The content of the archive reflects Grevel Lindop's wide range of interests and activities, and documents his entire career as poet, editor, literary critic, reviewer, literary scholar, short fiction and travel writer. Of particular interest is the general literary correspondence, which spans a thirty-two year period and features an array of eminent poets, editors, publishers and literary critics, as well as artists, Buddhist monks, journalists, folklorists and others. The subject matter of the correspondence encompasses the whole range of Lindop's work, but poetry is particularly well represented. Fellow poets with whom Lindop corresponded include Simon Armitage, Neil Astley, Gillian Clarke, Brian Cox, Neil Curry, William Cookson, Robert Crawford, Dick Davis, John Heath-Stubbs, Jeremy Hooker, Elizabeth Jennings, Peter Levi, Chris McCully, Christopher Middleton, Paul Mills, John Mole, Bernard O'Donoghue, Tom Paulin, Christopher Reid, Anne Ridler, Peter Russell, Peter Sansom, Michael Schmidt, Anne Stevenson, Tambimuttu, R.S. Thomas, John Wain, Clive Wilmer and David Wright. The genesis and development of Lindop's own poetry can be traced through a series of notebooks and drafts of poems; these form a continuous sequence spanning his career as a poet since 1967 and include work published in all of his major collections. There is also a small quantity of published pamphlets and literary magazines which contain work by Lindop, including some very early poems which never appeared in any of his later collections; some of the magazines - such as copies of Carcanet from the 1960s, and Caret from the 1970s - also contain early work by other poets who are now established names.
His twenty-year literary friendship with Kathleen Raine is well documented through correspondence, as well as papers relating to Lindop's work on her Collected poems and a tribute to Raine he edited for PN Review in 2000; a number of well-known writers contributed to the latter, and the archive contains letters and contributions from figures such as John Heath-Stubbs, Peter Redgrove and Anne Ridler.
Closely related to his correspondence with Raine is a body of material generated by Lindop during his involvement with the Temenos Academy as editor of Temenos Academy Review and as Director, which document the way the Academy was run, its programme and agenda, and its relationships with other organizations - notably the Prince's Foundation.
The largest body of material in the archive relates to the monumental edition, The works of Thomas De Quincey, of which Lindop was the General Editor, co-ordinating and international team of eleven other editors. It includes papers relating to funding for the project, the co-ordination of the work of the other editors, the meticulous and exhaustive research undertaken by the editors to track down manuscripts and published work by De Quincey, the editorial principles of the edition and the preparation of the text for publication. It provides a fascinating case study of a major scholarly editing project.
Some of Lindop's other publications are also represented in the archive: there are some papers relating to the preparation of his edition of Robert Graves's The white goddess (which complement letters from members of the Graves family included among Lindop's correspondence); there are research files and other background material generated during his work on A literary guide to the Lake District; and a small quantity of material relating to his long poem on the life of the Buddha, Touching the Earth - a work which is widely commented on by Lindop's correspondents.
In addition to these papers generated in Lindop's capacity as a writer and editor, there is also a grouping of family papers, comprised of letters he sent home to his parents and brother during the late 1960s and 1970s which document his life at Oxford and subsequently in Manchester.
Overall Grevel Lindop's rich and varied archive will be of value to researchers working in a wide range of fields and with a broad range of research interests. Every aspect of Lindop's own work is represented here, and the archive is also particularly strong in the areas of recent and contemporary poetry and scholarly editing. Other strengths include: the life and work of Kathleen Raine; the work of De Quincey; writing of the Romantic era; poetry publishing, editing and reviewing; travel writing; the Lake District and its literary associations; Buddhism, other religions and spirituality; and the work of the Temenos Academy.