Exploring the Archives: a monthly update: November 2017

Highlights

Hull school essays (4)
What happened to me and what I did in the air-raids.

• The Zuckerman Archive has featured in a BBC2 TV programme Blitz: the bombs that changed Britain. The second episode recalls a bomb landing on Hull and the government’s casualty survey conducted by Solly Zuckerman and his team at the Oxford Extra-Mural Unit. The programme brings to light a collection of 2,000 school essays written by 10-14 year olds in Hull in 1941/42.
Children’s essays reveal the effects of Blitz bombing in Hull (blog post)
BBC programme information.

• UEA has joined the Digital Preservation Coalition (following approval from the BACW Executive). This will have a significant impact on the BACW’s work with born digital literary archive material, as well as the management of digitised material. Link to UEA News item. A briefing for staff will be held on 14 December. To celebrate the first ever International Digital Preservation Day, we worked with a HIS student and a graduate intern in the Humanities Media Suite to begin the process of digitising Jessie Kenney’s diary of her trip to Russia in 1917 with Emmeline Pankhurst and the first half of Doris Lessing’s Whitehorn letters.

Teaching sessions in the Archives

Reading and Writing Translation. Year 2 UG

EBellos Translation of W or The Memory of Childhood

Draft manuscript translations by David Bellos

An LDC session looking at the translations of David Bellos including George Perec’s W, ou, Le Souvenir d’Enfance. The English translation W, or, The Memory of Childhood has been added to Special Collections.

“It was also helpful to look at handwritten materials as they show that translation involves serious decision-making and even professionals struggle”

“Very interesting to see the process first hand, relevant and exciting”

“It was very informative to work with archives, as I have never done so before. I enjoyed working with them in a smaller setting”

Fiction ‘after’ modernism: Re-reading the 20th Century (Literature, Drama, Creative Writing (LDC) PGT)
This session led by Tutor Nonia Williams looked at the correspondence between the writers Doris Lessing, Iris Murdoch, Margaret Drabble and Muriel Spark. The challenges and opportunities of evaluating archival papers alongside literary texts were considered.

MA in Literary Translation (MALT)
This session looked at the translation process of translators David Bellos, Anne Born, Anthony Vivis, and correspondence of Doris Lessing with translators of her works. (Literary Translation Archive).

Humanities (HUM) Foundation year visit
This introductory visit to the Archives and the British Archive for Contemporary Writing (BACW) outlined the opportunities and achievements of the Unboxed blog writing project, our experience in working with other archives and museums and our plans for the suffragette centenary celebrations #vote100.

Angela Carter

A Reader in Literary Studies has asked us to check the inventory of Angela Carter’s library in order to establish whether she owned a particular text. (Part of the Lorna Sage Archive).

Anthony Grey Archive

• An enquiry relating to Grey’s book The Prime Minister was a Spy has been received. The book alleges that the former Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt did not drown off the coast of Melbourne almost 50 years ago on 17 December 1967 but instead staged his own disappearance with the help of the Chinese for whom he had been spying all his political life.

• A football supporter has visited to read Grey’s papers concerning Trowse Villa Football Club. Grey played for Trowse Villa in the 1950s and early 1960s.

BACW (general)

The Film Television & Media Studies departmental meeting was held in the Archives reading room in order to exhibit screenwriting manuscripts (from Malcolm Bradbury, Snoo Wilson and Charlie Higson) as potential teaching resources and illustrate what has been achieved in LDC and AMA (Art, Media & American Studies) teaching sessions in the Archives.

Charlie Higson Archive

A PGR AMA student with an interest in religion and sitcoms is looking at Higson’s papers.

Doris Lessing Archive

The Iris Murdoch Research Centre has requested and received copies of the two Murdoch letters we hold.

Frank Thistlethwaite Archive

A researcher has visited to consult the early records of the University for a book being written on the new universities of the 1960s. The Thistlethwaite archive comprises 4 steel cabinets of the first Vice-Chancellor’s papers.

