Exploring the Archives: a monthly update: September 2018


• Heritage Open Days

Muriel Spark Lit Fes showing (02) 080918On 8 September, the Forum in Norwich kindly provided their Auditorium free of charge for the rescreening of Muriel Spark’s appearance at the Arthur Miller Centre Autumn Literary Festival in 2001. It’s Spark’s centenary year and a good opportunity to highlight the archive. The event was introduced by Dr Nonia Williams of the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing (LDC), who spoke of her research with the correspondence between Spark and Doris Lessing and responded to questions from the audience. [33 attendees]

Suffragette workshop at Forum 150918On 15 September, Justine Mann led a workshop for the public, ‘Suffragette Stories: Transcribing History’ which highlighted the UEA’s suffragette archives, the Kenney Papers, and the Heritage Lottery Funded project the archive is currently engaged in. Audience members were encouraged to transcribe original Christabel Pankhurst letters and write short stories inspired by the archive. [22 attendees]

• UEA Open Day, 8 September

Applicants and their parents took the opportunity to browse the literary archive collections and our suffragette archives and find out more about opportunities for UEA students to become involved in the collections. A demonstration of archive digitisation also took place in the Media Suite, provided by Chase PGR student placement, Annie Kelly, who currently works as a Digitisation Assistant on the Suffragette Stories project. [38 visitors to the Archive]

• Born Digital Archives

Justine Mann attended a meeting in Oxford with the British Library and various HEIs to discuss potential research projects examining the future of the literary archive.


• MA Research Seminar (Crime Writing) 12 Sep 2018
Year two students were given a preview of material from the Lee Child Exhibition including correspondence between Child and his literary agent and editor. [12 attendees]

• Literature, Drama & Creative Writing (LDC) PGT Induction
Students from all PGT programmes were invited to browse the varied collections and consider how the material might contribute to their studies and future research projects. [32 attendees]

• Reading the 18th C novel with intro to Archives & the BACW
Students were introduced to relevant Special Collections’ texts [11 attendees]

Kenney Papers (suffragettes)

Saddleworth Museum has requested images for a presentation relating to Annie Kenney.

Lee Child Archive

DSCF3632Selections from this collection were on display in the Enterprise Centre for NOIRwich Crime Writing Festival on 14 September, this then moved to the Library foyer (until 11 October). Requests to view the archive are being received from the public however the archive is not yet catalogued and therefore unavailable to individual researchers.

UEA Collection

UEA staff are researching the history of the Faith Centre (former Chaplaincy).

Special Collections

There were 7 requests plus a group booking.

Exploring the Archives: a monthly update: July 2018


DSCF3589The ‘Angela Carter and Japan’ display can be seen in the Archives throughout July & August. This followed the symposium held in the Julian Studies building at the end of June. Curator of the exhibition, Visiting Research Fellow Natsumi Ikoma, has written about the origins of the exhibition in a separate post.

UEA Literary Festival at 25
The British Archive for Contemporary Writing holds 300+ recordings of past literary festivals. 25 interviews were digitised and remastered in 2015 with a view to sharing online to celebrate this milestone but also with a view to digital preservation of these, often vulnerable, physical formats from the past. Student volunteers have viewed the recordings and identified the best clips for sharing. These are currently being shared via the UEA Literary Festival and Archives social media with the hashtag: #25UEALitFest


‘Texts in Motion’ Literature Summer School 2 July
Tutors from Literature, Drama and Creative Writing (LDC) led three workshops on the creative writing process. In all, 36 sixth formers attended.

From ‘Untitled’ to ‘Things I could Tell You’. This workshop examined what the archive tells us about Sara Taylor’s writing process from early draft to finished product.

Tash Aw’s short story The Sail was the focus of the second workshop. The students were asked what interested or intrigued them about the archival material; why the process of drafting and editing is of interest to a student of literature; and why it is of interest to a creative writer.

Faculty of Humanities, Research Showcase 4 July
A presentation was given to academic colleagues on research and engagement initiatives underway within the BACW, as well as the range of potential further opportunities to work with colleagues. A display from the suffragette archives was also provided.

Open days 6 and 7 July
24 prospective students attended talks and consulted the collections in the Archive Reading Room, to learn how UEA archive material is used in humanities teaching and research skills development with unique cultural heritage material from suffragettes to literary icons.

For the first time, UEA Archives had a presence in the Media Suite for Open Day. Chase Placement PGR student, Annie Kelly (AMA), currently based in the Archives, gave a hands on demonstration to all those visiting the Digitisation Suite on the process involved in digitising our suffragette archive, as part of our Heritage Lottery Funded project, Suffragette Stories.

FLY Festival (Festival of Literature for Young People) 9 July
‘The Life of Writing Workshop’ with LDC tutor Nonia Williams provided a group of sixth formers with the opportunity to work with materials from Sara Taylor’s Archive. Participants compared first drafts with published versions of Taylor’s short stories to help them understand the process of drafting and editing prose fiction before embarking on their own writing within the session.

Creative Writing International Summer School 18 July
Seminar on the Creative Process, five international student attendees. LDC tutor, Kate Moorhead-Kuhn, worked with Sara Taylor’s short story archive material to help students chart the writing process from early draft to published version. Students also examined the material of authors Richard Beard, Andrew Cowan and Tash Aw to understand the process of submissions to literary agents and publishers

• UEA graduate, Sam Coleman, currently studying an MSc in information management at Sheffield University, interviewed Justine Mann and Grant Young (Academic Engagement Librarian HUM) on the relationship between Libraries and Archives for his dissertation.

Doris Lessing Archive

We have received a deposit of a 1984 letter from Lessing to her Russian tutor. Along with this is the tutor’s account of their association in the 1980s, Lessing’s approach to her studies and the sort of people she would have encountered on the course.

Pritchard Papers

• A Canadian Professor of Art History with a specialism in László Moholy-Nagy (Bauhaus professor) has visited over two days.
• Images are being supplied for a 2019 publication on the architect Walter Gropius.


Dinner menu designed by Moholy-Nagy

Theatre Collections

A UEA student has requested information on electric theatres and cinema in Norfolk. Many local theatres doubled-up as cinemas. Notes from 1919 provide recollections on the opening of cinema theatres across East Anglia by Mr Frederick Holmes Cooper. The first being the Electric Theatre in Wisbech c.1910.

UEA Collection

The report of the 1963 UEA expedition to Nepal has been consulted.

Zuckerman Archive

A 1950s report on nuclear weapons is being cross-checked.

Special Collections

There were 8 requests.