VU Special Collections - How to access and use: John & Shirley McLaren Collection (2020)

Collection in Focus: John & Shirley McLaren Collection

The John and Shirley McLaren Collection contains rare and valuable books on Australian, New Zealand, and South Pacific fiction (novels, plays and poetry) and criticism. Also included are a number of works on colonial and post-colonial literature in the Asia-Pacific region. These items come from the personal collection of John McLaren.

Themes explored this month are Stories and Storytellers, Poems and Plays, Multiculturalism, Australian Studies, and Connections to Collections.

The books in the 'Connections to Collections' theme highlight the connections that exist between the individual collections which are within the VU Special Collection.

Stories and Storytellers


The salt of broken tears

Author: Michael Meehan
Publisher: Random House
Date: 1999


Days of change: a Malaysian novel

Author: Chuah Guat Eng
Publisher: Hologram
Date: 2010


Killing time in a warm place : a novel

Author: Jose Y. Dalisay Jr.
Publisher: Anvil
Date: 1996


Bridge of triangles

Author: John Muk Muk Burke
Publisher: University of Queensland Press
Date: 1994


The Speaking land: myth and story in Aboriginal Australia

Author: Ronald M. Berndt, Catherine H. Berndt
Publisher: Penguin
Date: 1989


Coming out from under : contemporary Australian women writers

Author: Pam Gilbert
Publisher: Pandora
Date: 1988



Author: Peter Carey
Publisher: University of Queensland Press
Date: 1985


The Wrightson List

Author: Patricia and Peter Wrightson
Publisher: Random House Australia
Date: 1988


Shanghai dancing

Author: Brian Castro
Publisher: Giramondo
Date: 2003


Reaching Tin River

Author: Thea Astley
Publisher: Putnam
Date: 1990


Writing the nation: Patrick White and the indigene

Author: Cynthia vanden Driesen
Publisher: Rodopi
Date: 2009

Read a review of this book from the Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature.


Poor fellow my country

Author: Xavier Herbert
Publisher: Collins
Date: 1975

This Miles Franklin award winner (1975) has led to many conversations in Australia. 


Gularabulu : stories from the West Kimberley

Author: Paddy Roe
Publisher: Fremantle Arts Centre Press
Date: 1983

Read about what is happening in the West Kimberley region:


The Australian short story before Lawson

Author: Cecil Hadgraft
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Date: 1986


I'm dying laughing : the humourist

Author: Christina Stead
Publisher: Penguin
Date: 1999

Link through to a description of the 'Steed Collection' archive at the National Library of Australia.




Author: Bruce Pascoe
Publisher: Magabala Books
Date: 2001

The author is best known for the 2014 publication 'Dark Emu' but has written over 20 titles. Link through information about the author and his impact:


Australian love stories

Author: Kerryn Goldsworthy (ed.)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Date: 1996


Revolution by night, or, katjala wananu (the son after the father)

Author: James Bardon
Publisher: Local Consumption
Date: 1991


Bobbin up

Author: Dorothy Hewitt
Publisher: Virago
Date: 1985

There is a lot of information published about the author Dorothy Hewitt including:


The Eastern slope chronicle

Author: Ouyang Yu
Publisher: Brandl & Schlesinger
Date: 2002


Contemporary portraits and other stories

Author: Murray Bail
Publisher: University of Queensland Press
Date: 1975

Poems and Plays

isbn: 0571088562

Selected poems

Author:  Marianne Moore
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Date: 1969

Link through to the Moore Archive including "The Marianne Moore Digital Archive Notebooks Project makes digital reproductions and transcriptions of Marianne Moore’s notebooks readily accessible to scholarly, classroom, and non-academic readers for the first time."

isbn: 0869370472

Bon-bons and roses for Dolly; The Tatty Hollow story: two plays

Author: Dorothy Hewett
Publisher: Currency Press
Date: 1976

isbn: 1871438691

Sensuous horizons: the stories & the plays

Author: K.S. Maniam 
Publisher: Skoob Books Pub
Date: 1994

isbn: 020714639X

The people's otherworld

Author: Les Murray
Publisher: Angus & Robertson
Date: 1983

The Penguin book of modern American verse

Editor: Geoffrey Moore
Publisher: Penguin
Date: 1954

isbn: 014070003x

Three Australian plays: One day of the year, Ned Kelly, The tower

Authors: Alan Seymour, Douglas Stewart & Hal Porter
Publisher: Penguin Books
Date: 1963

isbn: 0195534980

The Oxford book of Australian religious verse

Editor: Kevin Hart
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Date: 1994

The light of Asia, and, The Indian song of songs (Gita-Govinda)