Kenney Papers (Suffragettes)

• A couple of members of the UEA Feminist Society gathered in the Archives to explore the legacy of the suffrage movement. They discussed contemporary feminism & links with past activism. A framework was drawn up for the selection of 100 things for a digitisation project and on-line exhibition showcasing the Annie and Jessie Kenney Archive.

• The Masaryk Institute and Archives of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague has identified letters from Annie Kenney to Thomas Masaryk (first President of Czechoslovakia, 1918-1935). Unfortunately we don’t hold any letters from Masaryk.

Pelman Institute

Papers of the Pelman Institute have been usefully identified for a reader in two collections: Jessie Kenney (suffragette) held exam papers and work sheets of the Institute; and Jack Pritchard (entrepreneur) had a detailed personal psychological report administered by the Institute. Pelmanism was a system of training the mind in order to improve memory.

Roger Deakin Archive

• An overseas PhD researcher has visited.  Her interests include the supernatural in twenty-first century nature writing.

• An LDC lecturer has accessed Deakin’s unpublished poetry.

• An external lecturer has visited to research Deakin’s papers with reference to the writers Ronald Blythe, Richard Mabey and Ken Worpole.

W.G. Sebald

A PhD student in Literature and Philosophy has visited and listened/viewed all recordings in this collection. It took him a day and a bit to complete. A couple of recordings are in German.

Zuckerman Archive

• Blitz: the bombs that changed Britain. See ‘highlights’ above.

• An undergraduate from another university has visited to read papers on bomb raid shelters and morale surveys.

• A visit is being planned by a reader researching the Insurance Technical Bureau. SZ was a founder of the Bureau, its aims being to bring rigour and co-ordination to the scientific and technical advice needed by the insurance industry.

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Scanning documents in the HUM Digital Media Suite for an overseas request.

• An overseas academic has requested papers documenting the comments of senior RAF and Air Ministry staff in response to the overall British Bombing Survey Unit (BBSU) report (1945) which assessed the impact of the Allied war offensive on the German war machine, with particular reference to transport, oil and the economy. Zuckerman was Scientific Director of the unit.

Special Collections

There were 20 requests and two workshops.

Workshop: Robert Rauschenberg. Dante’s inferno.

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LDC PG CHASE – Latin workshop

Workshop: Cicero. For Residential Latin language training students. (M. Tul. Ciceronis in M. Antonius orationes quae Demosthenis in Regem Philippum Macedon e exemplo Philippici nuncupantur.) A manuscript from the collection of Sir Thomas Phillipps.

“I thought the session with the Latinists was fabulous – they clearly loved the chance to have a little look at the MS and to work with some of Cicero’s Latin in its shadow, as it were.  They’re working with the excellent online dictionary, William Whitaker’s Words:  a happy meeting of technologies old and new, perhaps.  They clearly relished the chance to work in the archive and in relation to the MS.”

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Children’s essays reveal the effects of Blitz bombing in Hull

As the repository of over 2,000 school children’s essays, the Archives has participated in a new four-part BBC2 documentary ‘Blitz: the bombs that changed Britain’. Episode two looks at the reason the school essays were written; Solly Zuckerman – the scientist who led a casualty survey and who commissioned the essays; the effects of the bombing on the citizens of Hull; and the far reaching implications for the bombing strategy adopted against German cities and citizens.

Hull school essays (2)‘What happened to me and what I did in the air raids’ is the title of the essay written by 10-14 year olds across Birmingham and Hull schools. The essays formed part of a wider psychological survey and details of the methods by which they were to be evaluated are included. The essays were roughly analysed but Zuckerman and his team never had time to get down to the job of producing a picture of an air raid as seen by children. In 1977 he wrote in his autobiography ‘I have often thought that it would be interesting to track down a sample of the writers of those essays to discover what, if anything, they remember of what they had written.’ Here the film has succeeded, in telling the personal stories of those affected.

