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James K. Baxter Complete Prose Volume 4


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In Manuscript

Small collections of Baxter material, including manuscripts, are to be found throughout New Zealand but the three major collections are in Dunedin, Wellington and Christchurch.

At the Hocken Library. The major collection was established in 1968 when JKB made the first of several deposits of papers. From time to time he added to it. After his death further deposits were made by Jacquie Baxter, Millicent Baxter, and others.

At Victoria University of Wellington Library. The McKay papers were collected by Frank McKay while preparing to write his biography of Baxter. The material was catalogued by Paul Millar in 1994. It was embargoed until 2011.

At the Macmillan Brown Library, University of Canterbury. The Weir papers were collected in preparation for my MA thesis, doctoral thesis, and for subsequent articles and books.

In addition to these three libraries the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington holds a number of Baxter manuscripts. These are scattered throughout the Louis Johnson collection, the Douglas collection and others.

Manuscript references in this bibliography are generally restricted to prose or combined prose and poetry items. Plays and letters are excluded.

Hocken Library collection: Baxter, James Keir: Literary Papers c. 1937-1975

This Hocken collection, which measures 3.25 linear metres, is contained in 20 boxes and 64 folders. It is catalogued under eighteen headings. The categories which are considered relevant to this bibliography are No. 2 (prose and poetry notebooks from the Jerusalem period); No. 3 (rough notebooks); (4) (other notebooks); No. 7 (short stories and parables; No. 8 (novel); No. 9 (lectures and prose); No. 10 (reviews) and No. 16 (miscellaneous papers).

The collection reference (ARC-0027) precedes the manuscript item reference in the following manner: (ARC-0027) MS-0975/078.

page 500

Prose and Poetry Notebooks from the Jerusalem Period

1.Jerusalem Journal 1 (ARC-0027) MS-0975/078
2.Jerusalem Journal 2 MS-0975/079
3.Jerusalem Journal 3 MS-0975/080
4.Fair manuscript of Jerusalem Daybook part 1 MS-0975/081
5.Fair manuscript of Jerusalem Daybook part 2 MS-0975/082
6.Notebook with ‘Elegy for Boyle Crescent’ MS-0975/0847
7.Notebook with ‘Thoughts of an Old Alligator, a talk to university students MS-0975/083
8.Notebook with Thoughts on the Holy Spirit, addressed to Father Eugene O’Sullivan MS-0975085
9.Notebook with meditations on St Paul’s prison letters to the Colossians and the Ephesians, addressed to Father Eugene O’Sullivan MS0975/086
10.Notebook with meditations addressed to Father Eugene O’Sullivan and poems ‘A Letter to Peter Olds’ and ‘How to Fly by Standing Still’ MS-0975/087
11.Notebook with part of Autumn Testament MS-0975/088
12.Notebook with part of Autumn Testament MS-0975/089
13.Notebook with part of Autumn Testament (‘He Waiata mo Te Kare’), ‘Holy Sonnets’ and a play ‘The Boat and the River’ MS-0975/090
14.Notebook with part of Autumn Testament MS-0975/091
15.Notebook with part of Autumn Testament MS-0975/092
16.Notebook of poetry and prose, including part of Autumn Testament MS-0975/093
17.Notebook of poetry and prose including part of Autumn Testament MS-0975/094
18.Note book of poetry and prose including part of Autumn Testament MS-0975/095
19.Notebook of poetry and prose, including part of Autumn Testament, and play ‘The Boat and the River’ MS-0975/096
20.Notebook of poetry and prose including ‘To be Maori’, ‘Parables for the Poor’ and ‘Letter to Peter Olds’ MS-0975/097
21.Notebook of poetry and prose including part of Autumn Testament MS-0975/098
22.Notebook of poetry and prose, including ‘Sestina ofthe DarkWelcome’ and a letter to Eugene O’Sullivan MS-0975/099
23.Notebookof prose, including‘He tokotoko mote koroheke’,‘A Manual for Militants’ and ‘He kupu mo nga toa’ MS-0975/100
24.Notebook of poetry and prose MS-0975/101
25.Notebook of poetry and prose MS-0975/102
page 501

Rough Notebooks

Rough notebook No. 1 (ARC-0027) MS-2353 (dated about 1942) to No. 15. (ARC-0027) MS-0975/017 include poetry, addresses and notes about schoolwork. The following items contain both poetry and prose:

