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Last week the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin announced its acquisition of writer Ian McEwan's archive. The archive is comprised of a broad range of materials, from childhood items to his earliest stories to drafts of all McEwan's published works to correspondence with other notable literary figures. In addition to the spectrum of content represented in the archive, there is also a range of mediums-- manuscripts, photographs, audio and video recordings, and digital material like emails and typed manuscripts of novels.

Stephen Enniss, Director of the Ransom Center, said that the "acquisition represents a rare opportunity to share the work of a living, internationally acclaimed author whose works are of strong interest to readers everywhere."

When writing, McEwan composed parts of his novels in longhand, usually in green, spiral-bound notebooks, and wrote the rest using a computer. Once a preliminary draft was completed he would enter everything onto the computer and print out multiple copies, which he would edit by hand.

"The writer tends to forget rapidly the routes he or she discarded along the way," McEwan said about his manuscripts and his own process. "Sometimes the path towards a finished novel takes surprising twists. It's rarely an even development. For example, my novel Atonement started out as a science fiction story set two or three centuries into the future."

The McEwan archive will be accessible once it is fully processed and catalogued. McEwan will visit the Ransom Center and speak on September 10th. Check the Center's events page later this summer for more details.

Acclaimed Writer Ian McEwan's Archive Acquired by Harry Ransom Center 
Featured photo by: Eamon McCabe