This articles examines the issues involved in using archival material to research the personal lives of the Australian writers Marjorie Barnard (1897-1987), Aileen Palmer (1915-1988) and Lesbia Harford (1891-1927). the articles provides an introduction into the romantic experiences of the three women, based on their private letters, diaries and notebooks held in public institutions, including the National Library of Australia's Manuscript Collection.
This article is an edited version of the introduction to Maryanne Dever, Sally Newman and Ann Vickery, The intimate archive: journeys through private papers, Canberra: National Library of Australia, 2009.
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