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.

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


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


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.

Exploring the Archives: a monthly update: June 2017

In June, Archives staff settled into the Silent Reading Room just along the corridor and we expect to be here for several weeks. Refurbishment work continues on Floor 02 and the builders have gone to great lengths in safeguarding our equipment and the collections, even installing temporary walls and doors.

Further details on the temporary closure of Archives.


  • UEA students have been consulting Tash Aw’s Archive and Doris Lessing’s correspondence.
  • 10 PhD students of creative writing, literature, history, languages and linguistics attended our joint British Archive for Contemporary Writing and East Anglian Film Archives workshop at the CHASE Encounters Conference  held at UEA on 29 and 30 June.The workshop highlighted the opportunities and challenges of using film and literary Archive material for research and teaching, as well as the day to day role of the Archivist and the future challenge for archives in managing born digital material.

    Students were provided with hands on access to copies of unique archive material to help simulate the process of independent archive research. This provoked some interesting discussion, particularly amongst creative writers who were prompted to consider their own archive material.

Kenney Papers (Suffragettes)
• We are preparing materials for an external exhibition to be held in 2018/19.
• The collection is being used by a writer as the basis for her work of fiction.

Pritchard Papers
One user is researching for a book on Lawn Road Flats and artists of the 1930s; another is writing a book on art, design and science.

Other enquiries related to the Pritchard family tree; and to Walter Gropius’ farewell dinner guest list from 1937.

Roger Deakin


The shepherd’s hut to which Deakin refers in The Garden. Copyright Estate of Roger Deakin

Users are reminded that the BBC recording of Cigarette on the Waveney is publicly available online (a tranquil documentary of Deakin’s trip down the River Waveney in a white canoe). For UEA members, his recordings of The House and The Garden are available on Box of Broadcasts.

UEA Collection
Malcolm Bradbury’s large magazine and newspaper archive has been accessed by a visiting academic in LDC (School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing).

Zuckerman Archive
The collection has been accessed for the correspondence of Lord Zuckerman, Lord Mountbatten and Margaret Thatcher; and for architectural drawings of German and Italian buildings held within WWII bombing reports.

Special Collections
RauschenbergA valuable addition to the collection has been a limited facsimile edition of Robert Rauschenberg‘s 34 illustrations after Dante’s Inferno. Produced by New York’s Museum of Modern Art and presented in a grey clothbound clamshell box, it includes the trade publication. Rauschenberg’s series of drawings from 1958–60 are each reproduced at actual size on individual sheets; a drawing for each Canto of Dante’s poem. A copy of the trade publication is on order for the Library’s open shelves.

There were 12 enquiries for Special Collections.

Exploring the Archives: a monthly update: May 2017

British Archive for Contemporary Writing (BACW)

  • Around 40 international agents (UEA ambassadors) visited the Archives in May to hear about some highlights including the Storehouse model, the Publishing module, the Unboxed project and the Literary Festival collection.
  • At UEA’s Learning and Teaching Day the BACW held a joint workshop with the East Anglian Film Archive (EAFA) ‘Digital Heritage: Equipping Students for the cultural and creative industries’.
  • Richard Beard (writer) was interviewed by Jos Smith (Director of BACW) at UEA’s Enterprise Centre. This was part of an all-day seminar for MA Creative Writing students. Beard spoke of the writing and publishing process and the rationale for placing his papers on loan in the Archive. Richard Beard Archive.

Three new blog posts have been published by our LDC (Literature, Drama & Creative Writing) students:

Permission requests for forthcoming publications by users of the archives have related to the suffragettes (Kenney Papers) and to the history of climate change (G.S. Callendar Archive).

John Hill Archive
We’ve been looking at agricultural land in Haddiscoe, Norfolk and how it looked in 1961 when it used to operate as a pea vining station.

Pritchard Papers
Researchers have been interested in the journalist and architectural critic Philip Morton Shand (grandfather of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall); and the archaeologist Gordon Childe (former tenant of Lawn Road Flats).

Roger Deakin
Research has concentrated on Deakin’s income and letters of refusal from agents and publishers.

Zuckerman Archive


Committee on Research & Development.

Researchers have been interested in:
• The use of dogs to detect metal explosives 1955-1970.
• The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and international scientific cooperation during the Cold War (SZ/IIASA).
• The Committee on the Management and Control of Research and Development. This is a valuable resource documenting the early articulation of Applied Science in the UK (SZ/MR).
• The Bombing Analysis Unit of the RAF (SZ/BAU).


Special Collections: 13 enquiries.

Exploring the Archives: a monthly update: April 2017

A quieter month in terms of footfall in the Archives as our teaching sessions ended for the semester and most students headed off for the Easter break.

