• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE6272

Keesing, Nancy Florence

(1923 – 1993)
  • Born 7 December, 1923, Darling Point, Sydney New South Wales Australia
  • Died 19 January, 1993, Hunters Hill Sydney New South Wales Australia
  • Occupation Author, Editor, Literary critic, Poet, Writer


Nancy Keesing’s first collection of poems, Imminent Summer, was published in 1951. Since this time she published numerous books, in addition to editing and writing reviews for various journals and major Australian newspapers. She was employed by the Sydney magazine the Bulletin from 1951 until the birth of her first child in 1956.

Nancy was involved in the Sydney branch of the English Association and served on the committee for a number of years. She was also actively involved in the Australian Society of Authors (ASA) from 1964, and in 1969 she was elected to the management committee. Nancy edited an anthology of members’ work, titled Transition, in 1970, and from 1971 to 1974 she edited the Society’s journal Australian Author.

In 1973 Nancy was one of eleven writers and academics appointed to the new literature board of the Australian Council for the Arts, which she chaired from 1974 to 1977. In 1979 she was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her services to Australian literature.

Archival resources

  • National Library of Australia, Oral History and Folklore Collection
    • Papers of Nancy Keesing, 1942-1980 [manuscript]
    • Nancy Keesing reading poetry in the Hazel de Berg collection [sound recording]
    • Nancy Keesing interviewed by Geoffrey Dutton in the Geoffrey Dutton MS 7285 collection
    • Nancy Keesing interviewed by Hazel de Berg in the Hazel de Berg collection [sound recording]
    • Nancy Keesing interviewed by Hazel de Berg for the Hazel de Berg collection [sound recording]
  • National Library of Australia
    • [Biographical cuttings on Nancy Keesing, writer and critic, containing one or more cuttings from newspapers or journals]
  • State Library of New South Wales
    • Nancy Keesing papers, 1913-1993
    • Nancy Keesing papers, ca. 1959-1974
    • Nancy Keesing - further papers, 1939-1977
    • Nancy Keesing further papers, ca. 1931-ca. 1987
    • Nancy Keesing - further papers, 1940-1992, together with papers concerning Nancy Keesing collected by her husband Mark Hertzberg, 1993-1996
    • Nancy Keesing papers, 1951-1962, mainly regarding Old Bush Songs
    • Nancy Keesing further papers 1851, 1914, 1937-1941, 1952-1989
  • National Library of Australia, Manuscript Collection
    • Papers of Maxine Poynton-Baker relating to Sydney Tomholt, 1930-1981 [manuscript]
    • Papers of Nancy Cato, 1939-1995 [manuscript]
    • Records, 1928-1994 [manuscript]
    • Literary papers 1969-1981 [manuscript]
    • Papers of Elizabeth Harrower, 1937-2005 [manuscript]
    • Papers of Christina Stead, 1937-1988 [manuscript]
    • Papers of Jill Hellyer, 1944-2004 [manuscript]
    • Papers of Rosemary Dobson, 1923-2004 [manuscript]
    • Papers of Kylie Tennant, 1891-1989 (bulk 1933-1988) [manuscript]
  • Fryer Library, The University of Queensland
    • Letters from Australian authors, 1944-1970