Essays survive in the Zuckerman Archive from two Birmingham and 13 Hull schools. The handwriting is remarkably neat, some are illustrated, they vary from 1-7 pages and the girls usually have more to say. There are some harrowing tales and a little humour; they are the voices of innocent child witnesses enduring repeated attacks on their homes and lives.

Extracts from the essays:

“I told my mother what I had seen and she said I had not to say anything to the lady next door for it was her daughter I had seen and she was stricken with grief.” (Age 13)

“These bombs descend by parachute, you can hear the flap flap. Molotov bread-baskets were also dropped containing about sixty incendiaries. These baskets explode in mid-air … I thought it a marvel that anyone could live through an experience as that.”  (Age 13)

“Suddenly someone shouted ‘They’ve got him!’ It scared me stiff.”  (Age 13)

“I was buried, I was cut but I still helped to pull out the dead and injured.”  (Age 10)

SZ.OEMU.56.5.45 (recto)

Indicators for the analysis of the school essays (Zuckerman Archive)

Solly Zuckerman (1904-1993) taught at the University of East Anglia from 1969–74. He was on the University’s Academic Planning Board from 1960 and later a key figure in the founding of the School of Environmental Sciences (ENV).

From 1934-1945 he taught in the Department of Anatomy, University of Oxford. It was here in 1939 that Zuckerman, Desmond Bernal and the rest of their team began research on the physiological effects of ground shock waves and blast within the Oxford Extra-Mural Unit on behalf of the Ministry of Home Security.

The staff of the Unit were university personnel, with the exception of some members of the Casualty Survey field teams who were, from 1941, employees of the Ministry’s Research & Experiments Department. They went on to conduct a vast survey of bombing casualties, visiting hospitals, knocking on doors and interviewing survivors. They were interested in physical and psychological effects including morale. It was at this juncture that the school essays were requested.

On 8 April 1942 Zuckerman and his team published their report The Qualitative Study of Total Effects of Air Raids [Hull and Birmingham Survey]. The survey concluded:

“There is no evidence of breakdown of morale for the intensities of the raids experienced by Hull or Birmingham.”

It therefore came as a surprise when their findings were presented to Lord Cherwell (Chief Scientific Adviser to Churchill) and the area bombing of German cities ensued, killing hundreds of thousands of German civilians.

By 1944 Zuckerman was Senior Scientific Adviser to Eisenhower and to Air Chief Marshall Leigh-Mallory, Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Expeditionary Forces. He was Professor of Anatomy at the University of Birmingham until 1968, Chief Scientific Adviser to the Ministry of Defence from 1960 to 1966, and Chief Scientific Adviser to the British Government from 1964 to 1971. He served as Secretary of the London Zoological Society from 1955–77 and as its President from 1977-1984.

The essays have been microfilmed and are arranged in schools and then according to surname. In addition to the set at UEA Archives, a second copy is shortly to arrive at the Hull History Centre, on loan from the Zuckerman Archive.

The following 13 Hull schools are represented:

St George’s Road School
J.B. Holmes Girls’ School
Somerset Street School
Constable Street Boys’ School
Chapman Street Boys’ School
Chapman Street Girls’ School
Endike Lane Senior Boys’ School
Fifth Avenue Senir Girls’ School
Malet Lambert High School, 3rd Form
Malet Lambert High School, 4th Form
Malet Lambert High School, 5th and 6th Forms
Newland C of E School
Open Air School
Paisley Street Girls’ School
Thoresby Street Central School, 11 year old pupils
Thoresby Street Central School, 12 year old pupils
Thoresby Street Central School, 13 year old pupils
Thoresby Street Central School, 14 year old pupils
Westbourne Street Girls’ School

Essays from Springburn Street School in Hull have were deposited at the Hull History Centre some years ago. They formed part of a school teacher’s papers and it seems they were not submitted as part of the survey.

Birmingham school essays:
Essays survived from two Birmingham schools. Bloomsbury Snr Girls, Lingard Street. The essays were written on 10 and 13 Feb 1942, recollecting raids of November and December 1940 and 9 April 1941. There were 68 essays from this school.

