Search within this description

Contents

RW - Robert Westall Collection
About this page

Robert Westall Collection

Archives described on the Archives Hub are held in repositories across the UK

  • this Description
  • View XML | View Text
This material is held at Seven Stories, the Centre for Children's Books
Reference Number(s) GB 1840 RW
Dates of Creation 1929-2009
Name of Creator Robert Westall
Language of Material English
Physical Description 31 archive boxes + OS folders

Scope and Content

The papers of Robert Westall, covering his career as a writer. The collection contains notes, drafts, and pre- and post-publication material for much of Westall's published work, including draft material for 'The Machine Gunners', 'The Watch House', and 'The Cats of Seroster', all written whilst Westall was working as a teacher. Draft material for his later published books including 'A Christmas Ghost', 'Gulf', 'Falling into Glory', 'A Place for Me', 'Size Twelve', is also included. The collection also documents work published after Westall's death in 1993, including 'A Time of Fire', 'The Nightmare', 'Harvest' and 'David and the Kittens' (RW/01). Many of his short stories, published both in collections of Westall's own work and as parts of anthologies, are represented in draft and preparatory form (RW/03), as are several collections of Westall's work (RW/02). These include draft material for 'Antique Dust', 'The Stones of Muncaster Cathedral', 'Love Match' and 'Voices in the Wind'. Draft and preparatory material for 'Cats' Whispers and Tales' and 'Children of the Blitz', anthologies compiled by Westall, are represented (RW/04).

The collection includes several series of correspondence with literary agents, publishers and translators concerning editorial processes, illustrations and pre-publication production, and publicity material. Although focused on these subjects, correspondence also covers broader areas: specifically correspondence with school groups, correspondence concerning writing courses, correspondence with other writers and illustrators, and fan mail (RW/14).

Articles and speeches written by Westall on subjects relating to his published work and, more generally, children's literature, are also included (RW/05). Other series document Westall's early writings and later, unpublished work (RW/07, 08, 09).

Artwork pieces in several media created by Westall throughout his adult life, and occasionally used to illustrate pieces written by him, form a series within the collection (RW/10).

Examples of publicity material, including prizes and certificates awarded to Westall and press cuttings of articles and reviews concerning Westall's published work, are also included (RW/12). The collection also contains biographical ephemera, including an electric typewriter used by Westall, portraits of Westall by pupils of his and various documentary certificates and testimonials.

Administrative / Biographical History

Created by Robert Westall during the course of his career as a writer. Papers left at Westall's death were sorted by Lindy McKinnel and Laura Cecil prior to loan to Seven Stories. The collection also contains correspondence and related material pertaining to his literary estate, including books published after his death, royalties and rights correspondence. This catalogue was proof read by Lindy McKinnel, Laura Cecil and Val Bierman.

Conditions Governing Access

Accessible to all researchers, by appointment only.

Custodial History

The collection was promised on long term loan to Seven Stories, the Centre for Children's Books, in 2003. Papers were deposited in several batches between 2003 and 2008.

Subjects

Children's literature

Personal Names

Westall Robert Atkinson 1929-1993

Cataloguing Info

Title Robert Westall Collection
Author Seven Stories, the Centre for Children's Books
Publication Seven Stories, the Centre for Children's Books 15/03/2010
Edition Edition 1.0
Creation Finding aid created by export from CALM v8.0.1.36 Archives Hub EAD2002
Language Usage English
Revisions

Published Books

This material is held at Seven Stories, the Centre for Children's Books
Reference Number(s) GB 1840 RW/01
Dates of Creation 1975-2006
Physical Description 32 files

Scope and Content

Material documenting the production of Westall's longer published books. Files include preparatory notes, manuscript and typescript drafts, proofs and associated material. The series does not represent all of Westall's published books. Material relating to particular titles varies in quantity and may reflect different stages of the creative process, from manuscript drafts to annotated proofs. Material may also relate to separate editions of books; this has been noted when documents refer to anything other than the first edition. Later files frequently contain photocopies, faxes or other forms of facsimile, which may have one or more consecutive sets of manuscript editorial annotations and authorial revisions.

Since the series also represents material published after Westall's death, later files may contain original drafts by Westall and later revisions and related material created and compiled by Lindy McKinnel, Laura Cecil and various editors. Later files occasionally include related correspondence.

Arrangement

Files relating to a particular title have been arranged chronologically by date of first publication. Correspondence was occasionally arranged with drafts and associated material prior to donation to Seven Stories; where necessary, this order has been retained.

Subjects

Westall, Robert Atkinson, 1929-1993

'The Machine Gunners' draft material

This material is held at Seven Stories, the Centre for Children's Books
Reference Number(s) GB 1840 RW/01/01
Dates of Creation 1975
Physical Description 4 files

Scope and Content

Drafts and associated material relating to 'The Machine Gunners'.

Subjects

Westall, Robert Atkinson, 1929-1993

Titles

The Machine Gunners

'The Machine Gunners' notebook draft

This material is held at Seven Stories, the Centre for Children's Books
Reference Number(s) GB 1840 RW/01/01/01
Dates of Creation c 1975
Physical Description 99 ff.

Scope and Content

Partial manuscript draft written in black and red notebook. Inside front leaf states '?1 Reward for anyone returning this book to Westall, 20 Winnington Lane, Northwich'. With RW/01/01/02-03, forms complete handwritten manuscript draft.

