Archive Collection SC - Chaplin (Sid) Archive

Identity area

Reference code



Chaplin (Sid) Archive


  • 1841-1990 (Creation)

Level of description

Archive Collection

Extent and medium

92 Boxes (17.5 linear metres)

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Mainly deposited by the family of Sid Chaplin, Newcastle upon Tyne, 1997- 1999.

Other items deposited: SC 8/1: Newcastle University Library purchased from Cohn Huggett, Gwynedd in Feb 1995; SC 8/2: Obtained from the collection at the Scottish Mining Museum Trust, Lady Victoria Colliery, Midlothian and deposited by Mrs Rene Chaplin, Oct 1998; SC 7/3/7: Mr T Kelly, Blaydon, Aug 1999; SC 8/3: Mr K Pope, Newcastle upon Tyne, Sep 1999

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Papers relating to Sid Chaplin's writing career and other involvements throughout his life. Typescripts of published novels, short stories, poetry, plays and articles; typescripts of unpublished novels, short stories, poetry, plays and articles; working drafts of typescripts, published typeset copies; television and radio dramatisations; diaries 1930-1985, notebooks 1930-1984; newspaper cuttings; correspondence 1939-1990, in particular correspondence with David Higham Associates 1949-1989, BBC 1947-1987, various publishers: Phoenix House 1946-1962, Eyre and Spottiswoode 1959-1978, Pergamon Press and Ben Owen 1950-1984, Alan Plater 1963-1985, Alex Glasgow 1970-1982, Stan Barstow 1961-1984, Basil Bunting 1983-1984, Norman Nicholson 1950-[1982], John Bate 1944-1985, various Russian and French correspondence, particularly with Professor Valentina Ivashova 1964-1985; material relating to the English Speaking Union of America trip to USA, 1955 and subsequent correspondence with Dorothy Goodfellow 1960-1985.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

The papers have been left in the main in the order received. The material was randomly arranged and although its original order has been retained for the most part, files of the same series have been placed together. SC 1/1-1/5 Published novels, short stories, articles and poetry 1939-1987 SC 2/1-2/3 Unpublished novels, short stories, articles and plays 1938-1986 SC 3/1-3/3 Radio, television and theatre dramatisations 1946-1981 SC 4 Newspaper cuttings, research material and miscellaneous files [19461-1987 SC 5 Personal and miscellaneous files 1946-1990 SC 6/1-6/2 Diaries and notebooks [1930s]-1985 SC 7/1-7/3 Correspondence 1939-1990 SC 8 Extraneous miscellaneous 1948-1975

The correspondence (SC 7/1-7/3) was generally loose and unfiled to any significant extent, although kept in some chronological order. It has now been rearranged by the archivist to reflect its chronological order. There had been some attempt to extract letters from particular persons and this system has been continued. Thus the series of correspondence arranged by individuals (SC 7/2) now follows the series of general correspondence (SC 7/1).

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Open with some restrictions (researcher interview may be required)

Conditions governing reproduction

Ownership and copyright of most of the papers remains with the Chaplin family and permission will need to be sought for reproduction of significant amounts of material and for any publication.

Language of material

  • English
  • German
  • Russian

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle upon Tyne

The Day of the Sardine [play-prompt copy of the first performance] The Thin Seam [revised typescript] Close the Coalhouse Door [revised typescript with reworked proofs, working papers of Alan Plater and correspondence with Sid Chaplin and Alex Glasgow] in the Northern Arts Manuscript Collection; Letters from Sid Chaplin to Tom Pickard and to Connie Pickard, 1965-1970 in the Morden Tower correspondence.

Publication note

The Making of a Working-class Writer: an Interview with Sid Chaplin , in The British Working Class Novel in the Twentieth Century , edited by Jeremy Hawthorne (London: Arnold, 1984) Stephenson, George, Sid Chaplin , Newcastle Life , January 1969. Standen, Michael, Prodigal Sons , Stand , x, 3.

Notes area


National Coal Board material

Material relating to Sid Chaplin's position as writer and later Public Relations Officer at the National Coal Board is represented by some original magazine articles within the first deposit and photocopies of the articles, deposited in 1998. Little correspondence is extant, except from personal acquaintances.

Alternative identifier(s)

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Description control area

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Level of detail


Dates of creation revision deletion




Archivist's note

This catalogue was created by Sally Cholewa, Archivist and at Newcastle University Special Collections in 2014.

Accession area