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University of Cambridge

Open: Tuesday–Sunday, 11am–5pm

We are closed on Bank Holiday Mondays

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Archive & Library

Kettle’s Yard Archive

At the heart of the archive at Kettle’s Yard are Jim Ede’s personal papers, which formed part of his gift to the University of Cambridge in 1966. These document the wide range of influences throughout Ede’s life, from his experience of World War I, through the ‘open house’ the Ede’s kept in Hampstead in the late 1920s and early 1930s, and the vibrant set who attended their parties; the weekend retreats for servicemen on leave from Gibraltar at the Ede’s house in Tangier at the end of World War II; the ‘lecturer in search of an audience’ who travelled to the US in the early 1940s; to the prolific correspondence not just with artist friends, but other notable figures such as T E Lawrence; and the development of Kettle’s Yard and its collections.

We are working to improve access to the archive and support research by producing a digital catalogue of the collections. This is a work in progress and more detailed descriptions are added on a regular basis.

The archive also includes a number of collections related to Kettle’s Yard and its artists, including the papers of Elisabeth Vellacott, correspondence from Helen Sutherland to Kathleen Raine, and from Ben Nicholson to Margaret Gardiner.

Letters between Jim Ede and Alfred Wallis

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The Library

The library in the Kettle’s Yard house is based upon Jim Ede’s personal collection of books and reflect his interests in art, poetry, religion, philosophy and other subjects. There are more recent additions to the art section.

It is not a lending library, however, all visitors are invited to sit and read at the library table. We also have a changing archive resource. There are often books related to the current exhibition available to consult in the Research Space.


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