Located in the centre of Zurich, where Joyce spent several years and where he died in 1941, the Zurich James Joyce Foundation is Europe’s most comprehensive research library on Joyce, which is widely used by experts and students from all over the world. At the same time the Joyce Foundation has established itself as a meeting place in the larger cultural landscape of Zurich. This double focus on scholars and amateurs may be called unique among special libraries and archives.
The Foundation’s collection includes not only a wide range of secondary literature (complete as to publications in English and German), but also first and rare editions of Joyce’s works, a fine collection of translations, as well as source and documentary material. Most notably, the archive holds the Joyce bequests of his Zurich friends Carola Giedion-Welcker and Frank Budgen, as well as that of his step-grandson Hans E. Jahnke, which contain autograph letters, work notes on Finnegans Wake, typescripts, photographs and personal documents.
„I was just at the ZJJF for a week of research and was struck by the fact that I could learn more about Joyce’s Dublin in Zurich than in Dublin.”
Professor Sam Slote, Trinity College Dublin
Every August, the Foundation hosts a one-week conference, which has become an important event on the agenda of the international Joyce community. With its focus on a specific topic and a generous amount of time for discussions it understands itself as an format complementary to the big symposia.
It is one of the Foundation’s priorities to support young scholars. Every year it can offer a two-month research grant to several Ph.D. students from abroad, thanks to generous support by the association of the „Friends of the James Joyce Foundation“. In cooperation with Translation House Looren it also awards a one-month fellowship to translators of one of Joyce’s works.
Among the activities targeting a wider public are evening lectures and weekly reading groups, tours of Joyce’s Zurich, as well as occasional readings by contemporary writers. The Foundation collaborates with other cultural institutions on literary events, it advises artists working on a Joycean project, curates exhibitions and participates in the bi-annual Festspiele Zurich with a production of its own.
Last but not least, the Foundation is engaged in the educational field. It offers seminars to the students of Zurich University, has started a cooperation with Volkshochschule Zurich, while Swiss gymnasium classes and other groups frequently come to the Joyce Foundation for an introductory session.
Zurich James Joyce Foundation
044 211 83 01
Opening hours: Mon – Fri, 10.00 – 17.00
Dr. h.c. Fritz Senn, Director
Dr. Ruth Frehner and lic. phil. Ursula Zeller, Curators
Silke Stebler, Administration
Frances Ilmberger, M.A., Archival Assistance