Title: Michael Bateman Archive
Classmark: MS 1794
Main language: English; Spanish
Size and medium: 30 boxes, 16 scrapbooks, roll of posters; ms. papers, magazines, newspaper cuttings, newspapers, pamphlets, photographs, ts. papers, diaries, maps, cassette tapes, 3 1/2 inch floppy discs, postcards, artwork, video tape
Collection group(s): Cookery Collection
Collection covering Michael Bateman's work as a journalist and writer. Journalistic work from the late 1950s up to 2003 is covered in a series of scrapbooks with press cuttings pasted in, and substantial series of files of research and drafts. The collection also covers books written, or contributed to, by Bateman, from the mid 1960s up to 2002. Later books, including 'Street Cafe Brazil' and 'World of Spice' are covered in great detail.
Although Bateman was known primarily as a food writer and journalist, his earlier work and juvenilia covers a wide range of subjects, including creative writing. A further series titled 'log books' covers Bateman's own life writing over several decades.
The collection also includes correspondence (often relating to his work), sketches and artwork (Bateman occaisionally illustrated articles), photographs and photograph albums, appointment diaries, address books, multimedia and substantial ephemera relating to his work.
Michael Bateman is one of the most ground breaking and pioneering food writers of recent times. He was one of the first individuals to write about food as a topic of interest, beginning at a time, the 1950s, when food was not considered interesting. After reading English at Oxford and doing his National Service in Hong Kong, where he first became interested in cooking, Bateman began to write about food in regional newspapers, beginning with the Durham Advertiser. His first book, Cooking People, was a series of interviews with leading chefs and food writers of the 1960s, such as Elizabeth David. His flair for journalism soon took him to Fleet Street during the 1970s where he wrote food features for The Sunday Times and then progressed to Editor of the magazine’s ‘Lifespan’ section. It was here that Bateman’s food writing became influential. His work was highly investigative and educational, such as exposing how additives had infected the nation’s diet and health. Importantly though, his journalism was accessible and characterised by his dry tone which made him much-loved by his peers. Not only did Bateman want to inform his readership, he also wanted to reform the processes of food manufacture. His nutritional work for The Sunday Times culminated in ‘The Campaign for Real Bread’ in the 1980s, where Bateman fought for a return to the stone-ground wholemeal loaf as the national staple, and sullied the refined and chemicalized, commercial slice-white.
Bateman continued with this style of food writing and became Deputy Editor of The Sunday Express Magazine in 1983, where he nurtured young food writers such as Sophie Grigson. He then became the Food Editor of the Independent on Sunday magazine when it launched in 1989. Alongside nutritional journalism, Bateman was known for writing in-depth articles on particular ingredients of interest, such as chilli and Saffron, always doing heavy research in order to best inform his readership. In order to write authoritatively about life in a kitchen, Bateman did an unpaid apprenticeship with Gordon Ramsey, before Ramsey became famous. Such research and writing continued up until the early 2000s when Bateman was involved in a traffic accident outside him home in Norfolk. He died three years later, survived by his second wife Heather, six children and numerous books.
Collection acquired from Heather Bateman.
Arrangement follows Bateman's own filing systems where possible.
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Books, manuscripts and archives in Special Collections are usually grouped together in collections. Catalogue records for individual objects link to a collection record, which show the object's context, and associated material.
You can see the full hierarchy under 'In this collection'.
Catalogues of archives are usually arranged in hierarchies - one hierarchy for each collection in the archive. The details on display will be of a record at a particular level of the hierarchy. There may be other records above, below, or alongside this record in the same hierarchy. You can see the full hierarchy under 'In this collection'.