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Barbara Tyrrell watercolours

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/RCMS 211

Scope and Contents

Sixty original watercolours (280 x 380 mm). Original titles and captions have been recorded as found and may contain offensive, inappropriate or outdated terms. They have been retained to reflect the context of the collection's creation.


  • Creation: 1946 - 1950

Conditions Governing Access

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 (

Biographical / Historical

Barbara Eleanor Harcourt Tyrrell was born in 1912 in Durban and grew up in Zululand. Her father was an assistant magistrate and later interpreter in the Department of Native Affairs. Tyrrell trained as an artist at the University of Natal during the 1930's and worked for a time in London on fashion drawing. She returned to South Africa and settled in Richmond. Her interest in the rich and diverse dress and adornments worn by the peoples of southern Africa inspired her to document them at a time of increasing modernisation and westernisation. Tyrrell embarked upon her first field trip in 1934, and by the 1960s, had recorded the costume and customs of virtually all of southern Africa’s peoples.


.03 cubic metre(s) (1 archive box) : art work

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

good condition

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Presented by Dr Killie Campbell and Mrs Gladys Hepburn in 1950.

Related Materials

A set of related photographs of South African dress, some of which were taken by Tyrrell and Campbell, is stored at Y305O.

Related Materials

A large body of Tyrrell's work forms part of the Campbell Collections at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.


This item level description was created by MJC.

Date information

DateText: The date is approximate..


Tyrrell, Barbara, 1912-2015, artist

Includes index.
2014-12-10 09:30:53+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
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Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom