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MORRIS, May (1862-1938)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 106 7MMO
Held at: Women's Library
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Full title: MORRIS, May (1862-1938)
Date(s): 1960s-1980s
Level of description: fonds
Extent: 2 A boxes (8 folders)
Name of creator(s): Morris | May | 1862-1938 | President of Women's Guild of Art
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

May Morris (1862-1938) was born on the 25 Mar 1862, christened 'Mary', and was the younger of William and Jane Morris's two daughters. Both she and her sister Jenny were accomplished embroiderers - taught by their mother and by their aunt, Bessie Burden - and in 1885 May took over the direction of Morris and Co.'s embroidery department. She also actively assisted her father in promoting the cause of Socialism in the 1880s and 90s. At the turn of the century she taught embroidery at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London and at Birmingham's Municipal School of Art, becoming a leading figure in the (mainly male-dominated) Arts and Crafts Movement. Morris was an accomplished Embroiderer, jeweller, and fabric designer; she was also the first President of Women's Guild of Art (founded 1907). Her Introductions to The Collected Works of William Morris, 24 volumes edited by her and published between 1910 and 1915, contain many illuminating details of Morris's career and his family life.


Scope and content/abstract:

The collection compromises background material for a book on May Morris written by Elizabeth Masterman, titled May Morris: some notes for book collectors, published in 1984 by Book Collector, London. The archive consists of notes, filed alphabetically, covering personalities and subjects referred to in the book, correspondence, a copy of an illustrated catalogue of embroidery designs, a copy of William Morris material in the collection of H Buxton Forman, in possession of the Hammersmith Public Library, a hand list of documents and manuscripts of William Morris and papers and a manuscript text of a lecture about May Morris given by E Masterman at Royal College of Arlon in 1883. Includes details of the Arts and Crafts movement.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

This collection is available for research. Readers are advised to contact The Women's Library in advance of their first visit.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Finding aids:

Fawcett Library Catalogue c.1980.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The collection was deposited by Elizabeth Masterman as a gift on 30 Sep 1981

Allied Materials

Related material:

Additional material related to May Morris held elsewhere includes: The William Morris Gallery holds some of her correspondence and papers 1896-1933; The British Library, Manuscript Collections holds, some of her correspondence and papers (Add MSS 45298-337, 45346-8; Add Charter 71267), her correspondence with Sir Sydney Cockerell 1899-1934 (Add MS 52740), her letters to George Bernard Shaw 1885-1913 (Add MS 50541); Society of Antiquaries of London corresp with NL MacMinn 1925-1937 (MS 945/1), see also (MS 984); Liverpool University: Special Collections and Archives holds her letters to John and Katharine Bruce Glasier 1888-1920; International Institute of Social History holds her correspondence with Andreas Scheu 1885-1896; Royal Entomological Society holds her letters to CJ Wainwright 1899-1908 (Box 70/3); The Huntington Library holds correspondence - 15 letters - (MSS 1979 ).

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Finding aid created by export from CALM v7.2.14 Archives Hub EAD2002. Edited for AIM25 by Sarah Drewery.

Rules or conventions:
In compliance with ISAD (G): General International Standard Archival Description - 2nd Edition (1999); UNESCO Thesaurus, December 2001; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:

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