Archives & Library

Archive Collections

The Centre holds and provides access to archive material relating to the study of British art and architectural history. The collections contain the research papers of art historians, museum directors and curators; dealers; art critics, collectors and other individuals working in the field of art history.

Kerry Downes

Thirty-six boxes, one large envelope and one framed photograph. This collection has not yet been catalogued but a boxlist is available. (Ref KJD)

The archive comprises material created and collected by Downes from his time as an undergraduate until the end of his life and reflects both his academic career and his personal life. Much of the material relates specifically to his teaching, research and published works on English baroque architectural history, particularly the architecture of Nicholas Hawksmoor, Sir Christopher Wren and Sir John Vanbrugh. There are many files containing Downes’s research notes and lecture texts. Most notably, the archive includes extensive correspondence with many of the UK’s leading architectural historians of the post-war period. The archive includes correspondence, photographs, published books and articles, cuttings, research notes, diaries and personal papers.

Kerry John Downes (1930–2019) was a British architectural historian and author. He studied at the Courtauld Institute where he was awarded his PhD on Nicholas Hawksmoor in 1960. From 1958 until 1966 he was Assistant Librarian at the Barber Institute, University of Birmingham. He was appointed lecturer at the University of Reading in 1966, becoming Professor, History of Art in 1978 and retiring Emeritus in 1991. He was concerned with many architectural conservation and planning projects and served on the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England from 1981–1993. He was appointed OBE in 1994.

Kerry Downes

Kerry Downes,

Digital image courtesy of Frost Studios, York