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Guide to the May Morris Papers, 1909-1931 and undated

Summary

Mary "May" Morris was an English artisan, embroidery designer, jeweller, socialist, and editor. Collection comprises letters, an article, a few photographs, and several drawings. There are 16 letters and notes, dated 1909-1931, addressed to "Ada," who was Ada Culmer, the companion/caregiver for May Morris' sister, Jenny. Fifteen of these items were written by May, with one by Jenny. Subjects range from personal matters to Kelmscott business, including May’s editing of her father’s collected works. Much of the content centers on mutual friends and relatives (with a focus on Jenny's ill health); several letters also mention foreign travel. The article, "Mrs. William Morris," The Athenaeum, 1914 Feb. 7, contains the author's memories of Jane Morris, following her death. There is an albumen photograph (4.25 x 5.75-inches) by Ernest Hall of Oxford, showing May Morris at work on one of her tapestries at Kelmscott, as well as a developing out paper copy by Haines of London of a 1905 Carter and Co. photograph (6 x 4.25-inches) of Jane, May, and Jenny Morris, with Ada Culmer. In addition, there is a reproduction of a photograph of Kelmscott manor. Includes three undated reproductions of portraits of female figures.

Collection Details

Collection Number
RL.11210
Title
May Morris papers
Date
1909-1931 and undated
Extent
0.2 Linear Feet, 24 items
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Language
Materials in English

Collection Overview

Collection comprises letters, an article, a few photographs, and several drawings. There are 16 letters and notes, dated 1909-1931, addressed to "Ada," who was Ada Culmer, the companion/caregiver for May Morris' sister, Jenny. Fifteen of these items were written by May, with one by Jenny. Subjects range from personal matters to Kelmscott business, including May’s editing of her father’s collected works. Much of the content centers on mutual friends and relatives (with a focus on Jenny's ill health); several letters also mention foreign travel. The article, "Mrs. William Morris," The Athenaeum, 1914 Feb. 7, contains the author's memories of Jane Morris, following her death. There is an albumen photograph (4.25 x 5.75-inches) by Ernest Hall of Oxford, showing May Morris at work on one of her tapestries at Kelmscott, as well as a developing out paper copy by Haines of London of a 1905 Carter and Co. photograph (6 x 4.25-inches) of Jane, May, and Jenny Morris, with Ada Culmer. In addition, there is a reproduction of a photograph of Kelmscott manor. Includes three undated reproductions of portraits of female figures.

More Biographical / Historical Info

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More copyright and citation information

How to Cite

[Identification of item], May Morris Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

May Morris papers
Folder 1
 

Historical Note

Mary "May" Morris was an English artisan, embroidery designer, jeweller, socialist, and editor. She was the younger daughter of the Pre-Raphaelite artist and designer William Morris and his wife and artists' model Jane Morris.


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Provenance

The May Morris Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in 2015.

Processing Information

Processed by Alice Poffinberger, June 2016