Only two essays survive from Marlborough Road Secondary School. They are written on 19/2/1941 and 19/2/42 (so one of them probably has the incorrect year, 1942 is probably correct). They recollect the raid of 22/11/40 and 9/4/41.

For enquiries and appointments at UEA Archives: archives@uea.ac.uk
For enquiries at Hull History Centre

Zuckerman Archive

How big is this archive?

Ever wondered just how much there is of a collection? Researchers and visitors often don’t know what the big picture is and how much of the iceberg they’re seeing. It’s good to ask, and amazingly many are reluctant to be direct, but knowing the bigger picture makes you more connected to the whole; and being able to visualise what you’re up against means you can pace yourself.

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Standard archive boxes (Zuckerman Archive). Four boxes = 1 linear metre

The simplest measure is the standard archive box which measures approximately 38 x 27 x 13.5 cm. Our biggest collection is that of the anatomist and scientific advisor Solly Zuckerman which has a staggering 1,568 boxes (or equivalent). Beyond the boxes the material can be broken down into smaller chunks of series or files and this brings the user ever closer to the material they’re particularly focussed on.

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A publisher’s archive in large boxes

Archivists use the term ‘extent’ to describe ‘how much’. Linear metres is often the measure for substantial collections. Picture Zuckerman’s boxes of material lined up in a very long row with a height of 30 cm. This long row would measure 392 metres, the archive’s extent could be described as 392 linear metres. This would allow for a long line of large archive boxes, or a long line of two small archive boxes stacked one on top of the other.

In contrast, the suffragette archive ‘The Kenney Papers’ measures 5.75 metres. The archive of Charlie Higson is 16 metres and Tash Aw’s loan deposit has just 3 boxes which equates to 1 metre (rounded up).

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A first glimpse of Roger Deakin’s Archive

When we’re describing a collection we often have to visually translate what we’re looking at into the total linear metres it would amount to if it were all lined up in a very long row. Archives are not usually presented in a neat package, they can be in an assortment of boxes, biscuit tins and shopping bags. They are sometimes described to us in terms of ‘car loads’ or even ‘bed loads’. We’ve yet to have ‘shed loads’ offered but Roger Deakin’s Archive container came close. Thankfully by the time they are ready for public access they have usually been transferred into a number of standard archive boxes.

A final point worth mentioning is that it’s not all about quantity. Some of our most regularly used and valuable collections are contained in a single box or indeed recorded on a single leaf of paper.

Exploring the Archives: a monthly update: October 2017

Opening of 195 new Library study spaces & Research Collections refurbishment

062This 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)
DSCF3073An 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

Malcolm Bradbury Archive

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).

Pritchard Papers

PP.18.4.4.5

Copyright  Pritchard Papers

Users of this collection have been interested in architects and designers, and in the 1930s branding of the Isokon Furniture Company.

UEA Collection

• 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).

Special Collections

UEAContemporaryWritingArchiveLR 134• There were 16 requests.
• Seminar: Reading the 18th Century Novel (LDC for Y3 Undergraduates).

Documentation re British Architecture of the 1950s and 1960s

The papers assembled by Prof. Stefan Muthesius over 25 years relate closely to three of the researcher’s books: Tower Block. Modern Public Housing in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (with Miles Glendinning, Yale University Press 1994); The Post-War University. Utopianist Campus and College (Yale University Press 1999); and Concrete and Open Skies. Architecture at the University of East Anglia (with Peter Dormer, Unicorn Press 2004).

cClive Darra

Copyright Clive Darra

In this post we have asked Muthesius (creator and depositor of the papers), to help us draw out the collection’s strengths and potential value to researchers.

