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Volunteer blog: Pestalozzi Archive Project moves to The Keep

European students 1960s
A group of early Pestalozzi students in the 1960s. These students came across Europe following the end of the Second World War. (Photo from the Pestalozzi archive)
Paul Peter Piech and designers
Paul Peter Piech worked with a team of designers to create iconic fundraising posters for Pestalozzi. (Photo from the Pestalozzi archive)
Paul Peter Piech London underground poster
The posters for the Saatchi and Saatchi campaign were displayed around the London underground in 1991. (Photo from the Pestalozzi archive)
27 June 2014

The Pestalozzi Archive Project was officially completed last year, but volunteer project coordinator Pam Thomas continues to work with other loyal volunteers to make interesting new finds in the collection. Pam talked to us recently to give us an update for the project.

Since the official completion in 2013, two things have become apparent: first, an archive is an endless work; and second, the project has generated a good deal of interest in the story of Pestalozzi.

The Queen visits The Keep

In October last year I was thrilled to attend the opening of The Keep by Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. The Keep is the new home of the East Sussex Records Office, located in Falmer (near Brighton). I was invited because the Records Office considers the Pestalozzi Archive, now stored at the Keep, to be an important acquisition. The Royal party was given a tour of the new building and saw a selection of fascinating items kept there, including the personal archive of Rudyard Kipling. It was a great occasion and thrilling to think that our collection is now accessible at such a fine location.

Pestalozzi posters by Paul Peter Piech

While reading a copy of Vogue magazine last November, I came across a picture in a style which looked remarkably familiar. It accompanied an item announcing The Graphic World of Paul Peter Piech by Zoe Whitley (Four Corners Books). Piech was the artist who created the iconic posters for the Pestalozzi fundraising campaign by Saatchi and Saatchi. This campaign appeared on London Underground in 1991 and several of the framed posters now hang at Pestalozzi. Whitley’s book mentions that material was sourced from the Victoria and Albert Museum and University of Reading and I am now following up to learn more about Piech and how the Pestalozzi posters he created fit into his story.

Links with the Tolstoy Foundation

I recently received a phone call from Anush Krmadjian, one of the first group of children to arrive at Pestalozzi from a displaced persons camp in Germany. She recently met someone from the Tolstoy Foundation which was instrumental in organising the children’s travel to England in 1960. The Tolstoy Foundation is trying to build up their archive and they were delighted when Anush offered to send them copies of two letters which she had held in her own personal archive and generously donated to Pestalozzi. The letters were sent to Anush by one of the East Sussex archivists who worked on the Pestalozzi Archive Project and forwarded to the Tolstoy Foundation. I understand that Bavarian television has shown interest in the stories of children displaced at that time. This is yet another pleasing way in which the Pestalozzi archive is being used.

The ongoing usefulness of the Pestalozzi Archive shows that the Heritage Lottery Funding we received for the Archive Project has been worthwhile and its impact is ongoing. The past also has a future!

If you have recollections, memorabilia, film or photographs you’d like to contribute to the archive, Pam would love to hear from you (email If you're interested in the history of Pestalozzi, please also check out the Early Pestalozzi Children Project, set up by some of our earliest students.

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