Ceramic Archive

History of the Ceramic Archive

Northern Potters
Ceramic Series
Studio Pottery - Michael Casson

The Ceramic Archive was developed in the late 1980s, when a new home was needed for the Craft Potters Association archive, which was initiated in the early 1970s by Robert Fournier, a CPA member. The aim was to collect documents which would maintain a record of the origins, organisation, activities and development of the Craft Potters Association (founded in1958). By 1988, the CPA archive had grown into a substantial body of material which needed a more permanent and larger location, and its holdings were offered and accepted by Aberystwyth University Ceramic Archive, based at the School of Art, Aberystwyth. The main paper documents in the Ceramic Archive were deposited in the National Library of Wales in 1997. However, any information relating directly to the makers in the Ceramic Collection was retained at Aberystwyth University Ceramic Archive.

What is in the Ceramic Archive at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth?

The Ceramic Archive has information about studio pottery or non-industrial pottery, and consists of the following:

  1. Files containing published information on all makers in the collection e.g. press cuttings, articles, exhibition catalogues and reviews.
  2. Back catalogues of published material on British ceramics including journals (e.g. Ceramic Review), magazines, national and regional newsletters.
  3. Auction catalogues including Sotheby’s, Bonham’s and Christie’s.
  4. A worldwide range of reference books about ceramics.
  5. An extensive range of foreign journals on ceramics.
  6. British ceramic exhibition catalogues, including those held at Aberystwyth Arts Centre.
  7. A collection of audio-visual material relating to ceramics and studio pottery, with an emphasis on women potters. This includes oral history recordings that are now being digitised by the National Library of Wales as part of the Unlocking our Sound Heritage project with the British Library.
  8. Documents and photographs relating to the Aberystwyth International Ceramics Festival.
  9. Ceramic Series-almost one hundred articles commissioned by Aberystwyth Arts Centre to accompany one man shows by significant British makers between 1982 and 2003, published in English and Welsh, available here.

How can you use the archive?

Personal researchers are welcome by appointment with advance notice. There is no charge for the services of the archive for non-commercial research. Alternatively, if you send us your query by email, we may be able to investigate for you.

Image Requests:

We can supply high quality images (TIFF) of items in the collection for research or commercial use. We provide this service free of charge to researchers but charge £25 per image for commercial customers.

Craft Potters Association Archive:

The early documents of the CPA are now held at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth which is open to the general public.  For further information on the holdings in the CPA archive, at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth please see The Craft Potters Association Archive.

Please contact us if you feel you have items which may be of interest to the ceramics archive.

We are unable to give valuations on ceramic pieces and recommend you contact a reputable antique dealer or auction house such as Bonham’s, Christie’s or Sotheby’s. You can find details of local antiques dealers and auction houses in the UK on the Association of Art & Antiques Dealers or The British Antique Dealers’ Association websites.

For all Ceramic Archive queries and request please contact:
Louise Chennell: loc@aber.ac.uk tel: (+0044) 01970 622192