The three publications all concern British (and in the case of the Yale University book also foreign) architecture of the 1940s to the 1970s. The material in the archive consists of copies of some unprinted archival material of the period (Ministry papers), of extracts from books, pamphlets and ministerial publications, many of them obscure and hard to get hold of, but principally of extracts from the periodical press of the period in question. While some material from the very major journals may be available on-line, the many lesser periodicals which are massive and which contain the bulk of the detailed information are unlikely to ever be scanned. These extracts have been culled from diverse libraries and have been filed here under both subject and place. The value of these files lies precisely in the fact that nowhere else can one easily find assembled information about a certain building, in this case a housing estate, or a university. Such information is often far ‘better’ than what one could gain from a visit to a local library or archive.

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Copyright University of East Anglia

As British architecture of the 1950s and 1960s is now receiving very much more interest than during the 1990s and the 2000nds, the collection will attract more interest, too. The collection relating to UEA (a campus with examples of brutalist buildings from the 60s) likewise contains material that cannot be accessed anywhere else.

Please contact the Archives should you wish to arrange access to the papers.

A guide to Stefan Muthesius’ Papers held in UEA Archives

Photo: Clive Darra (Creative commons license)

The Suffragettes and two World Wars: Letters from Christabel Pankhurst to Annie Kenney

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Annie Kenney (left); Christabel Pankhurst – c1905-1912 Source: The Women’s Library collection, London School of Economics

An Unboxed blog from Yaiza Canopoli, undergraduate of the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing.

Related blog, Annie Kenney and Christabel Pankhurst, arrested at the Free Trade Hall on October 13, 1905.

Christabel Pankhurst was born into a family of fighters for women’s rights. Her mother, Emmeline Pankhurst, was the leader of the suffragette movement, and she taught her daughter from early on to fight for her rights. Christabel wrote many letters to fellow suffragettes after 1918, asking for opinions on their legacy and treatment and voicing her own; two particularly interesting letters are addressed to Annie Kenney, with whom she maintained a strong friendship long after the suffragette movement had quieted down and the two world wars were over. The letters are held at the University of East Anglia’s Archives as part of the Kenney Papers.

In a letter from January 1949, Christabel commemorates the death of Flora Drummond, nicknamed ‘the General’ for her habit of leading marches for women’s rights wearing a military uniform. This woman had been a grand figure in the movement, and her death caused sorrow for a lot of women who had been involved at the time.

The idea that the movement is over, that ‘[a] chapter has closed’, and that there is nothing more to be done, seems to be a recurring thought in Christabel’s letters. In 1946 she writes

[t]he vote is ours, and that is what matters,

and then in 1949 she repeats herself, adding that:

it is for the younger women to use it wisely

This is in response to multiple requests for publications focusing on the suffragette movement; in 1946 she was asked to participate in the making of a movie recounting the women’s struggle for the vote, and then in 1949 a similar request was put forward regarding the writing of a book. In both cases, she refused to take part, saying that with the world in such a fragile state as it was left in after the Second World War, showing the way the British government had responded to the women’s rights movement would only put more pressure on Britain and create further tensions:

for foreigners who see the film may get an erroneous impression of what England is today and judge her present case by that blotted page in our history

This awareness of more than just women’s rights is very present throughout most of the suffragettes’ correspondence with one another. When the First World War broke out, the suffragette movement was put on hold to help the government with this international struggle, and even after both wars were over, the women who had been part of the movement were still careful about putting the national and international situation before their own fight. Another example of this is a book that Christabel had written before these requests were voiced; she had already put it in the hands of a publisher when she decided to call off the deal because of the upcoming Second World War.

Ultimately, both letters are about war and memory. As much as they talk about writing books and making movies, the theme of the two world wars is present throughout the correspondence, and the weight these experiences have put on Christabel is palpable. The suffragettes fought for their own rights, but first and foremost they fought for equality and freedom, and the wars of the 20th Century brought these two concepts to their limits, uniting the militant women and the government in what was ultimately a fight for human rights.

The letters exchanged between Christabel Pankhurst and Annie Kenney can be accessed at UEA, alongside other fascinating correspondence between various suffragettes.

