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William Morris: the Arts and Crafts of Books – free event at Cadbury Research Library 8 May

Posted March 3rd, 2013 by Suzanne Carter with No Comments

There is a free talk by Martin Killeen as part of the University of Birmingham’s Cadbury Research Library’s event programme. This may be of interest to some of you.

In his later years William Morris devoted much of his energy to the Kelmscott Press, which he founded in 1891 at Hammersmith. Inspired by the beauty of 15th century roman typefaces and woodcut illustrations, he aimed to equal the highest standards of the past. His book designs were modelled on Caxton and his original typefaces were influenced by the French engraver and printer Nicolaus Jenson, who worked in Venice. This talk, by Martin Killeen, Senior Librarian for Rare Books, looks at these and other important influences on Morris, examines his print masterpieces and explores how the spirit of Kelmscott stimulated the private press movement.

More than 50 Kelmscott books were produced between 1891 and 1899, Morris himself overseeing all aspects of production, selecting the paper, ink and fount and setting the type himself. Many of these are held by the Cadbury Research Library, all in their original bindings, either in limp vellum with silk ties or quarter blue holland boards. The most magnificent are two copies of the edition of The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer (1896), illustrated with woodcuts by the great Birmingham artist Edward Burne-Jones with borders, frames, and initial letters fashioned by Morris. Our Kelmscott collection, along with examples of early printed and private press books will be on view in the Cadbury Research Library reading room at the special browsing session which will follow the talk.

This talk accompanies the exhibition William Morris and the Kelmscott Press in the Muirhead Atrium until 17 May 2013.

For details of the talk by Martin Killeen,  William Morris: the Arts and Crafts of Books, follow this link:

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