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Archives and Special Collections: Helen Beale - Pignon research papers

Collection information

Collection: Helen Beale - Pignon research papers

Collection reference: GB 0559 HB

Biographical history:

Helen Beale was an academic appointed to the University of Stirling's French Department in 1968. During her academic career she was a specialist in twentieth century French poetry. She also became an expert on painting and sculpture, working closely with the university's Art Collection. Helen retired from the university in 2005 and continued to research the life and work of the French artist Eduard Pignon, becoming an internationally recognised expert on the subject. Helen died in 2020. In May 2022 a new sculpture was placed in the university's Garden of Time as a memorial to Helen and her husband, Francis Bell, a former member of the university's Department of Mathematics, who died in 2006.


This collection consists of research papers and books relating to Helen Beale's work on the French artist Eduard Pignon. The books comprise an extensive set of 52 titles relating to Pignon and works relating to his artistic contemporaries. The research papers include material for articles on Pignon written by Beale; press cuttings and photocopies of articles on Pignon; exhibition postcards, leaflets and brochures; research on the artists John Bellany and Helen Lamb; offprints of articles on Pignon written by Beale.

Extent: 52 books; 1 box of research papers

Catalogue information

The Pignon research papers have been catalogued and added to our online archives catalogue.

The books that form part of this bequest have been catalogued and added to the university library catalogue.

Additional collection information

Custodial history:

The collection was donated to the University Library in 2022.

Access conditions:

The Pignon research papers can be consulted in our archives reading room.

The books are part of the general library collection and are available on open access shelves in the University Library (location details on the library catalogue). 

Language: English and French

Related material:

An oral history interview with Helen Beale was recorded by the Stirling University Retired Staff Oral History Group in 2014 and is available on their website at

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Using the collection

Archives Reading Room

Opening Hours:

10.00 am - 1.00 pm / 2.00 pm - 4.00 pm

Monday - Friday

Contact us:

Tel. 01786 466619


Please contact us in advance of your visit. Material can be ordered in advance by emailing us at