This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 18, (MUP), 2012
Walter William Stone (1910-1981), bibliophile, bibliographer and publisher, was born on 24 June 1910 at
Walter’s love of books and socialist philosophy reputedly started with visits to Bertha McNamara’s bookshop near Central Railway Station, Sydney. It was a meeting place for socialists and political activists as well as literary and bohemian types. There he bought Winwood Reade’s The Martyrdom of Man (1872), which espoused social justice and atheism. In 1929 the Auburn & District News published Stone’s first article 'Australian Literature: History and Growth'. Christopher Brennan read it and a friendship developed between them.
Stone married Jean Elizabeth Saxelby, a stenographer, on 10 November 1951 at St Peter’s Church of England,
Founder and editor (1947-81) of Biblionews, the journal of the Book Collectors’ Society, Stone also contributed 117 articles, notes and reviews. He printed and later published Southerly, and contributed articles to it. From 1964 he was an active member of the Society of Australian Genealogists. President of the State branch of the Fellowship of Australian Writers for fourteen years, he helped to establish the Australian Society of Authors in 1963. He was a foundation member of the Friends of the University of Sydney Library, the La Trobe Library, State Library of Victoria, and the Fryer Library, University of Queensland, to which he helped to direct the (Edward) Hayes collection. In 1976, as president of the Friends of the
Stone was an obsessive collector of books. His greatest interests centred on the Bulletin from the 1890s to the 1920s, Brennan, Andrew Barton ('Banjo')
With a continuing involvement in the ALP, Stone, as president of the Mosman branch, chaired the meeting in
Survived by his wife and his daughter and three sons from his first marriage, Stone died on 29 August 1981 in his home at Cremorne and was cremated. His poetry and reference books were retained by his wife Jean and the rest were sold through a series of catalogues between 1981 and 1985 by Peter Tinslay of Antique Bookshop & Curios. This was Stone’s way of passing the baton of book-collecting on to a new cohort.
Alan Ventress, 'Stone, Walter William (1910–1981)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/stone-walter-william-15729/text26917, published in hardcopy 2012, accessed online 19 September 2014.
This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 18, (MUP), 2012