Collection inventory

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Karen Lee Hunt Family Collection

An inventory of the collection at the Pan Am Flight 103/Lockerbie Air Disaster Archives at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: Cara A. Howe and Rachael Signy
Date: 2013


Karen Lee Hunt

Karen Lee Hunt (1968-1988) was among the 270 victims of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland on December 21, 1988. Karen was a Syracuse University junior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She majored in English with a minor in journalism and hoped to be a magazine writer. Karen wrote poetry and kept a journal that was returned to her family after the crash. During her stay in London Karen took great care to buy gifts for her family and friends. One gift of a teapot, bought for her mother Peggy, survived the crash. Karen Lee was a sister of the Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women and is remembered by family and friends as "a warm and caring person who embodied goodness" and had a "generous spirit." She was survived by her parents, Bob and Peggy, and a younger sister, Robyn.

Scope and Content Note

The Karen Lee Hunt Family Collection contains the series: Albums, Audiovisual material, Condolences, Correspondence, Photographs, and Subject files. The bulk of this collection contains reproductions unless otherwise noted.

Albums consists of a digital version of the newspaper clipping album that created by the Hunt family concerning the Pam Am Flight 103 disaster and Karen. The clippings are dated between 1988 and 2009.

Audiovisual material contains copies of Song For Karen, a tribute to Karen Lee Hunt and the other victims of Pan Am Flight 103 written by Richard Newbegin in 1991.

Condolences includes many of the letters and cards that the Hunt family received after Karen’s death. They range from family friends and relatives, to Karen’s friends from elementary, high school, and university.

Correspondence contains letters from David Johnston, Richard Newbegin, and Ella Ramsden. Ella Ramsden lived in Park Place in Lockerbie during the Lockerbie disaster. She was in her home when Pan Am 103 crashed and her roof was sheared off by the plane. A few years after the disaster Richard Newbegin’s mother moved to Lockerbie and became friends with Ella. When he came to visit his mother they went to Dryfesdale Cemetery where he saw Karen’s plaque. It was then that Richard Newbegin decided to write "Song For Karen." He was desperate to share the song with Karen’s family but had no way to contact them. His mother gave a copy to Ella. Around this time David Johnston, a Scottish police officer assigned to the Lockerbie disaster case came to see Ella to say goodbye as he was going home to Glasgow. David Johnston had been assigned to the Hunt family as their official contact. When he saw the tape and Ella Ramsden told him the story behind it he decided to take it back to the police station. It was soon decided that the family should know about the song and correspondence between Richard Newbegin and the Hunt family began.

Photographs includes portraits of Karen, some prom photos and a photo of a plaque located in Franklin Lake, NJ. There are also photos of Richard Newbegin and his family.

Subject Files there is one file located in this series that contains two sketches of Karen drawn by Margaret Paxton, of Alnwick England.

A significant portion of this collection consists of reproductions of original material held by the Hunt family.

Alternative Formats

Selected materials from this collection have been digitized. Please contact the archivist for further information on accessing these materials.


Access Restrictions:

There are no access restrictions for this collection.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from the Pan Am Flight 103 Archives and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

The Pan Am Flight 103 Archives contains additional materials and information related to the Karen Lee Hunt Family Collection. Related collections include:

On Eagle's Wings Collection

Pan Am Flight 103 Audiovisual Collection

Matthew Cox Papers

London 1988 Image Collection

Pan Am 103 Individuals Collection

Pan Am 103 Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women Collection

Remembrance Quilt Collection

Memorial websites have been created in Karen's honor since her death in 1988. Her parents recommend Remembering Karen Lee Hunt and Memorial for Karen Lee Hunt as resources. Neither of these websites is maintained by the Pan Am Flight 103/Lockerbie Air Disaster Archives or Syracuse University.

Selected Search Terms


Hunt, Karen Lee
Syracuse University -- History.
Syracuse University.


Pan Am Flight 103 Bombing Incident, 1988.
Terrorism -- Government Policy -- United States -- Case Studies.
Terrorism -- Government Policy -- United States -- History.
Terrorism -- Government Policy -- United States.
Terrorism -- History -- 20th Century.
Lockerbie (Scotland)

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Karen Lee Hunt Family Collection,
Pan Am Flight 103/Lockerbie Air Disaster Archives
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

The Karen Lee Hunt Family Collection was donated by her parents Robert and Peggy Hunt in 2009.

Processing Information

The Karen Lee Hunt Family Collection is processed.


The Karen Lee Hunt Family Collection is arranged alphabetically by series. Folders are arranged alphabetically within each series.

Table of Contents


Audiovisual material




Subject files