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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 LMA/4292
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1903-1914
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 0.6 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Invalids Magazine Album


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Invalids Magazine Album was edited by the sisters Gladys E. Dickinson (1885-1979) and Violet A. Dickinson, daughters of a dealer in oriental porcelain, who lived in Hampstead, the Isle of Wight and Little Bower Farm at Molash near Canterbury.

The enterprise was highly organised: with the involvement of subscribers and contributors, an album of stories, poems, pictures, and literary criticism was created every couple of months. The sisters, Gladys and Violet Dickinson, acted as editors, as well as contributing material themselves. They apparently took over from their friend Lettice Pelham Clinton. The albums were called the I.M.A. (Invalids Magazine Album), and the two editors laid down strict rules about deadlines for articles and subscriptions, and particularly for how long readers were allowed to keep them before sending them on the next subscriber.

As laid down in November 1903:
1) All members must be invalids, or delicate, and need only contribute 3 times a year.
2) Anyone may have the magazine sent to them on payment of 1 shilling and 6 pence a year, towards expenses. They need not then contribute.
3) Anyone else may belong, if they will contribute to every number, they will be called contributors.
4) Everyone else, whether Members, Contributors, or Subscribers, MUST OBEY the following rule - Everyone may keep the magazine for 2 days, inclusive of day of receipt. They must then forward it to the next address on the Postal List, having first voted for their favourite contributions, and written dates of receipt and despatch beside their name and address. They must also send a post-card to the Editor, to notify her of these dates, as that is the only way in which the magazine can be traced if lost.
5) If the magazine is kept over time, a fine of 1 pence per day will be imposed.
6) Everyone is asked to criticise, on the pages set apart for criticisms. (non members may criticise also).

The albums were posted to subscribers, not just locally in Hampstead, the Isle of Wight or Somerset, but also to Cornwall, Surrey, Hertfordshire, Essex, Kent, Scotland, Ireland and even, at one point, to Dresden in Germany. The magazine was so popular with contributors that in 1904 they decided to split it into two parts - a senior and junior version which would go out alternate months. Violet remained as senior editor, and Gladys became editor of the Junior IMA.

Contributors include:
Dickinson, Cedric;
Dickinson, Frank Leslie;
Dickinson, Gladys Evelyn;
Dickinson, Violet A.
Dicksee, Amy;
Dicksee, Dorothy;
Dicksee, Harold J.H.
Dicksee, Maurice;
Dicksee, Phylis M.
Dohrman, John;
Dohrman, Margery;
Duke, Kathleen (Kittens);
Elmsall, Gertrude;
Finnemore, Elaine;
Finnemore, Ethelwyn;
Finnemore, Gordon;
Finnemore, Hilda;
Fitch, W.E.
Hart, Dick;
Hillyard Swinstead, Eulalia;
Hillyard Swinstead, Valerie;
Hoste, Daisy;
Hoste, Pansy;
Hoste, Violet;
Huxham, Gertrude;
Lanyon, Doctor;
Lely, Effie;
Lely, Eileen;
Lely, Enid;
MacKintosh, Will;
Miller, Alice;
Nicholson, Alianor (Pussums);
Pelham Clinton, Lettice;
Pollexfen, Ruth;
Rogers, Hetty;
Shead, Beatrice Irene (Queenie);
Skinner, Lionel;
Snell, Hester;
Starke, Oscar;
Storer, Violet;
Straith, Eileen L.
Thompson, Gwen;
Touch, Edith M.
Trendelburg, Paul G.
Vaughan Stevens, Dudley;
Vaughan Stevens, Muriel;
Vaughan Stevens, Ruth;
Walker, B.E. Rain;
Warren, Miss;
West, Eric;
Young, Madelaine.


Scope and content/abstract:

Issues of the Invalids Magazine Album. This fascinating set of 'scrap albums' are the survivors of a set that was seemingly created over a period of 10 years or more from the beginning of the 1900's to the start of the First World War. It is difficult to do these albums justice in describing them, as they are a treasure trove of charm and innocence. They not only contain articles handwritten by the contributors, but occasional newspaper cuttings and photographs of domestic scenes, landscapes, foreign holidays, and watercolour paintings of flowers, landscapes and 'designs'.

The earliest volumes contain simple stories in melodramatic style, and exhortations by the editors to send in contributions on time. As the contributors grow up we can see the paintings improve, the stories and articles become more considered and the photographs become art rather than snapshots. The later volumes contain articles about the war which had just been declared, photographs of recruitment and a list of some dozen members of the I.M.A. who were then 'in uniform'. As an editorial note put it "...the most terrible war of all times has swooped down down upon us...".

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The albums have been sorted into chronological order, but there are gaps where albums are missing.

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to these records rests with the City of London.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The albums were deposited as a gift in Exeter City Museum in February 2000 by Mrs A.M. Wakeham, of Ashburton, Devon, (who had inherited the albums from Gladys Dickinson), and subsequently transferred to LMA.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
June to August 2010.

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