Exploring the Archives: a monthly update: April 2018


Norfolk Festival of Nature ‘celebrating the cultural relationships that exist between people and nature’ took place at the Forum in Norwich on 21 & 22 April. The literary element of the event was launched by Jos Smith and included Mark Cocker in conversation with Jean McNeil; the launch of Cocker’s new book Our Place and discussion and debate on ‘nature’s moral conscience’, nature conservation and the role of nature writing. The BACW displayed archive materials from Cocker’s collection.

NFON Exhibition Evening

Norfolk Festival of Nature

Teaching sessions in the Archives

• LDC PGT Publishing Module. This featured selected correspondence and manuscripts from the archives of: Tash Aw, Richard Beard, Andrew Cowan, Roger Deakin and Doris Lessing. Students were introduced to the BACW; they explored the editorial process and relationships between authors, editors and agents through real examples; and reflected on their own literary archives.

‘Seeing hard evidence of how an author and their agent talks formally with publishers is very helpful as an aspiring writer.’
‘Highly relevant. I concentrated only on Tash Aw’s story. It is neatly organized and I got to know the whole story from pitching to promotion of a book.’

Spring 2018 Visit MA Publishing cropped

LDC PGT Publishing Module

• LDC UG Short Stories Module. The students were able to see drafts, workshop comments and correspondence relating to Tash Aw’s short story The Sail, Naomi Alderman’s award winning Gravity and Sarah Taylor’s novel The Shore (a novel developed from short stories).

‘It was interesting to see and read the whole process of writing a short story.’
‘Seeing the steps of the process changes the way I think about the story.’


The Librarian from Cornell University, New York has visited to explore our research materials relating to American Studies.

A.P. Watt Archive

Following the recent death of the novelist Philip Kerr (1956-2018), his embargoed papers within this collection have now been made available. Kerr is the creator of the Bernie Gunther detective thriller series.

Charles Pick Archive

Requests relating to the wider William Heinemann archive are being referred to the Random House Group Archive and Library

Mark Cocker Archive

A recent deposit of papers relating to Loneliness and Time: British Travel Writing in the Twentieth Century (1992) has been listed and made available. Contains biographical research papers and correspondence concerning prominent travel writers.

Naomi Alderman Archive

MA students of Contemporary Fiction are visiting individually to study the first draft of The Power, winner of the 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction.

Patricia Crampton Archive

Patricia Crampton (1)

Miffy stories by Dick Bruna; translated by Patricia Crampton

This gifted archive from a literary translator of mainly children’s books arrived on 10 April. Re-boxing and an initial sort of the papers has begun.

Zuckerman Archive

• A survivor of the Hull blitz has been re-united with the essay she wrote as a 10 year old as part of a government psychological survey on the effects of bombing.
• Another recipient of an essay has written back ‘Not only is it personally very moving but it also offers a fascinating insight into a key period of our history.’
More on the 2,000 Hull school essays.

Special Collections

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