Yarraville author Jeff Maynard has made four trips to the US in pursuit of information about Australia’s official World War I photographer, Sir Hubert Wilkins.

Maynard’s discoveries are included in his latest book, The Unseen Anzac, which he will discuss at next month’s Williamstown Literary Festival.

Maynard has unearthed never-before-seen records, correspondence, manuscripts and artefacts belonging to Wilkins.

“He wasn’t there to fight the war so he didn’t carry a gun; he only carried his bulky camera,” Maynard said.

“He did go over the top with the troops because he wanted to run forward and photograph the fighting, which no one had ever done before.

“On a couple of occasions, he actually captured German prisoners … in terms of Australia’s official photographers that’s a unique thing to do.

“He talked about those things in his manuscripts and, along with things I found, that became the basis of the book.

“The most recent trip to America was the end of 2014 … I found a lot of his stuff in, of all places, an Amish barn in Michigan.”

Maynard will appear at the Williamstown Literary Festival from noon-1pm on June 18, the first day of the two-day festival.

The festival program, featuring more than 80 authors, will be launched by Australian Children’s Laureate Leigh Hobbs in Williamstown Town Hall on Thursday (May 4).

Tickets go on sale the same day and early bird discounts are available until midnight on May 31.

To view the festival program, visit willylitfest.org.au