Guide to the Papers of Vera Newsom [MSS 100]

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Manuscript Name Papers of Vera Newsom
Manuscript Number MSS 100
Last Updated October 2021
Extent 2 boxes
Location Special Collections, UNSW Canberra
Abstract Literary papers, including notebooks and drafts of poetry.

Collection Subject Type


Scope and Content

A collection of literary papers of Vera Newsom, created during the 1980s. Much of the collection are typed manuscripts of her poetry, collected in folders. The collection also includes five of Newsom’s notebooks.

Date Range of Content

1980 - 1986

Biographical Note

Vera Newsom was a British-born Australian poet. She emigrated from the United Kingdom to New Zealand at seven (1919), moving to Australia in her teens. Her family encouraged her to pursue academic goals, and was strongly supportive of the suffragette and early feminist movements. She spent over 40 years working as a teacher in both state and private schools, during which time she laid aside her interest in poetry.

In the late 1970s, she co-founded the Round Table Poets. Her first collection of poetry, Midnight Snow was published by Hale & Ironmonger in 1988. Newsom was 76. Following that, she went on to publish five more collections, The Apple and the Serpent (1992), Emily Bronte Re-Collects and Other Poems (1995), High Tide (2000), and A Psalm of Rejoicing and Other Poems (2005), Gratia: New and Selected Poems (2006).

She was awarded several Fellowships throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, including twice from the Australia Council and repeatedly from the Varuna Writers’ House. Emily Bronte Re-Collects and Other Poems (1995) was awarded the Book Award for Poetry by the Society of Women Writers NSW.

In 2003, Vera Newsom was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for “service to literature as a poet and through support for the emerging talent of other writers”.


Author record, Vera Newsom, AustLit (, St Lucia: The University of Queensland, 2002-. [Retrieved from 24/01/2019].


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 If no conditions are stipulated then the standard terms of the Copyright Act apply for published and unpublished items.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: No copying is approved.

Preferred Citation

Papers of Vera Newsom, Special Collections, UNSW Canberra, Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra, MSS 100, Box [Number], Folder [Number].


The collection was acquired from Vera Newsom in one consignment in 1989.

Subject Keywords


Australian 20th century poets, Australian 20th century poetry, Australian 20th century literature, Australian women poets, Australian women teachers

Personal Names

Vera Newsom 1912-2006

Corporate Names



Poet, teacher


Container List 

Box 1

Folder 1 
Poetry, 1980 - 1981
Typed manuscripts held in folder.

Folder 2 
Poetry, 1982
Typed manuscripts held in folder.

Folder 3 
Poetry, 1983
Typed manuscripts held in folder.

Folder 4 
Poetry, 1984
Typed manuscripts held in folder.

Folder 5 
Poetry, 1985 - 1986
Typed manuscripts held in folder.

Folder 6 
Poetry - ‘Tapestry’, 1984
Typed manuscripts held in folder.

Folder 7 
Poetry - ‘Scroll Painter’, 1982
Typed manuscripts held in spring-back binder.


Box 2

Folder 8 
Poetry - drafts for ‘Winter Snow’, 1987
Newsom’s collection Midnight Snow was published 1988. This typed manuscript with hand-written annotations bears differences from Midnight Snow. Held in a spring-back binder.

Folder 9 
Notebook, 1982

Folder 10
Notebook, 1983

Folder 11
Notebook, 1984

Folder 12 
Notebook, 1985

Folder 13 
Notebook, 1986