Morison Room papers

Scope and Content

The collection is based upon the library of Stanley Morison, and contains most of his surviving papers, as well as additional material relating to his associates.

1. Stanley Morison

Correspondence with, among others, Edward Johnston, Frederick Warde, Beatrice Warde, D.B. Updike, S.H. Steinberg, Oliver Simon, Sir Francis Meynell, Jan van Krimpen (including xerox copies of Morison's letters to van Krimpen, now in the Universiteits-Bibliothek, Amsterdam), E.A. Lowe, Reynolds Stone, Eric Gill, Bruce Rogers, James Wardrop, S.C. Cockerell, Holbrook Jackson, G. Mardersteig, St John Hornby and F.W. Goudy.

Correspondence with Walter Lewis, Brooke Crutchley and others at Cambridge University Press, with related papers, 1933-1946.

Papers relating to the typography of The Times and other newspapers and magazines.

Notes, typescripts and other papers regarding books and articles, c. 1941-1967, including related correspondence.

Extensive collections of ephemera, proofs and other items of Eric Gill and Reynolds Stone.

Copies of selected Monotype Drawing Office correspondence record cards, c. 1912-1955.

2. Oliver Simon

Papers relating to Signature and The Fleuron.

A large collection of Curwen Press material, including ephemera and book jackets.

Letters from, among others, Edward Bawden, Harold Curwen, Barnett Freedman, Holbrook Jackson, Gerard Meynell, Sir Francis Meynell, Eric Ravillious, Bruce Rogers, D.B. Updike, Jan van Krimpen and Beatrice Warde, mainly relating to Curwen Press work.

3. Beatrice Warde

Letters written to her family, 1907-1957.

Letters from Eric Gill, 1927-1937, and six letters to Gill, c. 1929-1936.

Notebook relating to, and a mock-up of, Warde's unpublished edition of Fournier le jeune, Trait historique et critique de l'art de fondre les caractres de musique.

4. Sir Francis Meynell

Letters and other papers of Alice Meynell, Wilfred Meynell, Viola Meynell and Francis Thompson.

Manuscripts and typescripts of Sir Francis Meynell's publications.

Nonesuch Press archives. The pre-war period is documented spasmodically, but includes correspondence with Ernest Ingham and George Macy, and a group of papers on Rudolf Koch and the Nonesuch Homer, 1931. The post-1951 period is covered more fully, and includes correspondence with George and Helen Macy, Sir Max Reinhardt and John Ryder, and with printers, editors, papermakers, binders and illustrators, as well as trial proofs, papers samples, blocks and other material.

Material relating to Meynell's work for the Limited Editions Club.

Papers relating to H.M.S.O., where Meynell was typographical advisor, 1945-1966.

Papers relating to the Post Office Stamps Advisory Committee and the Royal Mint Advisory Committee.

Correspondence files.

5. S.H. Steinberg

Selected correspondence, and notes and other papers, mainly on palaeography.

6. Printing and the mind of man

Correspondence, notes and miscellaneous papers relating to the IPEX exhibition, 1963, with a similar collection preparatory to the subsequent book, Printing and the mind of man (1967).

7. Printing exhibition

Correspondence relating to the exhibition of printing at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, 1940.

8. Christmas books

Correspondence relating to Cambridge University Press Christmas books, 1947-1973.

9. Baskerville punches

Correspondence and other papers relating to the Baskerville punches, c. 1949-1953.

Administrative / Biographical History

Stanley Arthur Morison (1889-1967), typographer, was born at Wanstead, Essex, on 6 May 1889. He attended Owen's School, Islington, leaving at the age of fourteen, and was a clerk at the London City Mission, 1905-1912, and assistant at the Imprint, 1913-1914. He joined the Roman Catholic publishers Burns & Oates in 1914, and was a typographer at the Cloister Press, 1921-1922. Thereafter, Morison worked a freelance consultant. He was a part-time consultant for the Monotype Corporation, 1922-1954, and typographical advisor for Cambridge University Press, 1923-1959, and for The Times, 1930-1960. He edited The Times literary supplement, 1945-1947, and joined the editorial board of the Encyclopaedia Britannica in 1961. He died on 11 October 1967.

The collection features various individuals connected to Stanley Morison: the printer Oliver Joseph Simon (1895-1956) founded the annual the Fleuron with Morison in 1923; he joined the Curwen Press in 1920, and became its Chairman in 1949. The American typographer Beatrice Lamberton Warde (1900-1969) was a close friend of Morison's. Sir Francis Meynell (1891-1975) was the son of Wilfred Meynell, who employed Morison at Burns & Oates; he founded the Nonesuch Press in 1923. Sigfrid Henry Steinberg (1899-1969) was the editor of The stateman's yearbook from 1946.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

The library of Stanley Morison was presented by Sir Allen Lane, 1968. The archive of Sir Francis Meynell was purchased in 1973. Material relating to Printing and the mind of man was presented by Percy Muir Esq.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives. The biographical history was compiled with reference to the entry on Stanley Morison in E.T .Williams and C.S. Nicholls, eds, Dictionary of national biography, 1961-1970 (Oxford University Press, 1981), pp. 764-765.

Other Finding Aids

A catalogue and detailed descriptive lists are available in the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Conditions Governing Use

Application to publish material from the collection should be made in the first instance to Mr D.J. Hall, Deputy-Librarian (Administration).

Related Material

Cambridge University Library also holds Stanley Morison's collection of books.


Stanley Morison's papers were used extensively by Nicholas Barker for his Stanley Morison (1972). For a rough guide to the scope of Sir Francis Meynell's collection see his autobiography, My lives (1971). For a list of publications from the Nonesuch Press that have been fully documented see Sir Francis Meynell, 'Nonesuch: the next two score' (Book collector, 20, 1971, pp. 465-482).