Cataloguing the Verstage Collection

As a volunteer cataloger, I have spent some weeks engrossed in the Arthur Halcrow Verstage archive collection, acquired by The William Morris Society in 2005. This resource not only reveals fascinating details about the life and work of William Morris, but also exposes the passionate zeal he inspired in his devotees long after his death.Arthur Halcrow Verstage (1875-1969) was one these devotees. An architect who spent much of his career in the public sector, he was a student at the Royal Academy…

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Stories from the stores

I’ve always had a soft spot for Emery Walker’s House. My connection to it goes back to 2001, soon after the future of the house was secured but well before it opened to the public. I began a five year, part-time stint as the Conservation Cleaner. As I swept, dusted and hoovered every nook and cranny I imagined the Walker family and Elizabeth de Haas inhabiting the house over the previous century. If only walls could talk! The ‘spirit of place’ was palpable. I had the sense that this was still…

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Read all about it at The William Morris Society Library.

Here at the library at Kelmscott House we’re picking up speed again with the cataloguing project after last year’s building work.The William Morris Society library has about 3,000 books, articles and other material all about the life and influences of Morris on his contemporaries and in the years since his death.The collection contains editions of Morris’s own works – poetry, literature, lectures, political writings, translations of Icelandic sagas and his letters – and material on all other…

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Bookcase craftsman returns to library

Last month, (on June 21st), we were delighted to welcome Geoff Coleman back to Kelmscott House. Geoff made the library bookcase dedicated to Eric Heffer, MP*, installed in 1994, and this was the first time he had been back to look at it.Shortly after the death of Eric Heffer in 1991, Geoff was contacted by the Society’s librarian, David Rainger, with the idea of making a memorial bookcase. This had been designed by Society member John Kay and was to be made of English oak. Geoff, a retired…

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Morris’s Swedish connections from our friend in the North

Dear readers, member 7432 here.The world is a violent place. Since the last time I wrote there have been terror and disasters in London and elsewhere. Months have passed since my last blog. What have I been doing, apart from longing to dig into my Morris books and dream about dreamy wallpapers or perfect tea at The William Morris Gallery, some day without deadlines, clocks ticking and terrible news from the world? Most of us in the West are OK, it’s a lot worse elsewhere. I have felt somewhat…

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“The past is not dead” (William Morris)

Archive Volunteer, Philip Milnes-Smith, was part of a fantastic team of volunteers helping our archivist catalogue the Papers of Sir Emery Walker, Engraver, Photographer, Printer, Typographer. The catalogue will be available as a digital resource on this website by the end of 2017, so do keep coming back to visit it. Here Philip writes about some of his fascinating finds.In December 2016, I started volunteering, one day a week, with The Emery Walker Trust, because experience in the archive…

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In the garden at Emery Walker’s House

Arts & Crafts Hammersmith Project Manager, Simon Daykin muses on the picturesque riverside garden at 7 Hammersmith Terrace.We talk a lot about Emery Walker’s and Kelmscott House and their interiors and collections, but both houses boast further hidden gems quite literally on their doorsteps.Dorothy Walker, Emery’s daughter and resident until her death in 1964, was a keen gardener, and it shows. The garden at 7 Hammersmith Terrace is testimony to her golden horticultural touch, against the…

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First through the doors of Emery Walker’s House

Yesterday, April 20th, was a momentous day for the Arts & Crafts Hammersmith team, as we reopened Emery Walker’s House after an 18 month closure, welcoming visitors from near and as far afield as Australia!After so many months of hard work, packing, unpacking, cleaning, cataloguing, creating a new exhibition space so the House would be ready for visitors, it was a proud and very satisfying moment to see just how much our first visitors appreciated the tours, hosted by Emery Walker’s House’s…

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Elizabeth de Haas; Before 7 Hammersmith Terrace

Archive Volunteer, Molly Richards, is part of the team archiving the Papers of Sir Emery Walker, Engraver, Photographer, Printer, Typographer. Some great treasures have been uncovered in the archive – which you can soon discover for yourself as the Papers of Sir Emery Walker, Engraver, Photographer, Printer, Typographer will soon be available as a digital resource on www.emerywalker.org.uk.Elizabeth de Haas played a very important part in the history of Emery Walker’s House and it was thanks to…

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In Search of Morris in a Stockholm Book Fair

More musings from Member 7432, Sweden’s sole member of the William Morris SocietyDear Readers,The other week I found myself at an antiquarian book fair in Stockholm. I was looking for something Morris, but found a 500 year old German book instead. Suddenly I understood the book collector William Morris more and his intense love for handcrafted manuscripts and getting back to the roots in bookmaking. Here it all was: hand pressed paper, the best ink possible and a lovely, timeless sense of…

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