All of the following manuscripts are currently housed in the National Library of Australia in Canberra. They are part of the total collection, which also contains the original manuscripts for the majority of Nevil Shute Norway's (NSN) published work. The Australia collection was duplicated on microfilm and sent to the Syracuse University Library in New York, where it is housed in the Department of Special Collections of the ES Bird Library.
The collection is listed under Nevil Shute Norway: MS 2199, series 1 through 3. Although there is some misfiling, Series 1 is listed as Unpublished Literary Manuscripts; Series 2 is listed as Published Literary Manuscripts; and Series 3 is listed as "Other Manuscripts".
The part of the collection acquired, duplicated and bound for the Foundation Library is generally limited to manuscripts of unpublished material. All of these ms. are available on loan through the Library.
Series 1: Unpublished Literary Manuscripts
1/1. Incident at Eucla
This is the manuscript of the novel Nevil Shute was working on at the time of his death.
1/2. Short Stories
This consists of seven separate short stories. Titles are:
1/2/1. Down the Humber in a Motor Cruiser
1/2/2. Knightly Vigil
1/2/3. Tudor Windows
1/2/4. In the Uttermost Parts of the Sea
1/2/5. Number 1, The Square, Petersfield
1/2/6. Before the Mail
1/3. & 1/4. Ministry of Information Articles
These show as two separate manuscripts, or collections of manuscripts, in the library files. I have separated them and bound them together in four documents based on commonality of purpose, theme, and/or local.
1/3/1. Second Front Series
This is a collection of six articles leading up to D-Day, probably written for the Ministry of Information some time in 1944.
1/3/2. Beach Assault and Landing Craft
This is a description of the equipment and techniques planned for use in the amphibious assault on D-Day.
1/3/3. Journey into Normandy
This is by far the most interesting of the "Ministry of Information" series. It is an account of NSN's experience as he accompanied the Normandy invasion force.
1/3/4. India-Burma Articles
This manuscript consists of six articles written for the Ministry of Information concerning the war against Japan in the Burma area.
1/5 The Lame Ducks Fly
This manuscript is the first and only chapter of a novel that NSN started and abandoned in favor of "Landfall".
1/6 The Seafarers
There are two versions of this manuscript; one is single spaced and consists of approximately 52 type written pages. The second, which appears to be a revision of the first, is double spaced and consists of approximately 118 pages.
1/7 Blind Understanding
This manuscript appears to be a follow up to the "Seafarers", but is much more closely related to "Requiem for a Wren".
This is one of the examples of misfiling in that it is not really an unpublished manuscript. In fact, it is a film script treatment by NSN of the novel by the same name.
Series 2: Published Literary Manuscripts
Note: Since most of the manuscripts in this series are available in published form, I did not choose to obtain copies. However, the following three manuscripts do not appear in any list of NSN published work, so I obtained them out of curiosity.
2/6 Airship Vulture
This is an example of misfiling resulting from someone unfamiliar with NSN's work being responsible for the collection. It is actually a magazine article that was published as "The Airship Venture". It is the story of NSN's involvement in the development of the airships R-100 and R101. (Note: While in Canberra on our recent 'fly-about', I spoke to the National Library staff about correcting this filing error.)
2/21 Air Circus
This bound manuscript consists of 57 type written pages and one hand written page of comments.
This is actually the manuscript for "Ordeal" or "What Happened to the Corbetts". Apparently, NSN favored "Overture" for the title, but his publishers thought better.
Series 3: Other Literary Manuscripts
Note: This series consists of four entries. The first two are film treatments by NSN of a book entitled "Farewell Miss Julie Logan" by J. M. Barrie. The third is a memorandum written by NSN to the Australian government concerning encouragement and financial support for Australian writers and artists. The fourth, and the only one of which I have obtained a copy, is NSN's flight log from England to Australia and return.
3/4 Nevil Shute's Flight Log
This manuscript consists of 196 type written pages. It was actually assembled and typed after his return to England from letters he had written during the journey.