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Collection Summary

Creator: Keon-Cohen, Bryan
Title: Papers of Bryan Keon-Cohen
Date Range: 1981-2000 (bulk 1982-1994)
Collection number:MS 9518
Extent: 6.92 m. (12 boxes, 14 cartons + 4 folio boxes)



Scope and Content

Mabo Litigation Records emanating from both the Supreme Court of Queensland and the High Court of Australia. They comprise a Statement of Facts by the Plaintiffs, wills, land transactions, court transcripts, exhibits, pleadings, applications, witness statements, submissions, correspondence, memoranda and research material. They have been arranged into volumes in broad chronological order. Many of the papers are in copy format, especially the research materials.

Other documents generated over the ten-year period of the litigation did not find their way into this set of materials. Pursuant to normal practice, the Judges' copies of exhibits are not released. A large quantity of other categories of material generated by various members of the Plaintiffs' team and the Defendants' team have not been included. Examples of such categories would have been cases, statutes and academic publications not specific to the Mabo Case.

In July 1996 the Library acquired some papers of Greg McIntyre. They were subsequently incorporated into the Keon-Cohen Papers. While the core group is in Volumes 64, 67 and 68 (Boxes 16-18), some McIntyre Papers may be found in other parts of the collection, for example Volume 8.

A detailed index of 246 pages, compiled by Bryan Keon-Cohen, is available on request. It describes individual items in each numbered volume. Please note that the Keon-Cohen index lists 73 volumes, but after Volume 68, the numbering differs slightly from the numbers written on the actual volumes. The 'Envelope' numbers, however, are consistent throughout the index and the Manuscript finding aid. The Volume numbers cited in this Manuscript finding aid dated July 2001 correspond with the numbers used on the actual volumes (Volumes 1-72).


The majority of the papers were arranged by Bryan Keon-Cohen into volumes in broad chronological order. Papers of Greg McIntyre were incorporated into the arrangement by the Library (see Scope and Content note).


The collection is part available for research; part requires permission for research. Not for loan. Volumes 47-49 and 56-59 from Series 1 require permission for research.


The bulk of the collection was donated to the National Library by Mr Bryan Keon-Cohen, QC in 2000. The remainder was donated by Greg McIntyre in 1996.

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 permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.

Related Material

Papers of Eddie Koiki Mabo are held in the Manuscript Collection at MS 8822. The papers were acquired from Mabo's widow, Bonita, in 1995.

Preferred Citation

Items from this collection should be cited as '[Title or description of manuscript item], Papers of Bryan Keon-Cohen, National Library of Australia, MS 9518, [series and/or folder number]'.


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