British Archive for Contemporary Writing (general)
Dr Jos Smith has been appointed as Academic Director of BACW. From 1 Sep 2017, he will gradually take over the role from Professor Chris Bigsby, who will step down in 2018.

Charlie Higson
006The listing of this collection is now available to read on-line.

‘Bollock Street’! This is the first title that we’ve been asked to retrieve from the stacks for a reader. A sketch on the Argyle Street squats which existed in Norwich in the 1980s, this unperformed piece was written by Higson and Paul Whitehouse.

Doris Lessing
One area of interest has been Lessing’s contribution to contemporary women’s literature.

Pritchard Papers
There’s been ongoing research and interest into the artists, designers and architects of the thirties, including Maxwell Fry, Marcel Breuer, Henry Moore, Ben Nicholson, John Piper and Sir Nikolaus Pevsner.

Roger Deakin
UEA and the Writers’ Centre Norwich held a celebratory symposium on 30 April to mark Deakin’s life and his contribution to conservation and nature writing. Around 80 attended the event; an afternoon of poetry, wild writing, memoirs and personal recollections. Symposium programme.

A small exhibition showing the writing process of Waterlog and Wildwood was included at the event at Dragon Hall and this has now moved to the UEA Library Foyer.
095 (2)

UEA Collection
Staff and alumni have been looking at early prospectuses, congregation DVDs, and ways to further the gig archive.

Special Collections
12 enquiries.

Exploring the Archives: a monthly update: March 2017

Once again we’re grateful to our students for offering such insights into our collections. Their blog posts include ‘Men can be feminists: Lord Pethick-Lawrence writes about the suffragettes’ (Kenney Papers) and ‘Terry Pratchett on magic and realism’ (UEA Literary Festival).

54 students and tutors attended teaching sessions this month in the Archives:

  • MA Contemporary Fiction. Doris Lessing’s Archive was the focus with particular attention on The Good Terrorist, Salman Rushdie, and Communism.
  • Publishing module for Literature, Drama & Creative Writing (LDC) PGT.
  • As part of ‘Do Something Different Week’ a seminar was run for LDC UG on the chapter outlines, draft prologues and manuscripts, of The Quickening Maze by Adam Foulds.
  • Blogging workshop. Attended by Unboxed volunteers, LDC students and Archives staff (led by Claire Hynes, Tutor in Professional Writing).

Richard Beard
The listing of this collection is now available. Beard’s latest book The Day That Went Missing (a memoir) is published this April by Harvill Secker.

Roger Deakin
BACW_RDeakin_flyer_660px_eFlyer-smallPreparations are under way for an afternoon of readings, talks and discussion to be held on 30 April ‘Roger Deakin: Exploring the Archive: Rivers and Woodlands’.

Doris Lessing

A steady interest in Lessing’s letters to John Whitehorn during the 1940s continues, in particular her work as a Hansard typist while still in her twenties, and her association with the Communist party in southern Africa.

Pritchard Papers

  • Requests have related to the architect Wells Coates (architect) and Sunspan Homes (light and airy domestic designs of the thirties); and the Lawn Road Flats’ tenants and their covert lives as Soviet spies.
  • The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo is currently exhibiting materials from the Pritchard Papers. ‘Improvement for Good: Marcel Breuer’s Furniture’ runs from 3rd March – 7th May, 2017 and at the Higashine City Museum, Yamagata 15th July – 24th September, 2017.

W.G. Sebald
Students from Heinz-Berggruen-Gymnasium in Berlin, Charlottenburg have submitted a guest blog post to acknowledge their memorable visit made to the Archives last summer.

UEA Literary Festival
Visitors have been watching recordings of earlier festivals including guest authors Robert Macfarlane (2008) and Richard Dawkins (2015).

UEA Collection
FT Album 61-66 Prof I P Watt Dean of English Studies 1.9.62_30.8.64We’ve been looking back at the contribution made by one of our principal founders – Ian Watt (1917-1999), Dean of English Studies at UEA. Some very relevant material was found on Watt’s short but significant time at UEA, 1962-1964. Watt was later Professor of English at the University of Stanford, Calif. [Photo: Frank Thistlethwaite Archive].

Special Collections
Eight requests.

Exploring the Archives: a monthly update: February 2017

The second blog from our ‘Unboxed’ blogging project has been posted by student volunteer Freya Turner. Our thanks to Freya for this excellent piece: ‘Tessa Hadley on uncovering memory: do we really know our past’.

Mark Cocker, nature writer, was interviewed at UEA Careers’ ‘Working with Words’ on 25 Feb. by Archivist Justine Mann.

