Edinburgh Napier is delighted to be the permanent home to the Jim Haynes Living Archive. Jim Haynes is a cultural icon and has played a major role in the theatre and literary life in Edinburgh, London & Paris, from the 1960s to the present.
"Jim was a man of many facets. He expanded our perspective by opening conversations which collided art, literature, drama and science. Marking his death in January 2021, we celebrate his infectious curiosity, his ability to challenge and to explore human behaviours. The Jim Haynes Living Legacy which Jim generously donated to Edinburgh Napier University in 2016 and the subsequent associated research continues to provide students, academics and members of the public with a rich, insightful collection that continues to inform our perspective and understanding."
Andrea Nolan, Vice Chancellor
Jim Haynes founded the Paperback Bookshop in 1959, the first paperback-only bookshop in the country and an early fringe venue near Edinburgh’s George Square. He co-founded and co-produced Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre Club, the 1962 Writers Conference and 1964 Drama Conference with other key Scottish arts figures like John Calder and Richard DeMarco.
Later, with the support of arts councillor Jennie Lee, Haynes led an effort to establish The London Traverse at the Jeanetta Cochrane theatre, and in 1967 the Arts Lab on Drury Lane in London. The Arts Lab featured notable work by Jane Arden (author of the first uncensored feminist play performed in London), playwright David Hare, and artists like Roelof Louw and Andy Warhol. The Arts Lab also played host to projects by John Lennon & Yoko Ono, and David Bowie. A 60s counter-culture hotbed, the Arts Lab arguably contributed to the broader movements — along with Calder’s court trials for publishing Hubert Selby Jr’s Last Exit to Brooklyn — which contributed to the dissolution of the Lord Chamberlain’s office and brought an end to arts censorship in Britain.
In addition, Haynes founded his own fringe publishing company, ‘Handshake Editions’, with a catalogue that includes Jeanne Pasle-Green, Beat Poet Ted Joans and contributions from Germaine Greer. Together with writer/gallerist Barry Miles, photographer John “Hoppy” Hopkins and eccentric accountant Michael Henshaw, Haynes launched International Times, the notorious counter-culture newspaper. Other significant counter-culture periodicals such as OZ and SUCK followed, as well as over fourteen books authored by Haynes.
The Jim Haynes Living Archive contains an extensive range of original project plans, printed and recorded materials, diaries, personal journals, books, guest registration forms and ephemera documenting Haynes’s eclectic life. Through his extensive travels in Eastern Europe and publication of his People to People travel guides, as well as his infamous weekly Sunday dinners in Paris, Haynes became known as the ‘godfather of social networking’. The archive provides insight into the life of this dynamic, self-confessed ‘people addict’, and new research opportunities at Napier well into the future.
The Jim Haynes Living Archive was placed at Edinburgh Napier University in 2016 by archive facilitator & PhD researcher Martin Belk, and officially launched with a Napier University sponsored event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. The launch coincided with the release of Haynes’s latest title World Citizen: At Home in Paris (Polwarth, 2016) — a joint project between Belk and the University.
Martin Belk is the founder and facilitator of the Jim Haynes Living Archives at Edinburgh Napier University. He was introduced to Haynes and his close friend/colleague, publisher John Calder by Mary Folliet, Belk's undergraduate supervisor at State University of New York, Empire State College. Following completion of his Masters degree at Edinburgh University 2005, Belk became a protégé of Calder, and a comrade of Haynes. At the 2006 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the three hosted a global discussion event on the future of writing and literature: 'When the Reverse is True' uplinked with several international cities. From 2007-2014 Calder & Haynes supported Belk's self-made Writer in Residence programme at Polmont Young Offender's Institution. In Paris, the three worked to create a viable plan for a Scottish Cultural Centre in Paris. The Jim Haynes Living Archive began one morning while Belk was living in Paris, and awoke to a broken water pipe at Haynes's atelier — necessitating the rescue of the invaluable documents.
Formal cataloguing of the collection began in November 2018 with Alison Scott, joining the project. Scott is a seasoned archivist with a varied background including projects for the Hunterian Museum, NHS Forth Valley, Glasgow City and a UNESCO collection for the University of Stirling.
In June, 2018 Haynes was awarded an honorary doctorate by the university.
Research Opportunities, Archive Facilitation - Martin Belk
Archive Access & Information - Alison Scott
Press and Publicity