Ransom Center acquires McEwan archive

Wynne Davis

The Harry Ransom Center acquired the archives of English author Ian McEwan, and visitors to the center will be able to interact with them after they are processed.

Because of the Ransom Center’s interest in contemporary literature, center director Stephen Enniss said he believes McEwan’s archive will be a long-lasting resource to the community.

“Scholars engaged in original research will work with the archive in our reading room, and students who may be studying McEwan’s writing can work with the archive in one of the Ransom Center’s classrooms,” Enniss said. “In time, selected materials will be incorporated in future exhibitions that are open to all.”

Before the University announced the acquisition in May, the center had been in talks with McEwan to acquire the archive for over a year, according to Enniss. McEwan’s archives include journals, manuscript drafts, letters and other personal papers, which Enniss said would serve as the primary resource for future studies of McEwan’s work.

While McEwan’s work does contain handwritten materials, his collection also contains a large amount of digital content.

“McEwan himself embraced technology from an early date, and we’re delighted that he has systematically saved his extensive email correspondence with fellow writers and others,” Enniss said.

McEwan, whose works include "Atonement," a novel adapted into an Oscar-winning film, will speak on campus Sept. 10 to read from his most recent novel, "The Children Act."

“I’ve admired Ian McEwan’s writing for a long time,” Enniss said. “And when I saw the notebooks in which he worked out the plots of his novels, I knew this would be an extraordinarily rich resource for students and scholars for years to come.”