The Collections

We looked at a range of collections from both archives. Primarily the material at Cornwall Record Office was intended to inspire ideas for creative practice, whereas the University Archives provided documents which demonstrated the practice and process of screenwriting.

Archives and Special Collections at UCF and UoECC

Sarah Showing Items from the Nick Darke Collection

Nick Darke Collection

Archive and Special Collections at Tremough Campus is a joint service managed by Archivist, Sarah C. Jane. The archives are open to students, staff and members of the public by appointment. See the pages at UCF for details.

The collections that we used were the archives of Nicke Darke, one of Cornwall’s best known playwrights, and local novelist, Patrick Gale.

Patrick Gale Collection

Patrick Gale Collection

Nick Darke’s collection contains preparatory work and scripts for his 30 plays, along with publicity, promotional material, photographs and correspondence.  Nick’s work for television, film and radio is also well represented. The Archive was kindly deposited by Nick’s widow, Jane, who continues to be involved with the collection and its use. For more information about Nick’s life and work please visit

The Gale collection traces the development of the author’s novels, from inital research materials, notes on character and plot development and draft manuscripts, through to promotional materials such as book jackets and television and radio interviews. Treatments and screenplays where films based on Gale’s novels have been commissioned, but never made, are also included.

Cornwall Record Office

Tresures from Cornwall Record Office

Treasures at Cornwall Record Office

Cornwall Record Office (CRO) was established by Cornwall County Council in 1951 and cares for the largest archive collection in the county, with environmentally-controlled strongrooms holding over four miles of records, dating from the 12th century to the present day. See the website for more details.

The collections that we looked at included treasures such as an Ecclesiastical Calendar from 1462, Nineteenth-century plans of Madron Workhouse, Medieval Doodles from Churchwarden’s Accounts dated 1494, and a Second World War Civil Defence Map marked… “secret”!

The Oldest Documents at Cornwall Record Office

The Oldest Documents at Cornwall Record OfficeMap Showing the Carrick RoadsMap Showing the Carrick Roads

Map Showing the Carrick Roads

Map Showing the Carrick Roads

One Response to The Collections

  1. Sarah C Jane says:

    In working on the Nick Darke Archive with Nick’s widow, Jane, we have just come across something really interesting for this project. In one of the 80+ rough notebooks that Nick used for note taking and the early development of his ideas, we came across notes he took from a research visit to the Cornwall Record Office c1991. In looking at the records of the Rural Sanitray Authority, Nick was taken with the idea of the ‘Inspector of Nuisances’, in particular the case of a dead horse that was buried too shallow. The Inspector and the horse later featured as characters in Nick’s play The Bogus.

    So a great example, from a writer’s archvie, of how archives can be used to inspire creative writing! (Notebook ref CPA1/241)