Gloucestershire Archive Project : F.W. Harvey Collection

15th June 2012.  The Society has helped the family of F.W. Harvey establish a long term loan of letters, manuscripts and papers to Gloucestershire Archives to help establish a ‘F.W. Harvey Collection’ accessible to the public and scholars. Prior to refurbishment of High View the family discovered a treasure of documents and have decided these should be preserved and made accessible at Gloucestershire Archives. As a result of discussions between the Harvey family, the F.W. Harvey Society, Gloucestershire Archives and the University of Exeter, the papers of F.W. Harvey will be deposited on permanent loan at Gloucestershire Archives and held in a collection.

The cataloguing of the collection will be a mammoth task made possible through a post-graduate scholarship awarded by Exeter University and supervised by Professor Tim Kendall. With the enthusiastic support and help of the Society, the project will be a collaborative effort between the Archives and the University of Exeter to catalogue the papers, make them publicly accessible, and use them as the subject of a full-length doctoral thesis which will do justice to the many strands of Harvey’s achievement. A crucial aim of this research project is to produce a comprehensive online catalogue of the archive material.

The archive comprises a vast amount of unpublished material: several thousand separate items. These include the manuscripts and typescripts of unpublished poems, scrapbooks kept throughout the poet’s adult life, a novel, correspondence with important poets and composers such as Ivor Gurney, Marion Scott and Herbert Howells, items relating to Harvey’s detention in a German prisoner-of-war camp (including letters from fellow POWs), unpublished essays, scripts of BBC broadcasts made by Harvey between 1935 and 1956, diaries, drafts of poems, and materials relating to Harvey’s interest in the Distributist movement.

Head of Gloucestershire Archives, Heather Forbes has said: Gloucestershire Archives’ main purpose is to preserve the recorded heritage of the county and its communities and I am very pleased that through this partnership project we will ensure that the records of such a remarkable local man are preserved safely and made accessible for present and future researchers. In August 2012 the studentship was awarded to Grant Repshire – see event below.

Exeter University has created a page for all its REACT projects; here is the link the FW Harvey project: