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Guide to the William Morris Letters TAM 420

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
10th Floor
New York, NY 10012
(212) 998-2630

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Collection processed by Peter Meyer Filardo

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on May 31, 2018
Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Title: William Morris Letters
Dates [inclusive]: 1840-1897
Dates [bulk]: 1866-1897
Abstract: William Morris (1834-1896) was a British socialist, poet, artist and architect, and leading figure in the Arts and Crafts movement. Contains signed letters by Morris. Recipients include John Coleman Kenworthy and Theodore Watts-Dunton. Also included is a copy of an 1855 letter from Morris to his mother, Emma Morris.
Quantity: 0.1 Linear Feet (1 box)
Mixed Materials [Box]: 1
Call Phrase: TAM 420

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Historical/Biographical Note

William Morris (1834-1896) was a British socialist, poet, artist and architect, and leading figure in the Arts and Crafts movement. He founded the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, was a cofounder and leader of the Socialist League and financed its organ Commonweal. He founded his own publishing company, the Kelmscott Press, in 1893 and was active in organizing guilds of designers and decorative craftsmen.


  • Derived from: International Institute for Social History Archives http://www.iisg.nl/archives/morris/
  • See also: William Morris Society http://www.morrissociety.org/
  • See also: William Morris Internet Archive (includes chronology) http://www.marxists.org/archive/morris/

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Scope and Content Note

The collection contains eleven handwritten letters signed by Morris, a handwritten copy of an 1855 letter from Morris to his mother, Emma Morris, with an accompanying letter of transmittal and envelope. Six letters are to John Coleman Kenworthy, 1863-1948, a younger socialist then living in Liverpool. There are single letters to Charles Augustus Howell (1840-1890); ("I return Rossetti letter...") to poet, author and critic, Theodore Watts-Dunton (re: a manuscript of The Coming of Love, 1898), and three letters to unidentified recipients. All the items have been encapsulated, except for the copy of the letter to Morris's mother.


The folders are arranged alphabetically.

The files are grouped into 1 series:

Missing Title

  1. Container list

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Howell, C. A.
  • Kenworthy, John Coleman.
  • Anderson, Sara.
  • Watts-Dunton, Theodore, 1832-1914
  • Morris, William, 1834-1896
  • Morris, Emma.

Document Type

  • Signatures (names)
  • Correspondence.

Subject Topics

  • Socialists -- Great Britain.

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Administrative Information

Custodial History

Donor unknown. At one time held by the Hampshire Bookshop, Northampton Massachusetts.

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Materials in this collection, which were created in 1840-1897, are in the public domain. Permission to publish or reproduce is not required.

Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date; Collection name; Collection number; box number; folder number;
Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012, New York University Libraries.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials found in collection; provenance is unknown. The accession number associated with this collection is 1950.232.

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Container List


Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 William Morris to: Howell, [Charles Augustus] Contents: "I return Rossetti letter…"
Mar 5, 1866
Box: 1 Folder : 2 William Morris to: Kenworthy, [John Coleman]
Contents: six letters, one undated. Concern trips by Morris to Liverpool, where Kenworthy apparently lived, possible meetings in London, and [upon Kenworthy's return from a trip to America] Morris' aversion to the idea of traveling to America.

undated; Nov 6, 1889; Feb 17, 1890; Mar 25, 1890; Oct 7, 1890; Mar 27, 1894
Box: 1 Folder : 3 William Morris to: Morris, [Emma]
Contents: "Copy of a letter from William Morris to his Mother" [Exeter Coll. Oxon., Nov 11th, 1855]; a letter to Sara Anderson, Nov 17, 1897, from "Catie" [?], the copier of Morris's 1855 letter; and the envelope addressed to Miss Anderson

undated ; Nov 17, 1897
Box: 1 Folder : 4 William Morris to: Unidentified Recipients
Contents: three letters.

undated ; Jul 24, 1876 ; Feb 27, 1885
Box: 1 Folder : 5 William Morris to: Watts-Dunton, Theodore
Contents: one letter re: a Watts ms,  The Coming of Love

Mar 5, 1894

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