'Intimate Archives explores the issues involved in using archival material to research the personal lives of public people, in this case of Australian writers Marjorie Barnard (1897-1987), Alieen Palmer (1915-1988) and Lesbia Harford (1891-1927). The book gives an insight into the romantic experiences of the three female writers, based on their private letters, diaries and notebooks held in the National Library of Australia and other public institutions.
Maryanne Dever, Ann Vickery and Sally Newman consider the ethical dilemmas of researching private material and discovering the "truths" revealed within. In this sense, the book is both an introverted contemplation of private affairs and an extroverted meditation on the right to acquire and assume intimate knowledge.' (Publisher's blurb)