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.

Exploring the Archives: a monthly update: March 2018

Teaching sessions in the Archives

• Literature, Drama and Creative Writing ‘Space Fiction’ module. The session focussed on Lessing’s Memoirs of a Survivor, Shikasta and Canopus in Argos, her interviews, related correspondence and wider reflections on ‘space’ and ‘science fiction’.

• LDC UG Poetics of Place module. This session focussed on the creation of book proposals in nature writing and drew on material from Mark Cocker and Roger Deakin.

Fascinating secret-seeming place. I feel there’s a lot of chances to get inspired down here and I’ll be back.

Amazing rich breadth of material.

• HISTORY UG History Controversy and Debate Module. This session focused on allowing the students to explore primary resources for the first time, including microfilm, correspondence and WWI material from the suffragette archives.

Found it interesting and useful to be able to see sources in same format as they were made, to bring history to life.

The session provides a practical and hands on way of showcasing the importance of primary sources, which I personally find very interesting.

Doris Lessing ArchiveDL 116

• A UEA MA student has been examining Lessing’s correspondence and works for references relating to the theme of domestic space. The confines and responsibilities of domestic life are a recurring theme in Lessing’s works and in her archive.
• An English student from a London university has asked for a citation of Lessing’s letter to John Major’s Private Secretary, refusing a damehood (DBE). She is later quoted as saying “When young I did my best to undo that bit of the British Empire I found myself in.”

Kenney Papers (Suffragettes)

• We are trying to trace a leaflet referenced to the Kenney Papers. It contains a 1918 general election speech by Christabel Pankhurst. This highlights the importance of referencing with as much detail and accuracy as possible.
• The British Library has sought copyright permission for the digitisation of a letter by Annie Kenney to Arthur Balfour which is currently on display in the Treasures Gallery.
• A 2nd year history student has visited to research her essay on the Kenney sisters.

Sara Taylor Archive

Shore (9)

Manuscript of The Shore

This collection has now been listed and is available for consultation. Taylor holds an MA in Creative Writing (Prose Fiction) from UEA (2013), and completed the Ph.D. in Creative and Critical Writing at UEA in 2017. This loan deposit includes novel manuscripts, correspondence, notebooks, and detailed research papers. Also included are submissions and workshopped pieces from the MA in Creative Writing with notes from visiting writer Ali Smith. Some of the short story submissions were later worked into her published novels The Shore and The Lauras.

UEA Collection

A UEA academic has visited to read the report by former Student Union President Ian McKenzie to the Vice-Chancellor on a visit made to the University by MP John Carlisle on 24/4/86. This forms part of Richard Grayson’s deposit (former UEA SU General Secretary and Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate).

Zuckerman Archive

• Staff at the Royal Zoological Society have expressed an interest in seeing the almost 50 boxes we have on the Society. Zuckerman was Secretary from 1955-1977 and President from 1977-1984.
• A request has been received for reports and surveys of the Allies’ campaign against Germany. These form part of the work of the RAF’s Bombing Analysis Unit, formed in 1944. Zuckerman was its Scientific Director.
• Portrait photographs of Zuckerman and the bombing aftermath of a German factory have been supplied for a public lecture at the Wellington Goethe Institut (4 May) entitled The Firebombing of German Cities, 1939-45.
• A returning visitor is researching The Committee on the Management and Control of Research and Development, 1958-1963.

Special Collections

18 enquiries