12 November 2013
We have recently been fortunate enough to be given a letter that Jim Ede wrote in 1964, in response to a thank you note from an undergraduate who had visited Kettle’s Yard. In typical style, Jim expresses concern about whether he really is providing pleasure to others through his endeavours at Kettle’s Yard, and draws strength from the expression of gratitude. He ends the letter ‘Do come in as often as you like – the place is only alive when used’.
This is very true of the house, but equally true of the archive. The core of the archive at Kettle’s Yard is Jim Ede’s personal papers, which formed part of his gift to the University of Cambridge in 1966. These document his interactions with artists and other key figures throughout his life; the development of the House and its collections; and the ongoing work of Kettle’s Yard as a leading centre for modern and contemporary art. It is a rich and fascinating resource, but only of any real value if it is used.
I joined Kettle’s Yard as Archivist a couple of months ago, and one of my main tasks over the next 2 years is to develop a digital catalogue of the archival collections at Kettle’s Yard. This will be a significant step towards making them more available, both for researchers and for use throughout our programme of activities. Do keep an eye on the blog for updates, and for pictures of items from the archive.
And do come in as often as you like.