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Ansell, Evelyn, 1898-1970 (librarian and author)



  • Existence: 1898 - 1970


Evelyn Ansell was born in 1898, and matriculated at Peterhouse in 1916, where he read for the Moral Science Tripos (BA 1920, MA 1923). After a year as a handloom weaver he studied librarianship at Freiburg and University College London, and joined the staff of Cambridge University Library in 1926, two years before his marriage to Mary Eaton. He spent the rest of his career at the Library, retiring in 1964 as senior Under-Librarian. He died on 29 March 1970. He wrote several booklets on the organisation and holdings of the University Library, and compiled two biographical registers for his college [1].

In 1963 a volume of his verse (Twenty-five poems) was printed in an edition of one hundred copies by the Vine Press [2]. It was illustrated with woodcuts by Diana Bloomfield, who had been born in 1915 and had taken up wood engraving after the second world war. She produced cover designs for OUP and Penguin, many Christmas cards, bookplates and letter heads, and illustrations for a handful of books. The letters catalogued here (written from her home at 36 Wildwood Road, Hampstead) chart the progress of her work for Evelyn Ansell and John Peters, a happy collaboration for all the parties.

Evelyn Ansell had Mrs Bloomfield’s letters and copies of her engravings mounted and bound in green quarter-leather and buckram by Gray of Cambridge. The volume was presented to Cambridge University Library in 2002 by his daughter, Mrs Meryl Moore.

[S.G. Roberts, February 2016]

[1] Admissions to Peterhouse….1911-1930 (1939) and 1931-1950 (1971). The former includes details of his own early career, and the latter an appreciation by Sir Herbert Butterfield.

[2] The Vine Press was run as a spare-time enterprise by John Peters and Peter Foster at Hemingford Grey, Huntingdonshire, between 1957 and 1963. The archives of the Press are now in Cambridge University Library (MS Add.9861).

Found in 1 Collection or Record:


Correspondents (A), 1967-1995

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.9984/B/1
Scope and Contents

Includes letters from Thomas R. Adams, Gilbert Allen, Peter Amelung, Patricia Anderson, Mark Argetsinger, P. J. Atkins, Gabriel Austin, and F. H. Austing.

Dates: 1967-1995
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (