Following a recommendation from Arts Council England, Ministerial approval has been given to the permanent allocation of the Judith Kerr Archive to the Trustees of Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Judith Kerr (1923-2019) is one of the most successful children’s authors of the 20th century; with her books The Tiger Who Came to Tea, the Mog series and When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit selling millions of copies worldwide. Her archive comprises artworks and papers for 32 books, loose studio artwork, notebooks, a diary from 1948 and correspondence.

Kris McKie, Head of Collections at Seven Stories, said:

“Judith Kerr was one of the most well-loved and recognised children’s book creators in Britain. Her archive gives a valuable insight into her remarkable life, work and career and we are very proud to be able to give it a home in our Collection permanently. 

“Judith’s artwork and written documents chart her life and creative journey, from her childhood and her experience as a refugee, to her time at art school, through to the creation of each of her much-loved picture books, characters and stories. To be the custodians of Judith's archive for this and future generations, and to be able to share this fantastic collection with our audiences young and old, is a huge honour and privilege.”

Arts and Heritage Minister Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay said:

"Many of us have fond memories of growing up with Judith Kerr's wonderful books. Her storytelling and her artwork have touched audiences of all ages, while When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit has conveyed to generations of readers what it was like for children like her who came to Britain to escape persecution under the Nazis.

"I am delighted that her archive will be going on display at the National Centre for Children's Books in Newcastle – including the excellent news that Mog's Christmas has been saved for the nation just in time for Christmas."

Cally Poplak, Executive Publisher, HarperCollins Children’s Books and Farshore, said:

‘HarperCollins Children’s Books is proud to be the home of Judith’s publishing. Her much-loved stories and illustrations continue to captivate parents and children around the world.  We are delighted that her rich and fascinating archive collection will be looked after by Seven Stories, ensuring that future generations can enjoy and explore the wonder of Judith’s inspirational life and works for themselves.

The archive is one of 50 objects of cultural significance, worth £57 million in total, which have been accepted for the nation and allocated to museums across the UK for the public to enjoy in 2021/22.

Items from the archive will be on display in a number of country-wide initiatives celebrating Judith Kerr’s Centenary Year in 2023, including touring exhibitions featuring Mog and The Tiger who Came to Tea, and the Judith Kerr exhibition at Seven Stories where visitors can see the kitchen from the author’s London home which inspired the illustrations in The Tiger who Came to Tea. The archive will also feature in Seven Stories’ school and public programmes in 2023 and beyond.  

HarperCollins Publishers will commemorate the Centenary of Judith Kerr’s birth with a year-long celebration of publishing and activity including a new edition of Judith Kerr’s Creatures: A Celebration of her Life and Workfeaturing a brand new chapter written by her son, the award-winning author Matthew Kneale. There will also be events celebrating Judith Kerr’s life and work at literary festivals across the year, and  a new touring stage adaptation of Mog the Forgetful Cat adapted for the stage by The Wardrobe Ensemble and produced by The Old Vic, Royal & Derngate Northampton and The Wardrobe Ensemble.