Guide to the Papers of George Landen Dann [MSS 186]

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Manuscript Name Papers of George Landen Dann
Manuscript Number MSS 186
Last Updated August 2021
Extent 1 box
Location Special Collections, UNSW Canberra
Abstract Letter from G.L. Dann to ‘Mr Nixon’ dated 11 August 1931

Collection Subject Type


Scope and Content

A letter from George Landen Dann to a ‘Mr Nixon’ dated 11 August 1931, in relation to Mr Nixon’s copy of the book David Harum

Date Range of Content 


Biographical Note 

Wikipedia article:

Queensland playwright and radio/television script-writer. He worked professionally as a draftsman for Brisbane City Council throughout his playwriting career.

Born and raised in the Sandgate area of Brisbane, Dann was educated at Brisbane Grammar School, and began training as a draftsman at the age of sixteen. He began writing not long afterwards, noting in an early interview that he had written his first play, a one-act comedy, when he was eighteen ('New Playwright').

George Landen Dann began writing with plays for the local amateur dramatics society. One of these works, Beauty It Is Kept Secret, won the Brisbane Repertory Society's Prize in 1931, which brought the then twenty-six-year-old Dann some measure of attention and some notoriety, as a small flurry of complaints arose around the play's depiction of a love affair between a white Australian girl and a fisherman described by the play as 'half-caste' ('Why Prize Play Was Cut'). He returned to the question of Aboriginal-white relations in Fountains Beyond (1942) and Rainbows Die at Sunset (1975).

Dann's work won a number of prizes during this career, both at repertory level and beyond: his radio plays were well represented in ABC radio competitions during the 1940s, and Fountains Beyond even won a Welsh eisteddfod, when performed by a Cardiff-based repertory company. Although he was never as prolific a writer as some of his contemporaries, his success has led him to be called Queensland's first significant playwright.

Reference: Austlit -


Administrative Information 


Access and Copying Conditions

Access: Open Access

This collection contains a variety of copyright material. Copyright is held by the creator of each item. Specific conditions for this collection are listed below. If no conditions are stipulated then the standard terms of the Copyright Act apply for published and unpublished items. Digitised material from manuscript collections is provided to clients by UNSW Canberra in good faith for private study and research only, and may not be published or re-purposed without the express and written permission of the individual legal holder of that copyright. Refer also to the UNSW copyright, disclaimer and takedown policy. 

Copying: Copying of material for private study and research is approved 

Preferred Citation 

Papers of George Landen Dann, Special Collections, UNSW Canberra, Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra, MSS 186, Box [Number], Folder [Number].


The collection was acquired by the Academy Library in 1989

Additional Information 

Related Material 

Further papers of George Landen Dann are held by the University of Queensland, Fryer Library, UQFL65 – George Landen Dann Papers

Separated Material 

This material was originally enclosed in a copy of George Landen Dann’s Fountains Beyond purchased in 1989 and held by the Academy Library 


Subject Keywords 


Dramatists, Australian - 20th century - Archives

Personal Names 

George Landen Dann, 1904-1977


Playwrights, writers


Container List 


Box 1

Folder 1 

A letter from George Landen Dann to a ‘Mr Nixon’ dated 11 August 1931, in relation to Mr Nixon’s copy of David Harum