Some weeks are quieter than others on the Bragg front so, with a literary archives theme, this post comes from Paul Maddern, the University's Fellow in Creative Writing.
Paul recently taught BA and MA modules in Creative Writing. His sessions introduced students to Special Collections, specifically using the Leeds Archive of Vernacular Culture and the Romany Collection. The photograph below is just one of the images from the Romany Collection used in the sessions.
"The best words in the best order: that's what good writers aim for. Graft, talent, and the mechanics of writing play their part in achieving this but so, too, does research. Records of the minutiae of daily life and the intimacy of private correspondence and diaries: such features of Special Collections enable a writer to establish accurate fictive worlds, enabling the reader to trust that the writer knows his or her subject thoroughly.
"But more than this, the contents of Special Collections serve to ignite the imagination; to act as springboards into the creative process. They can do this by providing evidence that confirms theories or, perhaps more interestingly, they can divulge new materials that lead us down tributaries into unchartered territories.
"As work generated by the School of English's undergraduate and postgraduate Creative Writing programmes proves, the use of materials within Special Collections reinvigorates the notion that an appreciation of historical records serves to inform and enrich contemporary life."