Special Collections
Rare Books and Prints

Arthur Upfield Collection

The Arthur Upfield Collection comprises papers relating to the literary life of popular Australian author Arthur Upfield. It includes manuscripts and typescripts of literary works, some unpublished, as well as clippings files and correspondence with American, German and Australian publishers.

The clippings files include articles and ephemeral items relating to Upfield's work and life. Upfield subscribed to newspaper clipping services in Australia, Britain and America. The albums are titled in Upfield's hand, with reviews, part dust wrappers, addressed envelopes and postage stamps pasted into the albums by him from 1939 to 1962. Several have loose cuttings, and there are occasional annotations in the author's hand.

The collection also includes Upfield's Model T Imperial typewriter.

A Guide to the Manuscripts of Arthur Ufield in Special Collections

Biographical Note

Arthur William Upfield was born in Gosport, England, the son of a prosperous draper. On leaving school at the age of sixteen he was apprenticed to a firm of estate agents, but failed the qualifying examination – partly because he spent all his time writing. His father sent him to Australia in 1910, where he travelled widely, working at various labouring jobs. He served with the AIF during the First World War, in Egypt, Gallipoli, UK and France; he spent the rest of his life in Australia.

Upfield is best known as the creator of Detective Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte (Bony) of the Queensland Police, who appeared in twenty-nine novels, most set in outback Australia.

Access and Availability

The collection is catalogued online. Requests for material can be made online prior to visiting the reading room. To request material, please use our online request form.

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