Catalogue description Daphne Haldin Archive

This record is held by Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art

Details of DLH
Reference: DLH
Title: Daphne Haldin Archive

The majority of the collection is comprised of the research notes compiled by Hadlin in relation to the proposed dictionary. These notes are generally brief and reflect many of the core sources she was using, such as Thieme-Becker and Benezit (Bénézit, E. (2006) Dictionary of artists. Paris: Grund). Despite the brevity and lack of original research evident in the individual entries she was compiling, Haldin did manage to develop a very large list of female artists for inclusion. These entries can all be found in the series (DLH/3 Research notes on female artists), and total 1,454, listed in alphabetical order. As noted above, it seems likely that this research was incomplete, or at least what is included in this archive collection is incomplete, as the number of entries for names beginning with B and D are far larger than any other.

The archive also contains the following general research material relating to this project:

-project proposals and scoping documents

-rejection letters from publishers

-research notes and notebooks on various artists and exhibitions

-indexes of female artist names

-general bibliography and lists of sources

-notes for artists who did not meet the criteria for inclusion in the dictionary

There is a set of similar notes for female writers, which perhaps belonged to a different project. There is no contextual information about these notes, and the names are not listed here.

Also included is an extensive horoscope written for Haldin in 1959.

Date: [c 1950s-c 1973]

As the collection was discovered without any obvious order of arrangement, the material has been organised to reflect the aplhabetical structure of the dictionary, with both notes and finished entries filed together, with separate series for more general research and the the associated organisational material showing Haldin's attempts to get the dictionary published. This does not intend to replicate Haldin's work or filing processes but rather to present the material in as clear a form as possible.

Held by: Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Haldin, Daphne Louise (1899-1973)

Physical description: 4 boxes
Access conditions:

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Administrative / biographical background:

Daphne Louise Haldinstein was born on 10 February 1899 in Norwich to Alfred Haldinstein and Edith Haldinstein (Alfred's second wife). Daphne Haldin was the second youngest of seven children, her siblings were: Constance, Henry, George, Frank, Mary and Joyce. Her father Alfred was a shoe manufacturer and merchant, and later became president of the Norwich Hebrew Congregation, chairman of the Norfolk Daily Standard Company Ltd and sheriff of Norwich. The family lived at 161 Yarmouth Road, Blofield with six domestic servants, whilst Haldin was a child.

Haldin's father died in 1919 and was buried in Norwich. Unlike her siblings, Haldin never married, she and her mother remained in Norfolk after her father's death but by 1927 they had moved to London where they took up residence at 13 Ladbroke Terrace, W11. Between 1936 and her death in 1940, Haldin's mother, Edith, moved to Bournemouth where she died. Haldin remained in London living, between 1939-1943, at 80 Rossmore Court, Park Road, NW1, before moving to 1 Rossmore Court, where remained until her death in 1973.

Although christened Haldinstein, Daphne referred to herself as Haldin in all correspondence and on documents. When or why Haldin first began to refer to herself as Haldin rather than Haldinstein is unknown. No other family members did so.

Haldin's main employment was as a tutor for Truman & Knightly Associates School of Administration Services. She also worked in a freelance capacity as a shorthand instructor for Peat Marwick Mitchell & Co. She held the post of honourable secretary of the Society of Jews and Christians in the early 1930s.

It is unclear where Haldin's interest in art came from and how much formal training she had as an art historian. However, it is known that she enrolled in a History of Art course at the University of London, University College (UCL) in January 1938, for at least one session, and had previously been educated at the University of London. The only known publication by Haldin was an article: Haldin, D. and Edings, C A.. (1 July 1931). 'Mediaeval Memorial Brasses (Art.)'. The Connoisseur, vol. 88, p. 20.

During the 1950s, she began research for her proposed dictionary of women artists born before 1850. It is this project to which most of the papers in the archive pertain. Haldin hoped to redress the gender imbalance in previous dictionaries of artists, and set herself the task of collecting information on female artists, of all kinds, who were based in Europe and born before 1850. She discounted those she found to be amateurs and several artists were removed from her listings if she was unable to trace or confirm them in any available source. It seems that she conducted this large research project in an amateur capacity but was assisted by at least four different people at various points. It is uncertain if they were paid, or friends, or volunteers, but she did contact the Slade School of Art at one point during the project seeking art students to help with her work. Certainly, one assistant, Gretl, was translating entries in Thieme-Becker (Thieme, U. and Becker, F. (1907-50) Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Kunstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart : unter Mitwirkung von 300 fachgelehrten des in- und Auslandes. Leipzig: Seemann) from German to English. From the material collected in the archive it seems that Haldin's process was to gather names from the above mentioned dictionaries and other sources, as well as historic exhibition lists, and then work through them to collate information into bundles of notes until they were considered complete. Assistants typed these notes up into one single entry so they could be filed separately.

Despite pursuing a number of publishers, the dictionary was never published. The material in this archive collection is largely still in note form and there is no complete manuscript or draft which would suggest that research phase was completed either.

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