16.Rough notebook including poems and prose. n.d. (ARC-0027) MS0975/018
17.Rough notebook MS-0975/019
18.Rough notebook including poems and prose MS-0975/020
19.Rough notebook including poems and prose MS-0975/022
21.Rough notebook including poems and prose n.d. MS-0975/024
22.Rough notebook including poems, prose, notes relating to Horse and notes on India and other subjects n.d. MS-0975/109
23.Rough notebook including poems, recipes and notes on the analysis of handwriting n.d. MS-0975-1136/016

Other Notebooks

1.Notebook recording details and circumstances of writing of poems 1937-1940 MS-0975021
2.Notebook including notes on palmistry and copies of poems by Noel Ginn c. 1943 MS-0975/103
3.Journal of trip to Japan, Thailand and India, with some poetry at the back 1958-1959 MS-0075/103
4.Trawler journal, including draft of ‘Trawling Poem’ at the back c. 1960 MS-0975/107
5.Notebook with notes on freezing-works n.d. MS-0975/108
6.Notebook with notes on ‘Akitio’ n.d. MS-2349/004

Short Stories and Parables

1.Manuscript of ‘Before Sunrise’ c. 1941 (ARC-0027) MS-0975/142
2.Manuscript of ‘The Kite’ c. 1942 MS-0975/027
3.Manuscript of ‘The Prodigal Son’ MS-0975/132
4.Manuscript of ‘The Fisherman’s Licence’ MS-0975/139
5.Manuscript of ‘The White Gull’ n.d. MS-0975/143
6.Manuscript of ‘The Mathesons at Home’ [earlier titles ‘A falling star relume’ and ‘An Evening at the Mathesons’ MS0975/145
7.Manuscript of ‘Stone Lions’ [earlier title ‘Sweet Goodbye] n.d. MS0975/146
8.Manuscript of ‘The Story of Butch’ [earlier title ‘The Flying Rabbit’] n.d. MS-0975/147page 502
9.Fair manuscript of ‘The Aardvark and the Onager’ n.d. (ARC-0027) MS-1136/007 [Donated by Millicent Baxter in October 1975]


1.Manuscript of ‘A Ghost in Trousers’ n.d. (ARC-0027) MS-0975/113
2.Manuscript of ‘A Ghost in Trousers’ n.d. MS-0975/112
3.Manuscript of Horse n.d. MS-0975/111
4.Fair manuscript of Horse n.d. (ARC-0027) MS-0975/110

