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McKay, Francis Michael. Personal writings and James K. Baxter research records.

 Fonds — Multiple Containers
Identifier: mckf


  • Creation: 1881?-1991

Access and use

From 28 May 2016, this material is available for research and private study within the J.C.Beaglehole Room. For any use beyond this, please consult the J.C.Beaglehole Room ( in the first instance.

Biographical/Historical note

McKay, Francis Michael

Missing Title


MA (NZ: Victoria), PhD (Cambridge)

English: Lecturer, 1966-68; Senior lecturer, 1968-77; Reader, 1978-85; Retired, 1985.

A Marist priest, Fr Frank McKay was ordained in February 1945 and was a teacher at St Patrick's College Wellington (1949-1962), during the last five years of which he was a part-time tutor of English at Victoria University College and graduated M.A. in English.

In October 1962 he began studies at Cambridge University, completed his Doctorate of Philosophy in English with a dissertation on the poetry of the Recusants, notably Robert Southwell. He taught at Victoria University, Wellington from 1965 to 1985 and was founding editor of 'Poetry New Zealand' and of the 'Journal of New Zealand Literature'. He authored a book of poems and a study of the poetry of Eileen Duggan. He edited a selection of James K. Baxter's literary prose and wrote a substantial biography, 'The Life of James K. Baxter', 1990. He was International Animator of the Third Order of Mary and Marist Laity 1986-1991.

The biography of Baxter won the Book of the Year award, McKay receiving it a month or two before his death from cancer. His material on James K. Baxter came to the J C Beaglehole Room at Victoria University; all other material went to the Marist Archives, Wellington.

The Baxter papers include extensive and sometimes intimate correspondence (either photocopies or originals) between Baxter and others, and by associates with McKay. Because of the intimate detail (and for other reasons) the collection has very tight restrictions until 2012 (or 2017), being 20 or 25 years after the death of McKay in 1991.

Applications for access should be directed in the first instance to the Special Materials Librarian, who will forward them to McKay's literary executor.


324 linear_centimeters

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Administrative Information

All text and images are copyright to Victoria University of Wellington. Enquiries for re-use should be made in the first instance to the J C Beaglehole Room, VUW Library.

J C Beaglehole Room - archives and manuscripts
Edited Full Draft
Nicola Frean
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Finding aid is written inEnglish
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XML EAD edition

Repository Details

Part of the Tapuaka Heritage & Archive Collections - JC Beaglehole Reading Room, Victoria University of Wellington Library Repository

P O Box 3438
Wellington 6140 New Zealand
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