Germaine Greer Sells Her Archive to the University of Melbourne

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Germaine Greer, pioneering feminist academic and author of The Female Eunuch, announced on Sunday that she sold her lifetime archive to the University of Melbourne. Greer sold the archive for $3m, but some of the cost was for the transportation, storage, indexing, and digitization of the collection. The remaining amount - as yet undisclosed - will be given to Greer’s charity Friends of Gondwana Rainforest. The charity seeks to conserve and restore the Australian rainforest.

Greer has been a natural archivist, keeping meticulous records since her days as an undergraduate at the University of Melbourne. The archive primarily consists of manuscripts of her books, diaries, and correspondence with prominent intellectuals and politicians, but also includes such rarities as her college essay papers, her Ph.D. draft, copies of letters sent to admiring fans, love letters, and correspondence with her father.

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Greer was born in 1939 in a Melbourne suburb.  Educated at the University of Melbourne, the University of Sydney, and Cambridge University, Greer went on to teach at several prominent Universities - including Cambridge.  The author of many books, she published her most famous work, The Female Eunuch, in 1970. (Its iconic cover was designed by John Holmes, a collectable name in his own right). The Female Eunuch quickly became a bestseller and made Greer a household name.  The book inspired both adulation and condemnation from its many readers and advanced a global conversation about feminism and women’s liberation.

Greer currently lives on a 3 acre property in Essex.  She also owns a home near the rainforest in southeast Queensland.

“Archives are the paydirt of history,” said Greer at an archive event earlier this year at the University of Melbourne. “Everything else is opinion. At a certain point you actually need documents.”

Greer’s archive is anticipated to arrive in Melbourne in July, 2014.

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