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J.G. Ballard archive acquired for British Library

11th June 2010

Acclaimed author J.G. Ballard's archive has been bought for the nation and will go on display at the British Library.

Comprising 15 large boxes of manuscripts, notebooks and letters, the archive was acquired via the Acceptance in Lieu scheme, which allows taxpayers to transfer important heritage objects into public ownership while paying Inheritance Tax. In this instance the acceptance of the Ballard archive satisfied GBP 350,000 of tax.

Ballard, whose works include Empire of the Sun and Kingdom Come, passed away in April 2009 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

He told his daughters Fay and Bea that he wished his manuscripts to be stored at the British Library.

The full archive is expected to be opened to the public from summer 2011, but two pages from a draft version of Crash will be on display from today.

'It's hugely exciting that the British Library has acquired the pre-eminent archive of one of Britain's most consistently inventive and thoughtful writers: J.G. Ballard,' said Jamie Andrews, head of modern library manuscripts at the institution.

The Acceptance in Lieu Scheme is now in its 100th year and has helped the British Library acquire the archives of a number of acclaimed authors including Ted Hughes, John Berger and Harold Pinter.

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