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Marcie Muir Marcie Muir i(A29141 works by) (a.k.a. Kathleen Marcelle Muir; Kathleen Marcelle Collett; M. Muir)
Born: Established: 5 Mar 1919 South Perth, South Perth area, South & South East Perth, Perth, Western Australia, ; Died: Ceased: 17 Nov 2007 Adelaide, South Australia,
Gender: Female
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BiographyHistory

Best known for her definitive works on Australian children's literature and children's book illustration, Marcie Muir was the daughter of Ernest and Kathleen Collett. She moved from Perth to Adelaide with her family in 1925, and attended Girton Girls' School from 1926 to 1934. After leaving school she continued to read English literature widely, and studied Italian. In 1940 Muir learnt typing and shorthand and did secretarial work until she was offered a position as Italian translator in the Censorship Department, Adelaide, where she worked from 1941 to 1945.

Muir married the Adelaide-born Harry Muir, proprietor of the Beck Book Co 1939-1978, and founder of the Wakefield Press, and worked in 'The Beckery' with him from 1948 to1956. Her first published book was Anthony Trollope in Australia (1949). Her husband urged her to take a greater interest in Australian literature and history, and he also urged her to look critically at contemporary English children's books, especially noting their general production and illustration as well as their text. When Muir gave up bookselling to look after their first child, he strongly represented the need for research into Australian children's literature, and convinced her that a bibliography was an essential beginning, and that she should compile one. Muir subsequently became well known for the significant works she compiled on children's literature: A Bibliography of Australian Children's Books (2 vols, 1970, 1976; revised ed, Australian Children's Books: A Bibliography, by Muir and Kerry White (q.v.), 1992), Australian Children's Book Illustration (1976), and the History of Australian Children's Book Illustration (1982). She also edited a volume of Australian stories for children and an anthology of South Australian writing for children.

Muir became an early member of the South Australian Branch of the Australian Book Council, and was on the judging panel in 1958 and 1962. In 1985 she was commissioned by Australia Post to select and provide information and other help for the first five stamps of a set bearing illustrations from Australian Children's Books. She was a foundation member of the Book Collectors' Society, and her history of the Wakefield Press 1942-1978 was published by them in 1993. Muir contributed articles to reference works such as Twentieth Century Children's Writers, Heritage, and the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Most Referenced Works

Affiliation Notes

  • Born elsewhere; moved to SA

Personal Awards

1988 winner ALIA Awards Redmond Barry Award
1983 inaugural winner Nan Chauncy Award
1978 joint winner NBC Bookman of the Year Award Joint recipient with her husband Harry Muir.
Last amended 19 Nov 2007 09:47:27
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