (2002)

Correspondents include John Ward, S.J. Butlin, Lloyd Churchward, I.S. Turner and Alan Barcan.

Series 10 Applications for positions, 1950-51

Following the completion of his Arts degree in 1950, Fry applied for a number of scholarships and academic positions. This file contains copies of applications, references and related correspondence.

Series 12 Harold White Fellowship, 1991

The National Library of Australia awarded Fry a 1991 Harold White Fellowship to undertake research on Australian fedral politics. The file contains correspondence, press releases, a typescript of Fry's public lecture on the 1949 general election and his report on the Fellowship. The correspondents are Warren Horton and Graeme Powell.

Series 13-15 Oral history interviews, 1992-96

In 1992 Edgar Waters carried out a lengthy interview with Fry for the National Library's oral history project. They focussed on his erly years at the Australian National University. The papers consist of letters, extensive notes by Fry whn preparing for the interview, and transcripts.

Series 16 Labour History Society: a memoir, 1999

In 1999 Fry wrote an article for Labour History on the formation in 1961 and early history of the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History. It was based on the interviews he had recorded with Edgar Waters. The file containsa copy of the article, pencilled notes and lists, papers relating to a conference held in December 1999 and correspondnce. The correspondents are Terry Irving and Margaret Walters.

Series 17 T.A. Coghlan, 1965-70

Fry had a long-standing interest in the work of the Australian economic historian and statistician Timothy Coghlan (1855-1925). He gave a paper on Coghlan as an historian at the ANZAAS Congress in Hobart in 1965 and wrote a review article on Labour and industry in Australia for Historical Studies in 1970. The papers in these files include copies of the two papers, correspondence with Coghlan's son Austin Coghlan, an article by Heinz Arndt on Coghlan in the Economic Journal (1949), photocopies of Coghlan's letters to Alfred Deakin (1906-9), photocopies of articles in Sydney newspapers (1886-89) and London newspapers, including obituaries (1906-25) and reviews of Labour and industry in Australia (1919).

Correspondents include Austin Coghlan, Heinz Arndt, Beverley Kingston, Joan Cordell and John La Nauze.

Series 22-23 Tom Barker and the IWW, 1963-65

In 1965 the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History published the recollections of Tom Barker, one of the Australian leaders of the Industrial Workers of the World in 1916-18. The work was edited by Fry. The papers include copies of the publication, notes by Fry, newspaper articles, correspondence between Barker and Fry, a photograph of Barker

Series 24 Theses on Australian History, 1978-81

In 1974 and 1978, while he was on study leave in England, Fry carried out a survey of theses on Australian history submitted to British universities. He identified 82 theses written between 1901 and 1976. The resulting bibliography was published by the National Library in 1981. The papers conists of correspondence, notes for seminars, a press release and a copy of the publication. The correspondents include Patricia Larby, William Kellaway and Graeme Powell.

Series 25-26 Rebels and radicals, 1980-84

In 1983 Fry edited a volume of essays on Australian radicals, the subjects including John Dunmore Lang, Raffaello Carboni and Catherine Spence. Fry wrote an article on Monty Miller (1839-1920), a member of the Industrial Workers of the World. The papers include a corrected copy of the book, an outline of the proposed book, a publishing agreement, correspondence with contributors and reviews.

The contributors are Jack Beasley and Jennifer Lorch.

Series 27-28 Common cause, 1984-86

In 1986 Fry edited Common cause; essays on Australian and New Zealand labour history, published by Allen and Unwin. Fry wrote the last essay on the writing of labour history in Australia. The papers comprise Fry's letters to contributors, correspondence with the publisher, a publication agreement, reviews and a copy of the book. The correspondents include John Iremonger and Julia Tanguy.

Series 29-37 An Airman far away, 1968-98

In his retirement Fry carried out research on the life of Charlie Williams (1909-1943), the brother of Sheila Fry. Williams served in the RAAF, was sent to England under the Air Empire Training Scheme and was killed on one of the Dambuster raids. Fry's book An airman far away was published by Kangaroo Press and launched by the Governor-General, Bill Hayden, in 1993.

The papers comprise transcripts of the letters of Charlie Willams, copies of RAF service records, papers relating to Australian War Memorial research grants, correspondence of Sheila Fry concerning her brother (1968), cuttings about the Dambusters, seminar papers and talks by Fry about his research, the speeches of Bill Hayden and Fry at the launching, reviews of the book and letters from readers. The correspondents include Sheila Fry, David Irving, H.R. Humprhries, Russell Turner, Alex Bateman, Ken Inglis, Robin Gollan, Stephen Payne, Patrick Howard and Harry Turner.

Series 38 War and peace: Australia 1939-49

In 1994 Fry was commissioned by Australia Post to write the text of a stamp heritage book War and Peace, Australia 1939-49, to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the end of World War II. The papers include research notes, correpondence with Australia Post, cuttings, leaflets and a disk containing Fry's essay.

Series 39 School history texts, 1963-67

In his early years as a lecturer Fry contributed chapters to two textbooks published by Longmans and edited by his friend Jim Hagan. They were published under the titles World history since 1789 (1961) and Modern history and its themes (1966). The papers comprise correpondence with Hagan and a publishing agreement.

Series 40 Articles and conference papers, 1973-99

Copies of articles and papers by Fry including The history thesis production industry (1973), Outwork in the eighties (1981) Australian labour and labour history (1981), Sydney's republican riot (1994). There are also notes for a lecture on J.B. Chifley given by Fry at Old Parliament house in 1999.

Series 41 The maritime strike; a centennial perspective, 1990-93

In 1990 the Wollongong University Labour History Research Group and the Australian Society of Labour History jointly hosted a conference in honour of Fry. The papers mostly dealt with the maritime strike of 1890 but the first paperby Andrew Wells was an analysis of Fry's doctoral thesis 'The condition of the urban wage earning class in the 1880s'. The papers, edited by Jim Hagan and Andrew Wells, were published in 1992. In addition toa copy of the book, there is a list of participants, a review and letters. The correspondents include Asa Briggs and Roydon Harrison.

Series 42 Personal and autobiographical

This file contains miscellaneous material including correspondence about the Australasian Book Society (1960-62), a copy of The Hummer (1991) containing an interview between Fry and Peter Love, an autobiographical typescript, obituaries of Russel Ward (1995) and a copy of Australian Labour and regional change (1998), which contained an appreciation of Bob Gollan by Fry.



Box List

Box Folder
1 1-9
2 10-17
3 18-27
4 28-36
5 37-42