Author: Sir Edwin Arnold
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
Date: 1949

isbn: 0858591545

The getting of wisdom: from the novel by Henry Handel Richardson

Author: Eleanor Witcombe
Publisher: Heinemann Educational Australia
Date: 1978

Watch 3 short clips from the movie production of this book on the NFSA website.

isbn: 0869370081

The chocolate frog, The old familiar juice: two plays

Author: Jim McNeil
Publisher: Currency Methuen Drama
Date: 1973

Australian one-act plays: book one

Editor: Eunice Hanger
Publisher: Rigby
Date: 1962

Link through to the Eunice Hanger Exhibition  which "is the result of undergraduate research for the Research Methods course (ENGL3000) at The University of Queensland."

isbn: 1876631236

Poems the size of photographs

Author: Les Murray
Publisher: Duffy & Snellgrove
Date: 2002

Link through to the poems contained in this publication on the 'Australian Poetry Library' website.

isbn: 0140421319

Poem into poem: world poetry in modern verse translation

Editor: George Steiner
Publisher: Penguin
Date: 1970

isbn: 1871438446

Monsoon history: selected poems

Author: Shirley Geok-lin Lim
Publisher: Skoob Books
Date: 1994

Link through to information regarding this poet and her works.


isbn: 9712701093

Lyrics from a dead language: poems 1977-1991

Author: Eric Gamalinda
Publisher: Metro Manila Anvil
Date: 1991

isbn: 9813056312

Leaving home, mother: selected poems

Author: Robert Yeo
Publisher: Singapore Angsana Books
Date: 1999

Link through to information regarding this poet and his works.

Jazz poems

Author: Anselm Hollo
Publisher: Vista Books
Date: 1963

Anselm Hollo died in 2013 leaving over 35 books of published poetry.

One of the poems, 'Two from Where if Not Here' by Anselm Hollo is linked here.

isbn: 0893011282

Idaho's poetry: a centennial anthology

Editors: Ronald E. McFarland and William Studebaker
Publisher: University of Idaho Press
Date: 1988



isbn: 0864220685

Dalwurra, the black bittern: a poem cycle

Author: Colin Johnson (Mudrooroo Narogin)
Publisher: Centre for Studies in Australian Literature
Date: 1988

isbn: 1875989536

Conscious & verbal

Author: Les Murray
Publisher: Duffy & Snellgrove
Date: 1999



A fair exchange

Author: Gillian Bouras
Publisher: McPhee Gribble
Date: 1991


Adam in ochre: inside Aboriginal Australia

Author: Colin Simpson
Publisher: Angus & Robertson
Date: 1951


The New Guinea villager: a retrospect from 1964

Author: C.D. Rowley
Publisher: Cheshire
Date: 1965


Highland settler: a portrait of the Scottish Gael in Cape Breton and eastern Nova Scotia

Author: Charles W. Dunn
Publisher: Breton Books
Date: 2003


Singapore stories: language, class, and the Chinese of Singapore, 1945-2000

Author: Ernest Koh
Publisher: Cambria Press
Date: 2010


People of the Deer

Author: Farley Mowat with drawings by Samuel Bryant
Publisher: McClelland and Stewart
Date: 1980


Alternatives of ethnicity: immigrants and Aborigines in Anglo-Saxon Australia

Author: William W. Bostock
Publisher: Corvus Publishers
Date: 1981


The endless journey of Stefanos Kastamonitis: from the diaries of a migrant

Editor: M.A. Sophocleous
Publisher: Elikia Books
Date: 1987


Story about feeling

Author: Bill Neidjie
Publisher: Magabala Books
Date: 1989



Author: Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli
Publisher: Random House Australia
Date: 1999


Buongiorno Australia: our Italian heritage

Author: Robert Pascoe
Publisher: Greenhouse Publications
Date: 1987


Pioneers & settlers : the Aboriginal Australians

Authors: Catherine H. Berndt and Ronald M. Berndt
Publisher: Pitman Australia
Date: 1978


I, the Aboriginal

Author: Douglas Lockwood
Publisher: Rigby
Date: 1962


The idea of culture

Author: Terry Eagleton
Publisher: Blackwell
Date: 2000


Framing marginality: multicultural literary studies

Author: Sneja Gunew
Publisher: Melbourne University Press
Date: 1994


The Spivak reader: selected works of Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

Editors: Donna Landry and Gerald MacLean
Publisher: Routledge
Date: 1996


Foreign dialogues: memories, translations, conversations

Author: Mary Zournazi
Publisher: Pluto Press
Date: 1998


The Indo-Fijian experience

Editor: Subramani
Publisher: University of Queensland Press
Date: 1979

Australian Studies


How to survive Australia: the first true guide for newcomers, old timers and the bewildered inbetweens

