Reflecting on Lucey

In encountering a personal archive it is often hard to anticipate how ‘personal’ the content contained within may be. Boxes upon boxes of documents and photographs, from an exterior perspective, can look like an overwhelming number of hours spent sorting and organising. However, to the archivist every box is a puzzle piece eventually helping to create an image of the creator.

In our journey through the archive of Eric Lucey we were quickly able to begin to gather a picture of the kind of person he was, mostly through the help of his personal autobiographical notes. In all reality our time spent researching Eric Lucey so far has been extremely short, however it is surpirsing how well we have gotten to know him. With the help of the staff at the Edinburgh University Library Archive we have heard countless stories of Lucey and his collegues, had unlimited access to his proffessional and personal archive and had the incredible oppertunity to be the first people to read/watch through some of his work. We have been offered an incredible oppertunity, to be able to explore through the life of a man who not many know of.

The scope of Lucey’s work is so incredibly diverse and wide, its incredible to be able to explore even a small section of it. It is clear when researching the life of Eric Lucey that his work is one that needs care into preserving and maintaining. Hopefully through the work we and others have been doing with Lucey’s archive he will become a name more regularly spoken of.

Encountering Eric

As I approached Jules in the Reading Room of the University of Edinburgh’s library archive, I noticed two tables with a series of boxes. Without saying anything Jules pointed to the seat next to her where she had already placed a file for me to leaf through.  In that small moment I had no idea what I was about to encounter.

Flicking through the pages I was first fronted with a series of cartoon drawings that had been drawn on a see-through plastic ready for projection. Accompanying this a small series of notes, with rough sketches outlining the contents of each cartoon, what appeared to be an academic copy of a symposium on a subject discussing climate change/population growth and several paper cuttings from various publications all discussing a recent talk from Edinburgh University academic C. H. Waddington. It is clear to see that when it came to his work and also the work of his colleagues within the Animal Genetics Department at the University of Edinburgh, Lucey had enormous passion and pride.

Searching through the series of photos taken by Lucey and by others within the Film Unit  in the Animal Genetics department it is clear to see the dedication that Lucey put into his research. Shot lists compiled by Lucey were extraordinarily detailed, storyboards created showed his pure creative talent; files upon files of letters, drawings, clippings, photos and art. I quickly became immersed in his sheer dedication to the craft.

While rifling through photos of Eric Lucey at work I became astounded by the luck of my own encounter with him. I thought ahead to the coming weeks and the oppertunity I have to immerse myself fully within his work.