Acquisition of the J G Ballard archive
Growing the Library’s world-class literary collections
“A remarkable insight into one of the 20th century’s most visionary British writers.”
Head of English and Drama
One of the year’s most important literary acquisitions was the archive of J G Ballard, widely regarded as one of the most visionary British writers of the 20th century. The collection of manuscripts, notebooks, letters, photographs and ephemera spans 50 years in Ballard’s life.
Among the highlights is the first draft of Empire of the Sun, the best-seller inspired by Ballard’s childhood experiences in a wartime internment camp run by the Japanese in Shanghai, which was made into a film by Steven Spielberg.
Originally contained in 15 large storage boxes, the archive will occupy approximately 12 linear metres of shelf space at the Library. It was acquired for the nation through the Acceptance in Lieu Scheme.
“We look forward to making this fascinating collection accessible to a wide public,” said Jamie Andrews, Head of Modern Literary Manuscripts. “The Acceptance in Lieu scheme has provided us with a wonderful opportunity to grow our world-class English literary collections.”