Teaching sessions delivered this month in the Archives drew in around 60 students. They included:

  • ‘Digital Media, Theory & Practice’. This session was repeated on the same day.  It introduced a practical digitisation project for which the Archives provided material and follow-on support.
  • ‘Writing the Wild’. Students had access to manuscripts, diaries, letters and notebooks from the collections of Roger Deakin and Mark Cocker; and watched recordings of Richard Mabey and W.G. Sebald.
  • ‘New Worlds: Science fiction and beyond’. This session was repeated over two days and focussed on the works and character of Doris Lessing, her interest in science fiction, Memoirs of a Survivor and Shikasta.

Doris Lessing Archive
The Whitehorn letters continue to generate interest – with requests relating to Lessing’s work as a Hansard typist, and an interest in her contemporaries in Southern Rhodesia.

Kenney Papers
Biographical material relating to Rowland Kenney (1882-1961) has been supplied to us by his grand-daughter. The activities of suffragette sisters Annie and Jessie Kenney are well documented, however less is known about their brother Rowland who was a British propaganda agent operating in Norway during both the First and Second World Wars. Rowland Kenney’s papers are currently held at the University of St Andrews.

Pritchard Papers
pp-16-2-1-59-eResearchers have been interested in the Pritchard family papers; Molly Pritchard’s influence on the design and ethos of the Lawn Road Flats; and artists and designers in the nineteen thirties. We also had a visit from the current resident of Molly and Jack Pritchard’s former penthouse flat at the Isokon Building.








UEA Collection
Staff have been gleaning information on past gigs and bands; and looking back at a 1983 exhibition on the fine bindings held in a collection owned by Sir Robert Sainsbury.

Zuckerman Archive
WWII bombing reports from the RAF Bombing Analysis Unit have been consulted from this collection.


Sangatte coastal battery, Zuckerman Archive

Special Collections
There were 28 enquiries.

Exploring the Archives: a monthly update #8: December 2016

This month our students have been looking at love letters to John Whitehorn and papers relating to feminism in Doris Lessing’s Archive; and the Kenney Papers for a dissertation on the suffragette movement.

External visitors have been looking at the iconic Lawn Road Flats in Hampstead, North London, including the resident Isobar Club and the Half Hundred (dining) Club.

We were able to assist an alumnus with a blog on the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution and his recollections of the public lectures held at UEA to mark the 50th anniversary in 1967.

It’s 40 years since the Sex Pistols were due to play at UEA. Television and radio interviews have taken place in the Archives to mark the anniversary of the cancelled gig which was scheduled for 3 December 1976. Eastern Daily Press article.

sz-sc-31-eThe Zuckerman Archive has received enquiries relating to WWII casualty surveys; and 1950s primate research relating to the measurements of skulls and teeth of vervet (green monkeys) in Gambia and St Kitts.

Special Collections: There were 8 enquiries.

Season’s Greetings to all our archive users.

Exploring the Archives: a monthly update #7: November 2016

The Archives’ engagement with students continued throughout the autumn wi167th over 25 students visiting to learn more about our ‘Unboxed’ blogging opportunities and we had a few early starters submit their first drafts.

Teaching continued with an LDC (Literature, Drama and Creative Writing) PGT module ‘Fiction after Modernism’. The writing of Muriel Spark, Iris Murdoch and Doris Lessing were explored.


A 6th Form College member of staff visited the Archives as well as other parts of the Library to explore ways in which we could engage with their students. One example of this is another local 6th Form College who visits us each year to consult books from our Special Collections relating to Kett’s Rebellion (a Norfolk rebellion of 1549).

Doris Lessing Archive

  • A student has been consulting Lessing’s love letters to John Whitehorn as well as correspondence with the author Harry Ritchie.
  • There has been an enquiry from a Professor of History at the University of California – on correspondence and comments relating to Idries Shah (Sufi teacher).

Hill Papers

John Hill, politician, used to own Blyford Estate, a large agricultural estate in Suffolk. An owner of one of the farms has visited and we have been able to provide copies of historical documents and photographs relating to his property.

Pritchard Papers

  • A researcher has been looking at artists and writers of the 1930s.
  • A 4th year Art History student from St Andrew’s has enquired about correspondence between Alvar Aalto (Finnish architect) and Jack Pritchard; and the influence of Molly Pritchard on Lawn Road Flats.
  • We have learnt that one of our copyright holders of photographs in this collection has passed away at the age of 104 (photographer Wolfgang Suschitzky – he held the copyright for his sister’s photos, Edith Tudor-Hart).

UEA Collection

A number of students uea-pho-20-32-jpghave been consulting a publication on the natural history of UEA. The campus is roughly 130 hectares, includes wild and open spaces and a landscape which is integral to the showcasing of the ‘ziggurats’ student accommodation, designed by Denys Lasdun.

Special Collections

There were 21 enquiries.

