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Mynatt/Kapp Papers

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0367 MYK
Held at: Institute of Modern Languages
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Full title: Mynatt/Kapp Papers
Date(s): 1952-1987
Level of description: Collection (Fonds)
Extent: 2 boxes
Name of creator(s): Kapp | Yvonne | 1903-1999 | writer and activist
Mynatt | Margaret | 1903-1977 | writer and activist
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Yvonne Kapp: Born Yvonne Mayer, 1903; educated at King's College London; married the artist, Edmond Kapp, 1922; joined Communist Party of Great Britain, 1936, following a visit to the Soviet Union; worked with Basque and Jewish refugees, 1937-1938; Assistant to Director, British Committee to Refugees from Czechoslovakia, dismissed from her post by the Home Office, 1940, and wrote [with Margaret Mynatt] pamphlet British Policy and the Refugees, 1941; Research Officer, Amalgamated Engineering Union, 1941-1946; worked for Medical Research Council, undertaking field work in the East End of London, 1947-1953; editor and translator, Lawrence and Wishart (publishers), 1953-1957; died 1999. Publications: four novels under the pseudonym Yvonne Cloud, including Nobody Asked You, 1932 and The Houses in Between, 1938; Eleanor Marx, (2 vols 1972, 1976).

Margaret Mynatt: Born Vienna, 1907, daughter of a British musician, John Charles Mynatt, (who was known professionally as Giovanni Carlo Minotti); she moved to Berlin in 1929, and joined the Communist Party, and was also involved with Bertolt Brecht and his circle, assistng in the creation of St Joan of the Stockyards and other plays; she left Germany in 1933, following the Reichstag fire, and settled in London; she was Head of Tribunals for the Czech Refugee Trust Fund, 1938-1941, and was dismissed (with Yvonne Kapp) by the Foreign Office in 1941; they subsequently published the pamphlet British Policy and the Refugees; she was Head of Reuters Soviet Monitor, 1951-1951; Manager of Central Books, 1951-1966 and a director of the publishers Lawrence and Wishart, 1966-1977; at the time of her death in Feb 1977 she was editor-in-chief of the Collected Works of Marx and Engels.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Margaret Mynatt and Yvonne Kapp, 1952-1987, comprising:
Articles, mainly by or about Bertolt Brecht, 1952-1982, with associated correspondence; Margaret Mynatt's correspondence with Walter Benjamin [photocopies]; Yvonne Kapp's correspondence with Helene Brecht-Weigel and the Bertolt Brecht Archiv, Berlin; correspondence of Mynatt and Kapp with Phyllis Rosner, Elisabeth Hauptmann and Ilse Warnber [sister of Elisabeth Hauptmann]
Papers of Yvonne Kapp, including minutes and papers of the Czech Refugee Trust Fund, [1938-1940]; correspondence, 1939-141, including letters written under the pseudonym Yvonne Cloud; hand-written copies of poems on the Communist Party; refugee papers selected by Dr Charmian Brinson, 1997; 3 volumes of press cuttings on the 'Internment Crisis', July-Sep 1940; obituaries of Kapp from The Independent, The Times and The Guardian, 1999
Papers of Margaret Mynatt including correspondence with Emmy Koenen; obituary of Wilhelm Koenen, 1963; correspondence and papers on the death of Elisabeth Hauptmann, 1973; photographs of Elisabeth Hauptmann; typescript Betrieffe eine irrefuhrende Darstellung, by Elisabeth Hauptmann [undated]; papers relating to Mynatt's father, John Charles Mynatt (Giovanni Minotti), 1903-1966; photographs of Bertolt Brecht and Helene Weigel; theatre and concert programmes from the Berliner Ensemble, 1955-1967, and for productions of Brecht's works in London, 1963-1989.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
English and German

System of arrangement:

As described in the scope and content.

Conditions governing access:

Researchers should apply to consult material at least forty-eight hours in advance by letter, facsimile, e-mail or telephone. The Library staff need a name and contact number, a concise and clear idea of the nature of the enquiry and a date and time for consultation.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopies may be made, although this is at the discretion of the Librarian and is dependent on the nature of the material.

Finding aids:

Box list

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Donated by Betty Lewis, 2000.

Allied Materials

Related material:

The Trades Union Congress Library at the University of North London holds papers of Yvonne Kapp, relating to her work for the Amalgamated Engineering Union (AEU), 1941-1946.

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Alan Kucia as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000 and National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
May 2002

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