Lectures and Prose

1. Fair manuscript of ‘The Man on the Horse’ (ARC-0027) MS-0724
2. Copy of notes for religious education teachers, written for the Catholic Education Office 1968 (ARC-0027) MS-2352/006
3. Copy of fair manuscript of ‘Some Possibilities for New Zealand Drama’, talk given at Downstage Theatre 1967 Misc-MS-0531
4. Copy of notes for religious education teachers, Forms II and IV, written for the Catholic Education Office Misc-MS0541/001
5. Copy of notes for religious education teachers, Forms V and VI, written for the Catholic Education Office Misc-MS-0541/002
6. Copy of manuscripts of address given at graduation service at Christchurch Cathedral 3 May 1970 MS-2348
7. Manuscript of ‘Thoughts of an Old Alligator’, a lecture given to university students n.d. MS-0783/002
8. Manuscript of ‘Thoughts of an Old Alligator’ n.d. MS-0975/131
9. Copy of manuscript of a talk given at Palmerston North Teachers’ College 1960 MS-2347/002
10. Book with manuscript of ‘A Pig Island Journal (commenting on the art of poetry)’, also notes on moa hunters and notes of a 1963 meeting of the Post Office Staff Committee MS-0975/106
11. Copy of manuscript of ‘Poetry and Education’, talk given at English Association Winter School 1963 MS-0975/144
12. Manuscript of ‘Poetry and Education’, talk given to Canterbury Post-Primary English Teachers’ Association’ c. 1967 MS-0739/014
13. Copies of fair manuscript of ‘Who was Ned Kelly?’ published in Australian Book Review 1965 MS-0975/129
14. Manuscript of ‘Shots around the Target’, talk given at opening of New Zealand Universities’ Arts Festival 1966 MS-0975/123
15. Book with notes for Burns Fellowship lectures, application for extension of Fellowship, and poems 1966 MS-0975/105
16. Manuscript of ‘The Innovators’ Burns Lecture 1966 MS-0739/009
17. Manuscript of ‘The Broadeners’ Lecture 1966 MS-0739/010page 503
18. Manuscript of ‘The Man on the Horse’, Burns Lecture later published as part of ‘The Man on the Horse’ MS-0739/013
19. Manuscript of ‘The Virgin and the Temptress’, later published as part of ‘The Man on the Horse’ 1966-1967 MS-0739/008
20. Manuscript of ‘Conversation with an Ancestor’, Burns Lecture later published as part of ‘The Man on the Horse’ 1966-1967 MS-0739/006
21. Manuscript of ‘Holy Cross Lectures’, later published as ‘Literature and Belief’ in ‘The Man on the Horse’ c. 1967 MS-0739/007
22. Book with manuscript of Holy Cross College lecture on belief and literature, lecture of the responsibilities of students to the community, and poems c. 1967 MS-0975/104
23. Manuscript of Aspects of Poetry in New Zealand, Victoria University of Wellington lecture c. 196 MS-0739/011
24. Manuscript of ‘Some Possibilities for New Zealand Drama’, talk given at Downstage Theatre 1967 MS-0739/012
25. Fair manuscript of ‘Some Possibilities for New Zealand Drama’, talk given at Downstage Theatre 1967 MS-0975/114
26. Untitled manuscript on New Zealand poetry c. 1967 MS-0739/015
27. Manuscript of ‘Earlier New Zealand Poetry’ c. 1967 MS-0739/016
28. Fair manuscript of ‘The Angel with the Scroll’ c. 1967 MS-0739/017
29. Fair manuscript of ‘The Religious Life’ c. 1967 MS-0739/018
30. Manuscript of ‘Some Points of Difficulty’ c. 1967 MS-0975-166
31. Fair manuscript of ‘Some Points of Difficulty’ c. 1967 MS-0739/019
32. Fragment of piece relating to the Vietnam War c. 1967 MS-0739/024
33. Copies of fair manuscript of ‘Letters to a priest (2nd series)’ 1970 MS0975/119
34. Fair manuscript of ‘The Lion andtheLamb’ c. 1970-1972 MS-0975/153
35. Fair manuscript of talk ‘The Jerusalem Community’ c. 1970-1972 MS-0975/154
36. Fair manuscript of an untitled sermon c. 1970-1972 MS-0975/155
37. Fair manuscript of ‘A Talk to University Students’ c. 1970-72 MS0975/156
38. Fair manuscript of a talk on prayer c. 1970-1972 MS 0975/157
39. Fair manuscript of a talk ‘To the Christian Family Groups’ c. 19701972 MS-0975/158
40. Fair manuscript of ‘A Talk on Drug Abuse’ MS-0975/159
41. Manuscript of ‘Things and Idols’ 1970-1972 MS-0975/160
42. Manuscript of ‘Notes on Community Life’ MS-0975/161
43. Manuscript of ‘Elegy for Boyle Crescent’ MS-0975/162
44. Manuscript of ‘A Handbook for the Christian Militant’ 1970-72 MS0975/163
45. Manuscript of ‘Conversation with a Catholic Mother’ 1970-1972 MS0975/164 page 504
46.Fair manuscript of ‘A Talk to Training-College Students’ 1970-1972 MS-0975/167
47.Fair manuscript of‘Notes on Community Life’ someof which appeared in Jerusalem Daybook MS-0975/116
48.Copies of scripts for radio broadcasts ‘Talks for Lent’ [published as The Six Faces of Love ] 1971 MS-1512
49.Copy of a script for a radio talk for Lent – Part VI ‘The Love of the Many’ 1971 MS-0975/117
50.Manuscript of ‘A Note for Colin’, part of ‘Autumn Testament’ 19711972 MS-0975/165
51.Copy of manuscript of ‘Further Notes on New Zealand Poetry’ n.d. MS-0975/115
52.Copy of fair manuscript of ‘Aspects of Christian Action’ n.d. MS0975/118
53.Manuscript of ‘Some Comments on Women’s Liberation’ n.d. MS0975/120
54.Copy of fair manuscript of radio script ‘Books’ n.d. MS-0975/121
55.Manuscript of ‘The Young Warriors’ concerning Ngā Tamatoa n.d. MS-0975/122
56.Manuscript and proofs for ‘Notes on Being a New Zealander’ MS0975/124
57.Fair manuscript of ‘Comparison of Two Eighteenth-Century Satirists – Pope and Swift’ n.d. MS-0975/125
58.Fair manuscript of ‘A Minister of Culture’, a radio talk for YC Programme n.d. MS-0975/126
59.Manuscript of ‘Kiwi Habits (II)’ n.d. MS-0975/127
60.Fair manuscript of ‘Clerks and Cops’ [earlier title ‘A Point of View – radio script’] n.d. MS-0975/128
61.Duplicated copies of ‘Some Suggested Guiding Principles for World Peace’ and ‘Further Notes on Peace Work’ n.d. MS-0975/130
62.Manuscript of ‘Letter to a Young Poet’ n.d. MS-0975/148
63.Manuscript outline of ‘Poetry in New Zealand’ n.d. MS-0975/150
64.Manuscript of ‘Some Problems of Ecumenism’ n.d. MS-0975/140
65.Manuscript of ‘The rosary’ (a brief commentary for you)’, [possibly written for Millicent Baxter] n.d. (ARC-0027) MS-1136-014
66.Fair manuscript of talk ‘Ice-cream and Ecumenism’ n.d. MS-1136/004
67.Fair manuscript of notes, possibly for a talk on ‘Art and poetry’ n.d. MS-1136-015