Exploring the Archives: a monthly update #6: October 2016

October has been a month of engagement:

  • An array of teaching sessions
  • A pop-up stand at UEA Open Day
  • Introductory sessions on a new blogging opportunity for students to become involved in the collections’ content
  • Staff training at the Archives Hub
  • Visits from depositors: Helen Hunter (Alan Hunter Archive) and Richard Beard (novelist & non-fiction writer)

Teaching sessions

  • Using Archives for Biography and Creative Non-Fiction

A seminar for MA post-graduate taught students in the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing (LDC).

  • MA Literary Translation Seminar
  • Cultures of Suburbia

Seminar: Cultures of Suburbia

Another LDC undergraduate seminar focussing on the collections of Doris Lessing and her correspondence with John Whitehorn, Margaret Drabble, Muriel Spark and Quentin Bell. They examined the role of women in the short story To Room Nineteen and the novel The Fifth Child.

  • Reading the 18th century novel

Seminar for 3rd year undergraduates.

Roger Deakin Archive

We are continuing discussions with the BBC to gain online access to the BBC’s productions of The House (about Deakin’s home at Walnut Tree Farm) and The Garden. Requests have been received both nationally and internationally.
Photo: Walnut Tree Farm.


Doris Lessing Archive
An enquiry was received on Lessing’s property in Dartmoor.

J.D. Salinger – Hartog Letters
Consulted by a UEA student.

Kenney Papers
A Finnish publisher has requested permission to reproduce a photograph which appeared in the English edition. Caught in the Revolution, Stalingrad 1917 was researched and written by one of our archive readers.

Pritchard Papers
pp-16-2-30-53-b-johnmaltbycpyrocA researcher has visited to examine the papers of the tenants of Lawn Road Flats and the theory that the flats supported Russian spies. Much has been written on this yet there are still more angles to explore.
Photo: Lawn Road Flats by John Maltby ©Pyrok Ltd

UEA Collection
The Deputy Director of Estates has been looking at UEA’s early development plans and the architects’ vision for the teaching wall and wider campus.

W.G. Sebald Audiovisual Archive
This archive was viewed by a PhD candidate in Creative Writing from Western Sydney University who is studying 21st century fiction (particularly hybrid genre works).

Exploring the Archives: a monthly update #5: September 2016

As the new academic year got under way this month the Archives delivered its first teaching session to 14 Literature, Drama and Creative Writing (LDC) postgraduate students. They considered new approaches to working with archive materials and the possibilities for more ambitious and independent graduate research work.

General enquiries
An enquiry for information on a 12th century photo of the mantle of ‘Roger of Sicily’ has come from Berlin. The image was traced to the school of Art, Media and American Studies’ (AMA) photographic collection at the Sainsbury Centre.


Straw sandals similar to those worn on The Long March (Anthony Grey Archive)

Anthony Grey Archive
A television reporter is making a documentary on the Long March. Anthony Grey (a hostage in Peking during the Cultural Revolution) was friends with Alfred Bosshardt, a Manchester missionary who was on the Long March in 1934/5 and it is hoped that Grey’s 1987 interview with Bosshardt could be included in the film.

Exhibition on Crime Writing
The Archives has curated an exhibition on crime writers featuring: Charlie Higson (Young Bond novels), Alan Hunter (Inspector George Gently), and Ian Rankin. The exhibition can be seen near the entrance of UEA Library (20 September – 24 November). It was initially on display at Noirwich: The Crime Writing Festival. Charlie Higson also paid a visit to the Archives to see his papers in situ and to speak at Noiwrich.

G.S. Callendar Archive
Discover Magazine (US) has submitted a request for use of a portrait photograph of Callendar, an early theorist on the link between carbon dioxide and climate change.

Kenney Papers
A historian working on the Pinner branch of the WSPU (Women’s Social and Political Union) has been interested in the account given by suffragette Jessie Kenney of the ‘human letter’ stunt sent to 10 Downing Street in Feb 1909. The Archive holds the unpublished memoir of Jessie Kenney ‘The Flame and the Flood’.

rdarchive1Roger Deakin Archive
1. Caught by the River has published our submission about our very first glimpse of Deakin’s archive in a container in a field, together with one of our favourite pieces of writing by Deakin about the North Norfolk Coast. This is a must for anyone who has been thrilled by the wide open sandy beaches of Holkham and beyond.

2. Two students from Emmanuel College, Cambridge have been researching Deakin’s writing processes with particular focus on the manuscripts of Waterlog as well as his work and interests relating to the environment.

UEA Collection
1. Attempts have been made to assist a student in China who is trying to track case histories once held by Michael Sanderson (author of The History of the University of East Anglia). These relate to his 1966 dissertation at Cambridge on the education of labour in Lancashire, 1780-1839.

2. We have been finding out more on Peter Eden (1913-1992) who was a visiting lecturer at UEA and involved in the 1977 survey of medieval Norfolk churches. The enquiry has come from an intern at the Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art, Dallas, TX.

Special Collections
There were 11 enquiries.