Berlie Doherty Collection

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 1840 BD
  • Dates of Creation
      c 1956-2009
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      23 archive boxes + 2 OS folders

Scope and Content

Archive created by Berlie Doherty during the course of her career as a writer, from the 1980s to 2005. The collection contains manuscripts, typescripts, draft material and related correspondence for 36 of her published works for children and for both of her adult novels. The collection also includes drafts and related material for several plays and radio broadcasts, and drafts of around 140 poems for adults and children, some apparently unpublished. The material in the collection constitutes a complete record of Doherty's career as a writer, and provides information on all aspects of writing, editing and publishing books for children during the period covered. The material documents in some detail the creative process of developing novels from the first idea through to the finished book, as well as documenting the process of adapting novels into film or radio scripts and vice versa. The collection also documents the collaborative process of producing story books and picture books written by Doherty and illustrated by other people. In addition to recording the creative process, the material records the administrative and financial aspects of drawing up contracts, negotiating royalties and controlling rights in published works.

Administrative / Biographical History

Created by Berlie Doherty during the course of her career as a writer.


As far as possible, Doherty's original system of arrangement has been maintained. The collection is arranged into nine series, with the first six constituting drafts and related material divided according to type - novels; story books; picture books; short stories; poetry; drama and radio plays. General correspondence, biographical material and printed copies of some of Doherty's books donated with the collection form the final three series in the catalogue. Further information can be found at series level.

Access Information

Accessible to all researchers, by appointment only.

Appraisal Information

All duplicate material has been removed from the collection. In addition, book reviews and pro-forma letters from classes of school children have been weeded, with a representative sample being retained and the rest returned to the donor. A full list of all weeded items is available on request.

Custodial History

Donated to Seven Stories by the creator in 2006. A second, smaller accrual of material was donated in 2009.

Personal Names