Eric Mottram dedicated his life to academia, serving as a lecturer in English and American Literature at King’s from 1960, before co-founding the Institute of United States Studies here just three years later.
Through his significant involvement, King’s became an important site for the British Poetry Revival. Valerie is keen to ensure that this legacy and its location at King’s continues for generations to come.
Giving the gift of time
Valerie has not only supported the Eric Mottram Archive, but she also volunteers there. Giving time is just as important to Valerie, ‘to make sure it’s presented at its best and is available to researchers, scholars and students’ all over the world.’
Valerie first worked on Professor Mottram’s archive in the late 1990s when his family gifted it to King’s. She had known him for around 20 years herself, giving her the ability to bring something unique and personal to the archive. It includes hundreds of cassette tapes of readings and interviews, plus most of his graduate lectures. Not to mention wonderful photographs – formal and informal – artworks and posters!
Valerie returned to the archive five years ago to continue the mammoth task of organising a collection that has the potential to influence, inspire and support researchers today.
As Valerie puts it, ‘This is the most amazing research source, rich in so many areas of 20th-century American and British poetry and literature, correspondence between Eric and virtually every poet of note in that period.’