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Clement William Semmler 

MSS 820.9A S472p


Clement Semmler was born in South Austrlaia in 1914. He attended the University of Adelaide, graduating in 1938 with an M.A in English language and literature. Initially working as an English and Latin teacher at Unley High School, he then went on to join the Australian Broadcasting Commission. During this time he would go on to became the deputy general manager, a position he held from 1965-1977. Semmler was responsible for launching several of the ABC’s more well known shows, including Four Corners and Six O’Clock Rock, he would also launch several jazz programs – one of his main interests.

Semmler was also an accomplished author and literary critic. In 1966 he published a study of Banjo Patterson, titled ‘The Banjo of the Bush,’ he would later go on to also write books on Brian James, Kenneth Slessor and Douglas Stewart. He also undertook extensive research on James Joyce.

In 1972 he received an Order of the British Empire for his contributions to Australian Literature and in 1989 was made a Member of the Order of Australia.

He died in Dowral, N.S.W in 2000.


Series 1: Correspondence, notes, etc. about the Britannica Australia awards 1963-1974

2 folders containing the private correspondence of Clement Semmler mainly with staff of Encyclopaedia Britannica nad other embers of the Britannica Australian awards which were offered for the first time in 1964.

  • Folder 1 – November 1963 – December 1967.
  • Folder 2 – February 1968 – March 1974

Series 2: The art of Brian James and other essays on Australian literature. Selections.

First draft of an essay on Brian James for Semmler’s book ‘The Art of Brian James and other essays on Australian Literature’. Ms on various papers in one folder.

Series 3: Douglas Stewart: correspondence and interview

  • Section 1 – Handwritten drafts (3 folders)
  • Section 2 – Typed drafts – first and final (2 folders)
  • Section 3 – Transcript of interview with Douglas Stewart. 29 December 1972 (1 folder)
  • Section 4 – Correspondence (1 folder)

Series 4: Copy of ‘Kenneth Slessor’ by Clement Semmler (1966)

Inscribed to the library by the author. Includes cutting of a book review by Mary Armitage (1967)

Series 5: [Collection of articles on James Joyce] |f 1946-1999

Collection of articles and cuttings from newspapers and magazines about James Joyce, dated 1946, 1951, 1954-76 and 1999, compiled by Clement Semmler. Includes memo and notes for radio program by Semmler on Joyce in February 1958, and trilingual booklet 'James Joyce in Trieste' by Alberto Spaini.

Received with Semmler's collection of books on James Joyce

University Library

Barr Smith Library
South Australia 5005


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