Posted: Sun 16th Jun 2024

Gladstone’s Library welcomes prestigious diamond dagger award to its archives

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden, has become home to a prestigious silver crime writing award.

The Gladstone’s team has announced the addition of the esteemed Diamond Dagger Award to its archives, marking a significant milestone for the library and crime writing enthusiasts alike.

The Diamond Dagger itself was designed by Cartier and consists of a silver book with the names of past winners engraved into the pages and a diamond-encrusted dagger plunged into it.

First awarded to Eric Ambler in 1986, it has been bestowed upon giants of British crime writing history, including P. D. James, John le Carré, Ruth Rendell, and, most recently, Lynda La Plante and James Lee Burke.

Alexandra Foulds, the Archivist at Gladstone’s Library, expressed her excitement, stating, “The Diamond Dagger Award is one of the most respected accolades in the literary world, celebrating the enduring impact of crime writers whose work has left an indelible mark on the genre. The Dagger awards are such a symbol of crime writing that they have not only been awarded to some of the most famous authors of the genre but they have also featured in their works; the Golden Dagger is used as the attempted murder weapon in Anthony Horowitz’s 2016 novel Magpie Murders and its BBC TV adaptation.”

Martin Edwards, winner of the Diamond Dagger in 2020 and appointed Archivist for the CWA, remarked, “For any crime writer, winning the Diamond Dagger is a pinnacle of one’s career. It means a lot to me and, I know, the other recipients. I can’t imagine any better setting for this wonderful award than Gladstone’s Library and I’m so glad that the Diamond Dagger now has the perfect home.”

[Martin Edwards]

The Diamond Dagger will be added to the CWA archive at Gladstone’s Library on a 15-year loan agreement.

The archive offers a comprehensive record of the CWA’s activities from its inception in 1953 to the present, including membership lists, committee meeting minutes, correspondence, photographs, publications, and newsletters.

Alongside the Library’s Detection Club Archive, also on a 15-year loan, it serves as an invaluable resource for researchers, writers, and crime writing enthusiasts.

Louisa Yates, the Director of Collections and Research at Gladstone’s Library, highlighted the significance of the addition, saying, “The addition of the Diamond Dagger Award to the Crime Writers’ Association Archive is a testament to Gladstone’s Library’s ongoing partnership with the Crime Writers’ Association.

“Given the love of our founder, William Gladstone, for the popular literature of his time, it feels appropriate for the Library’s collections to reflect one of the most popular contemporary genres of fiction through the Crime Writers’ Association Archive.”

“At Gladstone’s Library, the Diamond Dagger will be available for researchers to request to view and will be made available to the public in regular exhibitions, most notably as part of our annual crime writing festival Alibis in the Archive.”

The Diamond Dagger was displayed for the first time on June 8 as part of this year’s Alibis in the Archive event, featuring in an exhibition about the history of the award and its winners alongside other items from the CWA archive.

Alexandra Foulds noted, “We’re very happy to be able to make this icon of crime writing history accessible for the first time by adding it to our collections. Having it here greatly enhances the depth of the CWA archive.“

The Dagger Awards are such a core part of the association’s activities that they are consistently referenced throughout the archive, and now having the award itself puts these documents in greater context. ”

“It’s also just a beautiful item to have in the collections. Archives always contain fragments of our history, and when you look at the Diamond Dagger you feel like you are looking at a piece of literary history. It’s quite amazing to behold.”

Andrea Russell, Warden at Gladstone’s Library, shared her enthusiasm, stating, “As a big fan of crime writing, I’m thrilled to have the Diamond Dagger here at Gladstone’s Library and to have displayed it at this year’s Alibis in the Archive.”

“Alibis is a highlight of the Library’s event calendar. Like all our events, the weekend was filled with enthusiasm for new writing and new ideas, bringing new faces into the Library.”

“I’m sure that the Diamond Dagger will attract new, diverse audiences to Gladstone’s Library and help us to spread the word about who we are and the important work that we are doing to preserve Britain’s heritage.”

Tickets for next year’s Alibis in the Archive crime writing festival will go on sale in December.

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