[KP/AK/1-2: correspondence with Christabel Pankhurst. Letter from 25/01/1949 + letter from 19/11/1946]

Kenney Papers at UEA Archives

How to access the Archives at UEA: https://portal.uea.ac.uk/library/archives

Exploring the Archives: a monthly update: September 2017

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LDC PGT students’ introduction to primary source archive materials

LDC PGT Induction

What constitutes distinctively graduate research and how might it differ from undergraduate study?
This seminar in the Archives Reading Room was attended by 12 postgraduates from the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing. Material from across Archives and Special Collections were used in demonstrating and drawing out the benefits as well as the unique challenges posed by primary source material and early printed works. Students had the opportunity to handle papers and in some cases listen to interviews from the archives of Naomi Alderman, Tash Aw, Richard Beard, Andrew Cowan, Adam Foulds, Annie Kenney, Doris Lessing, J.D. Salinger, W.G. Sebald and Snoo Wilson.

Lorna Sage Archive
A visiting researcher from Tokyo has been looking at records held in the Sage archive which relates to Angela Carter. This includes a catalogue of Carter’s private library.

Outreach

 Heritage Open Day / Kenney Papers, 8 September

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Medals and ribbons collected and worn by the suffragettes.

There were 11 attendees at this event held in the Archives Reading Room on 8 September. Guest speaker Fiona Sinclair (MA Creative Writing) spoke about her research on the Kenney Papers (suffragettes) in the Archives and how this links with the novel she is writing. There was also an introduction to the BACW (British Archive for Contemporary Writing) and visitors had a chance to see some exhibits and the stack area.

• UEA Open Day, 9 September
Parents and prospective applicants to the Faculty of Humanities 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.

• Exhibition: ‘Plotting the Perfect Crime’

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Exhibition on Floor 02 of the Library

For the second year, the BACW created a crime writing exhibition, as part of Noirwich, Crime Writing Festival organised by UEA in collaboration with The Writers’ Centre and Dead Good Books. 273 ticket holders for Martina Cole and Arne Dahl festival events on 15 September were given an exclusive preview of ‘Plotting the Perfect Crime’ exhibition in the Thomas Paine Study Centre Foyer. The exhibition, which features original archive material from Stuart MacBride, Val McDermid and Robert Edric, has now moved to the new Archive Foyer on 02 of the Library where it will be on display until Dec 22. More about the exhibition.

• I Love Arts and Humanities: Multimedia Experience, 26 & 29 September
As part of Transitions Week, this event in the HUM Media Suite on 26 September welcomed 150 people through the doors in the first 90 mins. Visitors were able to find out about the facilities in the Media Suite and talk to the BACW and the East Anglian Film Archive (EAFA) about volunteering opportunities. The event was repeated on 29 September.

• Arts and Humanities Opportunities Fair, 28 September
The Archives promoted ‘Unboxed’ at the fair held in the Council Chamber.  This is a blogging opportunity open to student volunteers who wish to explore and highlight treasures from the Archives and have their posts published on the UEA Archives blog.

UEA Collection

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1962 UEA Appeal Fund documents in clamshell box

Staff from the V-C’s Office visited the Archives to learn more about the UEA Collection and see a range of materials including papers relating to the 1962 UEA Appeal Fund.

Zuckerman Archive

• A researcher is working on reports relating to the bombing of northern Italian ports during WWII.

• A university academic has visited to research WWII casualty surveys conducted in Birmingham and Hull and a related collection of 2,000 school children’s essays giving their account of being in an air raid.

Special Collections
There were 8 requests.

Exploring the Archives: a monthly update: August 2017

Archives 08-2017 (2)The installation of new rolling stack near the Archives reached completion this month and we were able to re-open the Reading Room to users on 21 August. We thank users for their patience during the temporary disruption.

Doris Lessing
A visiting English Studies researcher from a Spanish university has been working on Lessing’s early deposits of correspondence and love letters.

