We don’t usually equate Banjo Paterson with children’s poetry, but he did produce quite a few! 

Assistant-Curator of Manuscripts, Bronwyn Ryan, talks about one of the Banjo’s children’s poems, The Animals Noah Forgot – believed to have been written for his grandchildren – and shares why she loves working with the National Library’s literary manuscript collections. 

The National Library of Australia is proud to be the custodian of the papers of A.B. ‘Banjo’ Paterson (1864-1941). 

Collection material featured in this video: 

  • A. B. Paterson and illustrated by Norman Lindsay, The Animals Noah Forgot, 1933 

  • Typed drafts of The Animals Noah Forgot with handwritten amendments, c.1933 

  • Notebook with draft verses and fragments for The Animals Noah Forgot, 1933 

All images and items belong to the collection, Papers of Andrew Barton ‘Banjo’ Paterson, 1807-1950nla.cat-vn8047102 

Support the National Library of Australia to preserve and digitise this newly acquired collection of papers so that Australians, now and in the future, can explore and appreciate his life and work. Give to the 2020 Appeal

Banjo Paterson: Children’s Poetry 

Bronwyn: 
Hello, my name is Bronwyn and I'm Assistant-Curator of Manuscripts here at the National Library of Australia. 
 
Today we're in the manuscripts work area to take a sneak peek at a collection of papers we acquired recently, the papers of Banjo Paterson. 
 
We don't usually equate Paterson with children's poetry, but in fact he did produce quite a lot of children's poems and one such example is The Animals Noah Forgot. 
 
It was published in 1933 and what's so special about this book is that it was also illustrated by Norman Lindsay. 
 
When this collection arrived, I got to know a bit more about The Animals Noah Forgot and I could see in the collection different drafts of the book of poetry which I found fascinating. 
 
In the collection you can see here a full notebook written in Banjo's hand of some of the poems. 
 
He writes, there's crossed out words, there's notes and then further on in the collection you see another piece of drafting. 
 
There's typescripts of the same poems, but this time with some editorial amendments and some handwritten editions. 
 
And finally in the collection we see the published version, The Animals Noah Forgot. 
 
What I love about this published version is that he actually wrote a little inscription to his wife, Alice. 
 
He writes,  

'To my dear wife with much love and admiration for her unfailing plucking cheerfulness. 
A. B. Paterson 
March 1933’ 
 
I really love seeing the evolution of a writer's process from beginning to end and in our manuscript collections, a lot of our literary collections, we see exactly the same process with writers and poets and playwrights. 
 
This collection is no exception. 
 
Conor: 
My name is Conor. I'm the Director of Philanthropy at the National Library of Australia. 
 
The Banjo Paterson collection is one of the treasures of the National Library's collection. 
 
We want to share that with everybody in Australia. 
 
To support our appeal to digitise the papers of Banjo Paterson, please visit our website at nla.gov.au.  
 
Thank you.