Skip to main content

Hughes: the papers of Edward James 'Ted' Hughes

Reference Code: GBR/1058/HUG

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of original manuscript material by Ted Hughes, printed editions of his poetry, photographs of Hughes, objects related to him and research into his work and legacy. This collection brings together a number of very small accessions held by Pembroke College Archive.


  • Creation: 1947 - 2021

Conditions Governing Access

Photographs may not be taken of the Ted Hughes copyright material without the permission of the Estate. The Archivist can provide further information and contact details for permissions. The remainder of the collection may be photographed for private research, subject to UK copyright provisions. Those wishing to publish from the collection should seek advice from the Archivist prior to publication.

Biographical / Historical

Born in 1930 in Mytholmroyd in West Yorkshire, Ted Hughes came up to Pembroke in 1951 to study English. He transferred to Archaeology and Anthropology in his third year. During his time at Pembroke he lived variously in the Red Buildings (October 1951-June 1952, room H 1 B, shared with Paul Standing in room H 1 A), New Court (October 1952-June 1953, room N 8 B) and Old Court (October 1953-June 1954, room E 1). In June 1956 he married the American poet Sylvia Plath, who took her own life in 1963. They had 2 children, Frieda Rebecca and Nicholas Farrar (1962-2009). In the summer of 1962, Hughes began an affair with Assia Wevill, with whom he would have a daughter, Alexandra Tatiana Elise (nicknamed Shura). Wevill took her own life and that of their daughter Shura in March 1969. In August 1970 he married Carol Orchard, who survives him. Best known as a poet, Hughes was also a translator, dramatist, children's writer and environmentalist, being one of the original trustees of the Westcountry Rivers Trust. He was awarded an OBE in 1977 and was appointed Poet Laureate in 1984, holding the office until his death in 1998. He was made an Honorary Fellow of Pembroke College in 1986. He was also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He received the Order of Merit from the queen at Buckingham Palace in October 1998, just 2 weeks before he died.


0.043 cubic metre(s)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The College has been fortunate to have been able to purchase and to have been given much material over the years relating to Ted Hughes. This collection brings together many items into one large collection which it is hoped will allow researchers to find items more easily.

Related Materials

See GBR/1058/COO, the papers of Barrie Cooke, GBR/1058/HUO, the papers of Olwyn Hughes, GBR/1058/ADA, the papers of George Adamson, GBR/1058/WIC/2/1, the papers of Colin Wilcockson and the main Pembroke College Archive (including GBR/1058/COL/2/2/3/1/5/9, Honorary Degree Luncheon and GBR/1058/COL/9/2/10/1/1, minute book of the Thomas Gray Society of which Hughes was a member and presented a paper in February 1954) for further material by and related to Ted Hughes. The College Library also holds an extensive collection of books by and about Ted Hughes as well as the collection of books built up by Ted Hughes's friend Roy Davids, many of which are personally inscribed by Ted Hughes. For access to all Library collections, please contact the Librarian. Within the College Art Collection there is a portrait of Ted Hughes by Peter Edwards. Please contact the College Curator for access.

December 2022
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2023-01-26: Additional item and information added to GBR/1058/HUG/4/2.

Repository Details

Part of the Pembroke College Library Repository

Pembroke College
Cambridge CB2 1RF United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 764151