H.H. Lamb Archive
An undergraduate from the US has spent a couple of days in the Archives.  Her research focuses on Hubert Lamb’s views of climate, particularly those which influenced his founding vision for the Climatic Research Unit, and the ways in which his perspectives on anthropogenic global warming have been explained and discussed in secondary sources.

An updated listing to the Lamb papers is now available.

Pritchard Papers
• A returning researcher and writer has visited to consult the papers on architecture, design and the thirties.
• A new resident of Lawn Road Flats has visited to find out more about the history of the flats, its Isobar restaurant and Half Hundred dining club. Philip Harben ran the Isobar in the late 1930s before becoming the UK’s first television cook (here he can be seen making a fondue at the flats’ 21st Anniversary in 1955. Among the flats’ many noteworthy early residents was the Austrian architect Egon Riss, designer of the Isokon Pocket Bottleship (1939).

Roger Deakin Archive
• A PhD candidate in the US has been sent notes made by Deakin on the topic of drowning. His dissertation investigates drowning in key texts of poetic realism.
• An Archivist from London has visited to research papers relating to Deakin’s book on wild swimming, Waterlog.

W.G. Sebald Audio-Visual Archive
A lecturer from Canada has expressed an interest in the Archives as he teaches from Sebald’s novel The Emigrants.

Zuckerman Archive
A number of SHAEF Bombing Analysis Unit reports have been scanned for a researcher in France. They include photographs and data concerning the effects of bombing around Le Havre during WWII. (SHAEF = Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Air Force).

Special Collections
There were 4 requests. Some drawings from our Special Collections can be seen on display at the Norfolk Record Office. Drawing in the Archive: the Visual Record of Norwich’s Medieval Churches 1700-2017 runs from 21 August – 17 November 2017.

Plotting the Perfect Crime: a crime writing exhibition from the British Archive for Contemporary Writing at UEA

Noirwichnoirwich logo

This year’s crime writing exhibition, created to coincide with Noirwich, reveals the intricate planning behind some of our greatest contemporary crime novels, with material from Val McDermid, Stuart MacBride and Robert Edric, author of a crime trilogy set in Hull, this year’s City of Culture. Stuart MacBride predicts a nosebleed amongst fellow writers.

Here archivist, Justine Mann, introduces her personal highlights.

Stuart MacBride

MacBride’s notebooks and mindmaps are the earliest incarnation of his novels. He has created a literal map to visualise his fictional town of Old Castle, all the better to locate the murders and the distances between them. What begins as an impressive tool evolves into something the Ordnance Survey would be proud of and is published within a subsequent novel. Perhaps the most striking of elements within this display is a graph. At first glance it appears to be a chart of multiple, frantic, sound waves but on closer inspection it reveals the cadences of plot points marshalled to pinpoint accuracy in order to create the most devastating effect on the reader. He remarks casually, that ‘This has been known to give other writers nose bleeds’. This display also reveals his painstaking restructuring of the plot for In the Cold Dark Ground, scene by scene with scissors and sellotape.

Val McDermid

The author’s latest novel, Insidious Intent, ‘impeccably plotted and intensely gripping’ also began in notebook form. On display are original pages from a numbered outline charting key plot developments. ‘When I start a book, I have an idea of the story arc and I’ve spent most of my prep time thinking about the characters: how they’re going to conduct themselves, how they got to be the person they are today.’

The evidence here suggests that McDermid’s subconscious is working hard on plot design before she tackles the page. While crafting the language she refers to the outline notes to keep the structure on track. She recently revealed her daily routine to The Guardian:

‘Around the second cup of coffee, I take a look at what I last wrote, tweaking and revising, stripping the prose back till I’m more at ease with it. I spend the first month feeling my way into the book, getting a sense of its world and learning its nooks and crannies. Then it picks up pace and I can’t escape it.’

Robert Edric

How does a literary novelist take on the challenge of writing crime fiction? In 2002, the Booker longlisted author, Robert Edric, took a break from writing literary novels, to create a crime trilogy set in Hull, this year’s City of Culture. In The Times, Neel Mukherjee, applauded Cradle Song, Edric’s first, for: “its vertiginously devious plot twists, the maze of multiple-crossings (which) all close like a fist around the throat of the reader.”

“When I’m working on a literary novel,” Edric says, “it’s less important to me whether I write a, then d, g , x then e. The meaning of the book might be in the middle. The goal is not the end, but whether it fails or succeeds in your own mind. With a crime novel, you’re less organic. There has to be a logical process.’

A sense of place has always been important to Edric and in the opening chapter on display he uses Spurn Point, a bleak yet beautiful peninsular, 30 miles from Hull and ravaged on all sides by the North Sea, as the setting of a key meeting between ex copper, Sullivan, and private investigator, Rivers. The drafts reveal the key phrases and striking images that survive, almost in tact, from first draft through to final publication, as well as the tweaks and line edits that heighten characterisation and plot tension.

Previewed on Friday 15 September (UEA, TPSC Foyer) /

UEA Archives Foyer, UEA Library Floor 02, Tue 19 Sept – Fri 22 Dec (Free access)

Exploring the Archives: a monthly update: July 2017

Library Space Project
During a temporary closure period the Archives office has been operating from the Silent Reading Room on Floor 02. This arrangement is expected to continue until Friday 18 August.

Further details of Archives closure and the Library Space Project.

Summary of Teaching Sessions and Seminars held within the British Archive for Contemporary Writing (BACW) during academic Year 2016/17 and drawing on archive material in our collections

Total participants 2016/17 = 132
72 students were undergraduates and 60 postgraduates
This represents a 78% increase on the previous year 2015/16.

Sessions took place with literature, creative writing and media students and involved a wide range of archive collections, with material selected and tailored for relevance to their module. Students were introduced to archive handling skills and the process of archive research. Satisfaction levels were very high with 99% of students reporting that the session was very good or good and 97% reporting that it was relevant to their module. 98% of students said they felt encouraged to visit the Archive independently.

FLY 2017
As part of Fly 2017 – the Literary Festival for Young People – A BACW led workshop took place with the Norfolk Record Office and UEA author and lecturer, Rachel Hore, on using archives as inspiration for creative writing. Year 10, Year 12 and 13 students were introduced to original archive material and shown how to use collections as writing prompts to generate story ideas, as well as to flesh out character and historical setting. Students read and shared passages inspired by the Kenney Papers suffragette archives.

UEA Open days

UEA Open day 2017-148_Steve Wright Photography Limited

Steve Wright Photography Ltd

During UEA Open Days 7 and 8 July – there were exhibitions of archive material and talks on how the BACW contributes to undergraduate academic teaching and research at UEA and the ways in which students have become involved in our Unboxed project.

Permissions/copyright
A flurry of requests has been received for permission to quote or publish from the Pritchard and Zuckerman Archives. Mostly these are submitted from former users and visitors who are nearing the end of a long research or writing project. We are delighted to receive these requests as they confirm the research value of the collections, opening them up to a wider audience and to further interpretation. While we don’t hold copyright for much of the content we can usually provide a good steer on who to contact.

Doris Lessing Archive
A request for Lessing’s 1940s love letters to John Whitehorn has come from an overseas scholarly writer on Lessing.

J.D. Salinger – Hartog Letters

salinger5sm

J.D. Salinger – Hartog Letters

We were asked to verify a signature in a book held by a collector. As the letters we hold are all only informally signed ‘Jerry’ we were unable to confirm.

Kenney Papers (suffragettes)
We received a copyright enquiry for Annie Kenney’s published memoir Memories of a Militant (1924).

Pritchard Papers

PP.16.2.30.56.3.1955

Lawn Road Flats London, 1955

A new resident of Lawn Road Flats has arranged a visit to read the Papers. The Archives has welcomed a steady stream of residents who are curious about the 1930s history of the iconic building which they now call home.

Special Collections
12 requests.