UCL Grand Challenges


Lost and Found: A European Literary Map of London

The launch event on 24th October in the South Cloisters, marked the opening of the public exhibition.

Lost and Found public Exhibition is in the South Cloisters from 25th October to 31st May

24 October 2023


Grant: Ad-hoc support
Year awarded: 2022-23
Amount awarded: £7,500

Partners & Supporters 

  • EUNIC London  
  • European Literature Network
  • The Delegation of the European Union to the United Kingdom 
  • Jean Monnet Actions under the EU's Erasmus+ Programme
  • UCL Innovation & Enterprise  
  • UCL London Office 
  • UCL Grand Challenges 
  • UCL Global

Curated by UCL European Institute and the Faculty of Arts and Humanities with UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, the Lost and Found: A European Literacy Map of London interactive, online map features more than 70 entries in over 20 European languages and allows the user to explore London through the eyes of Europe’s writers, artists, and intellectuals, through the ages.  

The launch event on 24th November in the South Cloisters, marked the opening of the public exhibition. Attendees had an opportunity to explore the exhibition, learn more about the online map and hear from four brilliant speakers, who have greatly supported the project and related projects such as the Writer in Residency programme: 

  • His Excellency Pedro Serrano, EU Ambassador to the United Kingdom 
  • Professor Alan Thompson, Pro Provost (London) and Dean of the Faculty of Brain Sciences  
  • Rosie Goldsmith, Director of the European Literature Network
  • Lucy Shackleton, UCL European Institute 

The Lost & Found: Mapping European Literary Exhibition is open to the public from 25th October 2023 to 31st May 2024 in the South Cloisters. The online interactive map is available and encourages viewers to reflect critically or playfully, on the role of the city as a place where journeys and languages intersect; where people and cultures meet and are transformed. It can be explored by theme, by language, by free word search or (soon) by genre or historial period.

The project team is actively looking to expand and diversify the entries on the map, by finding passages by authors from diverse or under-represented groups. At present, there is an over-representation of white, male writers that risks reinforcing Europe’s historic and enduring inequalities. The team behind the European Literary Map of London are actively seeking to address this. See their call for contributions and submit an entry here.

Writer in Residency Programme has been developed in partnership with EUNIC London, the European Literature Network and the Delegation of the European Union to the United Kingdom. UCL will be selecting a European writer to spend up to four weeks at UCL in Spring 2024, to produce new writing on London engaging with one or more of the map's themes, and to run a small number of bespoke sessions with UCL students and school students from surrounding schools. This project will also link in with the European Writers' Festival, taking place on 18th - 19th May 2024. Priority will be given to writers from diverse or otherwise under-represented groups. 

Their vision is that the map, and associated projects, will not only be an illustration of London’s enduring relevance for European culture, but will also help to diversify how we collectively imagine and understand both London and Europe.

Outputs and Impact