Author: Robert Treborlang
Publisher: Major Mitchell Press
Date: 1986



Author: Chester Eagle
Publisher: Trojan
Date: 2005



Author: Russel Ward
Publisher: Ure Smith
Date: 1967


Australia: a social and political history

Editor: Gordon Greenwood
Publisher: Angus and Robertson
Date: 1955


Sources of Australian history

Editor: Manning Clark
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Date: 1957


Australian civilization: a symposium

Editor: Peter Coleman
Publisher: Cheshire
Date: 1963


Cold tea for brandy: a tale of protest, painting and politics

Author: Joan Coxsedge
Publisher: Vulcan Press
Date: 2007


Whitewash: on Keith Windschuttle's fabrication of Aboriginal history

Editor: Robert Manne
Publisher: Black Inc.
Date: 2003


Death of the lucky country

Author: Donald Horne
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia
Date: 1976


Radical Melbourne

Author: Jeff Sparrow and Jill Sparrow
Publisher: Vulgar Press
Date: 2001


Myths of Oz: reading Australian popular culture

Authors: John Fiske, Bob Hodge & Graeme Turner
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Date: 1987


Island in the stream: myths of place in Australian culture

Editor: Paul Foss
Publisher: Pluto Press


Gallipoli to Petrov: arguing with Australian history

Author: Humphrey McQueen
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Date: 1984


Finding Australia: the history of Australia to 1821

Author: Russel Ward with maps & drawings by Mark Ward
Publisher: Heinemann Educational Australia
Date: 1987


Going it alone: Australia's national identity in the twentieth century

Author: W. F. Mandle
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia
Date: 1978


Images of Australia: an introductory reader in Australian studies

Editors: Gillian Whitlock and David Carter
Publisher: University of Queensland Press
Date: 1992


Through white eyes

Editors: Susan Janson and Stuart Macintyre
Publisher: Allen & Unwin in conjunction with Australian Historical Studies
Date: 1990


Soundtrack for the eighties: pop culture, Australia, politics, suburbia, art and other essays

Author: Craig McGregor
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Date: 1983


The cry for the dead

Author: Judith Wright
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Date: 1981

Connections to Collections


The Indo-Fijian experience

Author: Subramani
Publisher: University of Queensland Press
Date: 1979

Art in the new Pacific

Art in the new Pacific

Author: Vilsoni Tausie
Publisher: Institute of Pacific Studies
Date: 1979


The saviours: an intellectual history of the left in Australia

Author: Patrick O'Brien
Publisher: Drummond
Date: 1977


The hammer and sickle and the washing up: memories of an Australian woman communist

Author: Amirah Inglis
Publisher: Hyland House
Date: 1995


Flight 642: Jakarta to Dili

Author: Jane Nicholls
Publisher: Bruce Sims
Date: 1999


Mungo on the zoo plane: elections 1972-77

Author:  Mungo MacCallum
Publisher: University of Queensland Press
Date: 1979


The vocal citizen

Author: Glenn Patmore
Publisher: Arena in association with Australian Fabian Society
Date: 2004


The nearest the white man gets: Aboriginal narratives and poems of New South Wales

Author:  Roland Robinson (ed.)
Publisher: Hale & Iremonger
Date: 1989


Nettie Palmer: her private journal, poems, reviews and literary essays

Author: Vivian Smith (ed.)
Publisher: University of Queensland Press
Date: 1988


Women's suffrage in New Zealand

Author: Patricia Grimshaw
Publisher: Waikato Art Museum
Date: 1975


Radical students : the old left at Sydney University

Author: Alan Barcan
Publisher: Melbourne University Press
Date: 2002


Seasonal adjustment

Author: Adib Khan
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Date: 1994


Having families: marriage, parenthood and social pressure in Australia

Author: Lyn Richards
Publisher: Penguin Books
Date: 1978


Wildcat screaming

Author: Mudrooroo
Publisher: Angus & Robertson 
Date: 1992



Author: Albert Wendt
Publisher: Penguin Books
Date: 1997

Ground for concern: Australia's uranium and human survival

Author: Mary Elliott
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia
Date: 1977

The_ nature_ of _love

The nature of love

Author; Judith Wright
Publisher: Sun Books
Date: 1966


The split: Australian Labor in the fifties

Author: Robert Murray
Publisher: Cheshire
Date: 1970



Author: Patrick White
Publisher: Eyre & Spottiswoode and The Book Society
Date: 1957