Fonds F00533 - Antony Alpers fonds

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Antony Alpers fonds

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  • [ca. 1888]-1980 (Creation)
    Alpers, Antony

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Physical description

7 m of textual records, ca. 200 photographs, 2 sound recordings : reel to reel, 3 microfilm reels : positive

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Antony Francis George Alpers (1919-), author, university professor and biographer of Katherine Mansfield, was born in Christchurch, New Zealand and attended Christ's College, Christchurch from 1932 until 1936. From 1936 until 1957 Alpers worked as reporter and writer for several publications including The Press, Christchurch (1936-1941), The New Zealand Listener (1941-1946) and The Auckland Star (1952-1957). During this period, he wrote a great deal of unsigned work, but also numerous articles and interviews related to music, over the initials "A.A." and contributed a column of music criticism, "Some Recent Music", to The New Zealand Listener. In 1956, he went to the Cook Islands and wrote a series of articles for The Auckland Star on the administration, public health, agriculture and education service in the group.

Mr. Alpers spent the years 1948 until 1951 in England where, with the aid of a grant from the New State Literary Fund, he was able to write his first biography of Katherine Mansfield. While an assistant editor with the New Zealand Department of Education (1958-1969), responsible for the monthly teachers' magazine, "Education," Mr. Alpers wrote Dolphins, the first book he published on the subject, and began work on Maori Myths and Tribal Legends, which was published in 1964.

In 1962, he was invited to the University of British Columbia under a Canada Council visiting lecturers' scheme, lecturing at various universities (Universities of Alberta and Manitoba, McMaster, Queen's and Carleton Universities) on such diverse subjects as New Zealand literature, Katherine Mansfield, biography, dolphins, and Polynesian mythology. Upon returning to New Zealand he was employed by the Caxton Press, Christchurch (1962-1968), and was the founding editor of the journal, Local Government.

In 1966, he was invited to join Queen's University, as an Assistant Professor, Department of English, where he completed his Legends of the South Sea and began work on a new biography of Katherine Mansfield. He retired as a Professor in 1982, and returned to New Zealand.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of correspondence, research notes, drafts, and files of source materials relating to Legends of the South Sea. The fonds also contains binders of biographical and subject material, correspondence, indexes, drafts, newsclippings and photographs relating to The Life of Katherine Mansfield. Also included are two sound recordings: an interview with Alpers about the Mansfield material; and an interview conducted by Alpers, recorded July 17, 1970, with Richard Murray discussing the early years of his life and his recollection of persons and events involving Katherine Mansfield as well as recollections of Katherine herself. As part of the Mansfield Archive, are three microfilm reels of material, one of which holds the Mansfield letters held at the British Museum.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by Antony Alpers, 1982


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

MF 2085-2087

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Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Copies of material created by Katherine Mansfield are in the public domain. Copyright for Antony Alpers' material is managed through Johnson & Alcock (

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Location (use this to request the file)

  • Shelf: 2316
  • Shelf: SR499
  • Shelf: SR325
  • Shelf: MF 2085-2087