<< YCBA Home Yale Center for British Art Yale Center for British Art << YCBA Home

YCBA Collections Search

IIIF Actions
Morris, William, 1834-1896.

List of books and manuscripts bought by William Morris, partly in his autograph.

England, circa 1876.
Physical Description:
1 v. ([38] p.) ; 24 cm.
Rare Books and Manuscripts
PR5086 .M67 1876
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
View by request in the Study Room [Request]
Note: The Study Room is open by appointment. Please visit the Study Room page on our website for more details.

Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Related Content:
View The Library of William Morris: a Catalogue (online)
Archives & Manuscripts
William Morris (1834-1896) was an English textile designer, artist, writer, and socialist, associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the English Arts and Crafts Movement. In 1891, he set up the Kelmscott Press, with which he printed his own works as well as reprints of medieval texts and English classics.
"There are three extant manuscript catalogues of Morris's library that were compiled either by himself or by his daughters under his supervision. All three passed through the hands of Sydney Cockerell, who had them bound by Katharine Adams in 1911. (1) The earliest [the present manuscript] ... is now at the Yale Center for British Art. (2) The second catalogue (c. 1890-91) is larger, containing 92 leaves and nearly 1,000 books and manuscripts ... This document -- mostly compiled by Jenny Morris but with additions by her father -- is at the Bridwell Library, Southern Methodist University. (3) In the private collection of Mark Samuels Lasner, on loan to the University of Delaware Library, is a much briefer (but more beautiful) manuscript, entirely in Morris' calligraphic hand and with a few illuminated initials, of selected items in his library. It is 16 pages long and probably was produced in about 1890."--William S. Peterson and Sylvia Holton Peterson, The Library of William Morris (see link provided herewith).
Selected exhibitions: "William Morris: The Collector as Creator" (Grolier Club, NY, 10 December 1996-15 February 1997); "'The Beauty of Life': William Morris and the Art of Design" (Yale Center for British Art, 15 October 2004-2 January 2005).
Spine title.
Bound in vellum, with quarter dark green morocco back.
Manuscript list, in pen and black ink, of books bought by William Morris, partly in the hand of William Morris and partly in that of his daughter, May Morris. The list is undated but was probably compiled about 1876, before he began collecting in earnest. It includes the prices paid for most of the items. The inventory is collected on 38 pages within a simple, lined exercise book. The list came into the possession of Sir Sydney Carlyle Cockerell, whose inscription and brief summary of the volume appear on the front endpapers. On the rear endpaper, Cockerell notes: "Bound by Katharine Adams, Broadway, Worcestershire, 1911".
The list appears to be the earliest attempt by Morris to inventory the books he owned. It includes 13 manuscripts (7 by Morris himself) and 291 printed books. Among the manuscripts are two Italian humanist works used as calligraphic models. The printed works include a number of incunables, the 1533 Paris edition of "Lancelot du Lac" from which Morris made his translation, and a number of dyeing manuals, including the earliest known work written on the subject. Many of the early printed works listed here were illustrated with woodcuts. English literature and history are well represented, along with Persian and Arabic tales and Elizabethan translations of the classics. The catalogue concludes with a large, distinct section of 18th- and 19th-century Scandinavian literature, including a number of Icelandic sagas.
Subject Terms:
Adams, Katharine, 1862-1952 -- Bookbinder.
Adams, Katharine, 1862-1952.
Book collectors -- Great Britain.
Cockerell, Sydney Carlyle, Sir, 1867-1962 -- Provenance.
Cockerell, Sydney Carlyle, Sir, 1867-1962.
Morris, May, 1862-1938.
Morris, William, 1834-1896 -- Library.
Private libraries -- Great Britain.
Morris, May, 1862-1938.

If you have information about this object that may be of assistance please contact us.