Opening of 195 new Library study spaces & Research Collections refurbishment
This opening ceremony was performed by Vice-Chancellor David Richardson on 10 October. As well as celebrating the improvements in the Library building, he used his speech to highlight developments within the British Archive for Contemporary Writing (BACW). Attendees included staff and contractors. Tours of the refurbished areas and new study areas followed the opening ceremony.
UEA Open Day, 21 October
Parents and prospective applicants to the Faculty of Humanities (HUM) attended presentations on the BACW as part of their Open Day tour. They were also provided with access to materials from the Archive and were given insight into how we use these resources within teaching.
Teaching sessions in the Archives
• Research Methodologies Seminar
Research Methodology in Literature and the Visual Arts: Building an Archive. This session aimed to engage post-graduate students with some of the challenges and questions that working with archives begins to throw up, connecting theoretical approaches with practical archival activities. It was hoped that they would be encouraged to reflect on the process of building their own archive as a researcher, probing the complex relationship between subjectivity and objectivity in what they are doing.
• MA in Biography & Creative Non-Fiction (LDC – Literature, Drama & Creative Writing)
An introduction to the BACW and an opportunity to explore a variety of papers belonging to individuals. This included fascinating & revealing letters from Doris Lessing; an unpublished manuscript and Russian diary by Jessie Kenney (suffragette); detailed field notebooks belonging to nature writer Roger Deakin along with chapter drafts of Waterlog; correspondence from Lorna Sage’s archive along with the manuscript of Bad Blood; correspondence of the publisher Charles Pick which revealed a particularly personal involvement with the authors; and personal letters of J.D. Salinger in which the students noted his sense of humour.
Unboxed (LDC students contributing to the Archives blog)
Three introductory sessions to the Unboxed project were held on 31 October. Interested LDC students learnt more about this opportunity, what’s expected and how they might like to contribute. There are three pathways to get involved: blogging, digitisation or in researching Archive content. This year we are particularly keen to highlight the Kenney Papers (suffragettes), though students are free to choose from across the collections.
Charles Pick (Publisher)
An overseas PhD candidate has traced useful trade figures for the publication of the Loeb Classical Library. The LCL was published by Heinemann until the late 1980s.
Kenney Papers (Suffragettes)
Students taking the MA in Gender Studies module were introduced to the Kenney papers. They were fortunate to have a discussion with a biographer and researcher who is currently working on the papers and who has already published a biography of another suffragette, Lady Constance Lytton. Jessie Kenney’s unpublished autobiography, The Price of Liberty, provides insight into how the suffragettes viewed the struggle many years later. Also of interest are the influences and implications of the Kenney family’s working class background
An overseas visiting academic in LDC is looking at published press-cuttings and journal articles by and about Bradbury (former Creative Writing Professor at UEA).
Users of this collection have been interested in architects and designers, and in the 1930s branding of the Isokon Furniture Company.
• A PhD student from an overseas university is looking at the interior design and feel of the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts (SCVA) as well as the visitor experience.
• Recordings from UEA’s former Audio-Visual Services relating to the palaeopathologist Calvin Wells have been traced to the East Anglian Film Archive (EAFA).
Zuckerman Archive (Chief Scientific Adviser)
• A PhD Associate Professor from a US university has visited to research the activities of the Tots and Quots (a left-of-centre dining club for the discussion of science and society) which included Cyril Darlington, J.B.S. Haldane, J.D. Bernal, Solly Zuckerman, and others.
• Another US PhD Fellow visited to research papers on nuclear weapons and defence. He was particularly struck by the depth of the correspondence we hold on Richard Garwin (American Physicist and designer of the first hydrogen bomb).
• There were 16 requests.
• Seminar: Reading the 18th Century Novel (LDC for Y3 Undergraduates).