Subjects

Westall, Robert Atkinson, 1929-1993

Titles

The Machine Gunners

'The Machine Gunners' notebook draft

This material is held at Seven Stories, the Centre for Children's Books
Reference Number(s) GB 1840 RW/01/01/02
Dates of Creation c 1975
Physical Description 34 ff.

Scope and Content

Partial manuscript draft written in Sir John Deane's Grammar School Arithmetic exercise book. Follows on from RW/01/01/01, and forms complete manuscript draft along with RW/01/01/03.

Subjects

Westall, Robert Atkinson, 1929-1993

Titles

The Machine Gunners

'The Machine Gunners' manuscript draft

This material is held at Seven Stories, the Centre for Children's Books
Reference Number(s) GB 1840 RW/01/01/03
Dates of Creation c 1975
Physical Description 130 ff.

Scope and Content

Partial loose manuscript draft; with RW/01/01/01-02, forms complete manuscript draft.

Subjects

Westall, Robert Atkinson, 1929-1993

Titles

The Machine Gunners

'The Machine Gunners' typescript draft

This material is held at Seven Stories, the Centre for Children's Books
Reference Number(s) GB 1840 RW/01/01/04
Dates of Creation c 1975
Physical Description 19 ff.

Scope and Content

Partial typescript draft. Contains some sections not featured in final published text. Comprised of two different typescripts (in different typefaces) which have been previously numbered as part of one continuous sequence. Mostly in same order as published text, although some sections have been reordered during editing process. Extensive marginal editorial annotations in pencil.

Subjects

Westall, Robert Atkinson, 1929-1993

Titles

The Machine Gunners

'The Watch House' research material

This material is held at Seven Stories, the Centre for Children's Books
Reference Number(s) GB 1840 RW/01/02
Dates of Creation 1977
Physical Description 2 files

Scope and Content

Notes and drafts relating to 'The Watch House'.

Subjects

Westall, Robert Atkinson, 1929-1993

Titles

The Watch House

'Brigade Station' notebook

This material is held at Seven Stories, the Centre for Children's Books
Reference Number(s) GB 1840 RW/01/02/01
Dates of Creation c 1977
Physical Description 22 ff.

Scope and Content

Early notes for 'The Watch House'.

Subjects

Westall, Robert Atkinson, 1929-1993

Titles

The Watch House

'Evidence Book'

This material is held at Seven Stories, the Centre for Children's Books
Reference Number(s) GB 1840 RW/01/02/02
Dates of Creation c 1977
Physical Description 38 ff.

Scope and Content

Contains account of the wreck of the 'Hoplite', taken from 19th century newspaper accounts, later used in 'The Watch House'. Approximately 5 ff. notes, mostly blank.

Subjects

Westall, Robert Atkinson, 1929-1993

Titles

The Watch House

'Fathom Five' notes

This material is held at Seven Stories, the Centre for Children's Books
Reference Number(s) GB 1840 RW/01/03
Dates of Creation 1979
Physical Description 5 ff.

Scope and Content

Typescript and manuscript preparatory notes for 'Fathom Five'.

Subjects

Westall, Robert Atkinson, 1929-1993

Titles

Fathom Five

'The Cats of Seroster' drafts

This material is held at Seven Stories, the Centre for Children's Books
Reference Number(s) GB 1840 RW/01/04
Dates of Creation c 1984
Physical Description 4 items

Scope and Content

File containing successive typescript drafts, titled 'The Cats of Moraswa'. Contains one complete typescript draft (photocopied) with manuscript corrections throughout and partial further typescript draft, containing corrected versions of chapters one and fifteen to twenty four. Also contains oversize photocopy of artwork by Westall illustrating the town of 'Moraswa'.

Subjects

Westall, Robert Atkinson, 1929-1993

Titles

The Cats of Seroster

'A Christmas Ghost'

This material is held at Seven Stories, the Centre for Children's Books
Reference Number(s) GB 1840 RW/01/05
Dates of Creation 1992
Physical Description 2 items (1 OS)

Scope and Content

Draft and proof of story titled 'The Tower'. The title changed to 'The Christmas Ghost' prior to publication.

Related Material

For original illustrations for 'A Christmas Ghost' by John Lawrence see JLa/01.

Subjects

Westall, Robert Atkinson, 1929-1993

Titles

The Christmas Ghost

'The Tower: a ghost story' typescript draft

This material is held at Seven Stories, the Centre for Children's Books
Reference Number(s) GB 1840 RW/01/05/01
Dates of Creation c 1992
Physical Description 25 ff.

Scope and Content

Typescript draft with manuscript alterations by Westall, with original title 'A Christmas Ghost' changed to 'The Tower: a ghost story'.

Subjects

Westall, Robert Atkinson, 1929-1993

Titles

The Christmas Ghost

'The Tower' proof

This material is held at Seven Stories, the Centre for Children's Books
Reference Number(s) GB 1840 RW/01/05/02
Dates of Creation c 1992
Physical Description 10 ff.

Scope and Content

A3 proof marked 'Author's set' with some manuscript alterations.

Subjects

Westall, Robert Atkinson, 1929-1993

Titles

The Christmas Ghost

'Gulf' proof

This material is held at Seven Stories, the Centre for Children's Books
Reference Number(s) GB 1840 RW/01/06
Dates of Creation 1992
Physical Description 109 ff.

Scope and Content

Photocopied marked up galley proof for American edition of 'Gulf' (1995, Scholastic).

Subjects

Westall, Robert Atkinson, 1929-1993

Titles

Gulf