1.Script of radio review of Tigers by Fleur Adcock, 1967 (ARC-0027) MS-0739/020page 505
2.Script of radio review of Pope John by Meriol Trevor, 1967 MS0739/020
3.Manuscript of review of Otago Dramatic Society production of Little Malcolm and his Struggle against the Eunuchs by David Halliwell n.d. (ARC-0027) MS-0739/022

Miscellaneous Papers

4.‘Thoughts concerning a career’, Baxter’s meditations on work and writing c. 1944 (ARC-0027) MS-975/141
6.‘Notes on Baxter’s Dreams 1947-?’ MS-0975/151
10.Copy of Baxter’s submission to the Committee of Drug Dependency and Drug Abuse / 1969 MS-0975/138
11.Copy of script of John Weir’s radio interview with Baxter (1971) MS0975-138
16. Manuscript of ‘The Unicorn – a consideration of adolescence’ n.d. MS-0975/046
17. Notes, possibly written for another poet, reflections on religion MS0975/169

Baxter Prose Manuscripts in Other Hocken Collections

1. Collection of typewritten verse and prose 1960-1965 / Brown, Gordon Harold Papers (ARC-0367) Misc-MS-0162
2. Baxter, MillicentAmiel, Literary Papers /1960s / c. 1973 ARC-0370
3. Estate of Mrs H. Miller and Miss Ethel Law / Poems and lectures by James K. Baxter / 1944-1945, 1950, 1959 / Misc-MS-0682
4. Baxter Family Papers / c. 1875-1973 / ARC-0351

Baxter prose manuscripts held in the Frank McKay Collection at the Victoria University of Wellington Library

For the greater part, this collection comprises letters collected and interviews conducted by Frank McKay. These are excluded from this bibliography. The McKay collection holds copies of some manuscripts held in the Hocken collection and the Weir collection but these are not included here. Items from the McKay collection included are

1. Before Sunrise’, MS item 28/50
2. Foreword to Cold Spring, MS item 19/3/2
3. Letter to Armed Forces Appeal Board, c. late 1944, MS item 20/1/2
4. Letter to a woman writer, TS item 18/4
5. Points, MS item 22/4/9page 506
6. Confession to the Lord Christ, MS item 22/4/16

Baxter prose manuscripts in the John Weir Collection at the Macmillan Brown Library, University of Canterbury

Much of this collection consists of copies of Baxter poems or prose items published in magazines and journals. Its manuscript items include the series of letters Baxter wrote to me between 1959 and 1972: these often contained poetry or short prose items. It also includes manuscripts given to me by people after Baxter’s death. Item references are to folders. The library has not catalogued individual manuscripts. Relevant references are
  • MB 599 Item 6/7 Box 1
  • MB 599 Item 8/9 Box 2
  • MB 599 Item 12-13 Box 2 and Box 3
  • MB 1184 Item 4/1 Box 14
  • MB 1184 Item 4/2/1 Box 15
  • MB 1184 Item 4/2/2 Box 16
  • MB 1976 Item 1 Box 4
  • MB 1976 Item 3 Box 4
  • MB 2119 Item 2 Folder 1