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LC - Lee Child Archive

Reference code
Level of description
Lee Child Archive
Quantity & Format
157 boxes
(approximately 26 linear metres) Mixed
Personal name
Child, Lee
Authors, English -- 20th century
Detective and mystery stories
Crime writing
Child, Lee
Administrative/Biographical history
Born James Grant in Coventry and raised in Birmingham, Lee Child now lives in New York and Wyoming. His Jack Reacher series was described by Forbes as ‘The Strongest Brand in Publishing’. With nearly two hundred million copies of his books available in fifty-one languages, two film adaptations and an Amazon streaming TV series, Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels make up one of the most successful book series in print.

Child, who has been, at various times, a law student, a stage manager and a union organiser, became an author at the age of 40 after an eighteen-year career producing TV in Britain. During his tenure his company made Brideshead Revisited, The Jewel in the Crown, Prime Suspect, and Cracker. Lee is the recipient of many awards, most recently Author of the Year at the 2019 British Book Awards. He was appointed CBE for services to literature in 2019.

The Jack Reacher series has attracted a global following along with literary prizes and critical acclaim – all of which are testament to Child’s skills as an author and his championing of the thriller form.

Unlike many contemporary series that depict the evolving personal life of a protagonist who ages from novel to novel, Child refuses to develop Reacher's biographical narrative arc. A further break from tradition is the peripatetic nature of his series, which sees Reacher rove across the varied topographies of the USA and Europe. Freedom of movement has allowed Child, in his fiction, to document America’s often-overlooked hinterland of prairies, small towns, highways, motels, diners, in all their varied iterations. Close attention to place/setting is a striking feature of Child’s work, as is the writing itself, with his signature style of precise, assured and rhythmic prose.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
The collection was deposited in the Archives in July 2018.
Scope and content
The Lee Child Archive consists of handwritten manuscript and annotated typescript drafts and proofs of published works, personal and professional correspondence, notebooks, photographs, clippings, and personal business papers from the novelist and short story writer, Lee Child. These professional papers and correspondence document Child’s writing career and his range of creative output including novels; short stories; journalism; essays; lectures; scripts for television and screenplays.

The papers are organised into 20 series:

1 Novels
2 Short stories
3 Screenplays, television scripts and treatments
4 Journalism
5 Publishing correspondence
6 Marketing
7 Publicity
8 Other professional correspondence
9 Notes (including literary notes)
10 Fan letters
11 Conferences, events and tours
12 Research
13 Memorabilia
14 Third party works
15 Personal correspondence
16 Personal business papers
17 Travel, including hotels and sports and cultural events
18 Photographs
19 Digital and audio visual media
20 Printed ephemera

Scope notes for each of these series can be found at the corresponding series level record.

The materials arrived at the University of East Anglia’s British Archive for Contemporary Writing in large archive boxes in the Summer of 2018. These numbered 40 in total and were later decanted into smaller archival quality boxes. Currently this totals 157 boxes with further accruals expected. A small exhibition from the archive was shared as part of the international crime writing festival, NOIRWICH 2018, held in September of that year.

In 2019 and early 2020, LC’s authorised biographer, Heather Martin, was given privileged access to the archive. All material, which was at that time unsorted and unprocessed, was manually checked for third party sensitive personal data. Cataloguing was due to commence in March 2020, following conclusion of this dedicated effort towards the biography.

Due to an extensive closure period during the global pandemic (Covid 19), cataloguing has been delayed. At launch only some tranches of material are available to view. A concerted effort is now underway to complete the cataloguing. An indicative schedule is provided below. Please email archives@uea.ac.uk for further information.


From 12 April 2022, series LC/1 (Novels); LC/2 (Short stories); LC/3 (Screenplays, television scripts and treatments) and LC/10 (Fan letters) are available for consultation by UEA staff and students by prior appointment.

From the end of June 2022, the above series will be available for consultation by external visitors by prior appointment.

Further series: LC/5 (Publishing Correspondence) and extracts from LC/6 (Marketing) and LC/7 (Publicity) will be available for consultation on that date.
Conditions governing access
All requests for access must be emailed to archives@uea.ac.uk

Some material is closed under data protection regulations.
Conditions governing reproduction
Copyright is owned by LC or third parties. It does not belong to UEA. All rights are reserved.

Copying of material is prohibited without permission of the copyright owner. Under UK copyright law, a small amount of copying, under fair dealing, is permitted for private research on completion of a copyright declaration form. The amount of copying must be checked by Archives staff. It is not permitted to publish or share this material without permission of the copyright holder.
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