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Finding Aid for the Robert Gibbings Collection 1919-1989
Press Coll. Archives Gibbings  
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Table of contents What's This?

Container List

 

Series 1. Correspondence and Ephemera 1919-1989

Physical Description: 1 box (.42 linear feet)

Scope and Content Note

This series contains personal and professional correspondence to and from friends and colleagues, as well as ephemera and photographs related to Robert Gibbings and his work. Also included is correspondence from Joseph Kelly Vodrey, the primary compiler of this collection, to booksellers showing how he built this collection.

Arrangement

The correspondence in this series was arranged alphabetically by sender and further sorted chronologically where possible. The ephemera is arranged thematically.
 

Subseries 1. Robert Gibbings Correspondence and Ephemera 1919-1989

Arrangement

This series was originally arranged alphabetically by correspondent and further arranged chronologically where possible. The ephemera is arranged thematically.

Scope and Content Note

This subseries contains correspondence from Gibbings to friends and colleagues as well as ephemera related to his work. Also included is correspondence from friends discussing his obituary and preparation for an exhibit after Gibbings death.
Box 1, Folder 1

Robert Gibbings to Thomas Balston, 1922-1930

Scope and Content Note

Letters to Thomas Balston, concerning the Golden Cockerel Press.

Note

Includes comments by Robert Gibbings on his engraved books.
Box 1, Folder 2

Robert Gibbings to 'Monsieur' Brault, ca. 1931?

Scope and Content Note

A letter in Gibbings's hand concerning the publication of Paul Gauguin's correspondence.

Note

Originally laid in 'Iorana!, a Tahitian journal'.
Box 1, Folder 3

Robert Gibbings to F. Close, 1952

Box 1, Folder 4

Robert Gibbings to Dunster House Bookshop, 1919-1924

Scope and Content Note

Letters concerning the sale of prints and of publications of the Golden Cockerel Press.

Note

Includes list of prints signed and 'hand printed by myself.'
Box 1, Folder 5

Robert Gibbings to Eric Gill, 1927-1930

Box 1, Folder 6

Robert Gibbings to Mary Gill, 1940

Box 1, Folder 7

Robert Gibbings to Mary O'Sullivan Kavanagh, 1932-1942

Box 1, Folder 8

Robert Gibbings to Hubert Pike, 1931

Box 1, Folder 9

Robert Gibbings to Charles Spencer, 1945-1947

Scope and Content Note

Includes letters and postcards written while traveling in New Zealand and Samoa.

Note

Items originally laid in Blue Angels and Whales (1946).
Box 1, Folder 10

Robert Gibbings to Unnamed Bookseller, 1926

Note

Includes the dealer's description.
Box 1, Folder 11

Robert Gibbings to Unnamed Bookseller, 1932

Note

Originally laid in Michael Ernest Sadler's copy of 'Fourteen Wood Engravings'.
Box 1, Folder 12

Robert Gibbings to C.D. Wyatt, 1937

Box 1, Folder 13

Patience Empson to Hubert Pike, 1958-1960

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence concerning the loan of materials for an exhibit on Robert Gibbings's work.
Box 1, Folder 14

David Low to A.J.A. Symons, 1935

Note

Originally laid in Symons's copy of 'Sermons by Artists'.
Box 1, Folder 15

Christopher Sandford to the Times, 1958

Scope and Content Note

Draft of a letter correcting the Times' obituary of Robert Gibbings.

Note

Enclosed with the Society of Wood Engravers 29th Exhibition pamphlet.
Box 1, Folder 16

Autograph album, 1927

Scope and Content Note

Mary O'Sullivan Kavanagh's autograph album, including two wood engravings by Gibbings and verses by A.E. Coppard and others associated with the Golden Cockerel Press.
Box 1, Folder 17

Biographical Pamphlet, 1989

Scope and Content Note

Biographical pamphlet on Gibbings from the Reading Borough Council.
Box 1, Folder 18

Book jacket fragments, undated

Scope and Content Note

Includes 'Robert Gibbings: A Bibliography' (by A. Mary Kirkus, Patience Empson and John Harris) and Gibbings's own 'Lovely is the Lee'.
Box 1, Folder 19

Notes on Melville's 'Omoo', undated

Scope and Content Note

Typed transcription of Gibbings's manuscript notes on Melville's 'Omoo'.

Note

Includes dealer's description.
Box 1, Folder 20

Photographs, undated

Scope and Content Note

Includes two photographs, one of Gibbings and his family and another of Andrew C. Cooper, pressman.

Note

Photos identified by Martin Andrews in 'Matrix 9' article, September 11, 1995.
Box 1, Folder 21

'Rivers Are Roads' Draft, ca. 1953

Scope and Content Note

'Rivers Are Roads' typescript with Gibbings's holograph additions and corrections.
Box 1, Folder 22

Theater Program, 1929

Scope and Content Note

Theater program from the Gate Theatre Studio of 'Maya' by Simon Gantillon with a wood engraving by Robert Gibbings, not in Balston or Kirkus.
Box 2, Folder 1

Oversized book jacket, 1927

Scope and Content Note

'The Chester Play of the Deluge', published by the Golden Cockerel Press.
 

Subseries 2. Joseph Kelly Vodrey Correspondence 1958-1973

Arrangement

This subseries was arranged alphabetically by correspondent and further organized chronologically where possible.

Scope and Content Note

This subseries includes invoices and correspondence between Joseph Kelly Vodrey, booksellers, and friends of Robert Gibbings which chronicle the acquisition of some of the materials in this collection.
Box 1, Folder 23

Miscellaneous Dealers, 1959-1973

Scope and Content Note

Includes correspondence and invoices from booksellers as well as Vodrey's 'List of Additional Gibbings Items Earnestly Sought'.
Box 1, Folder 24

Anthony Rota, 1958-1961

Box 1, Folder 25

Anthony Rota, 1962-1963

Box 1, Folder 26

Anthony Rota, 1964-1973

Box 1, Folder 27

G.F. Sims, 1958-1960

Box 1, Folder 28

G.F. Sims, 1961-1963

Box 1, Folder 29

Aimee Gibbings, 1964-1968

Note

Includes 'The Wood Engravings of Robert Gibbings' with introduction by Thomas Balston, Spring 1960.
Box 1, Folder 30

Mary O'Sullivan Kavanagh, 1963-1964

Note

Includes family photographs of Gibbings.
Box 1, Folder 31

Joseph Kelly Vodrey Miscellaneous, 1973

Box 2, Folder 35

Newspaper clippings, 1944-1969, undated

Note

Includes articles and obituaries on Robert Gibbings and articles discussing Vodrey's collection of Gibbings' work.
 

Series 2. Artworks and Proofs 1921-1959

Physical Description: 1 oversize box (1.67 feet)

Scope and Content Note

Objects in this series include copper engravings, drawings and proofs of individual artworks as well as for artworks included in Gibbings's books.

Arrangement

Items in this series are arranged alphabetically by title.
Box 2, Folder 2

Bermudian Fish proof wood engraving, 1940

Note

Signed with presentation inscription ("To Helen Waddell"), dated 18 Feb 1940.
Box 2, Folder 3

Collection of two copper engravings and 22 proof wood engravings, undated

Note

Interleaved in portfolio on which is mounted a wrapper from 'The Perfect Wife'.
Box 2, Folder 4

Design of country buildings and implements proof wood engravings, 1933

Box 2, Folder 5

Design of foreign newspaper headings proof wood engraving, 1935

Box 2, Folder 6

Elephants copper engraving, ca. 1928

Note

Signed and numbered 1/10 for 'A Circle of the Seasons' (1929).
Box 2, Folder 7

Fish proof wood engraving, ca. 1934

Note

For 'Glory of Life.'
Box 2, Folder 8

Forest scene pencil drawings, undated

Box 2, Folder 9

Letter to Eric Gill on pencil drawing of reclining nude, 1930

Note

Includes dealer's description.
Box 2, Folder 10

'Maugaia' original drawing in pencil and proof wood engraving for 'Journal of...the Voyage of the H.M.S. Beagle', ca. 1946-1956

Box 2, Folder 11

Mediterranean Calm proof wood engraving for 'Fourteen Wood Engravings', ca. 1932

Note

Signed and numbered 14/20.
Box 2, Folder 12

Mediterranean Calm proof for 'Fourteen Wood Engravings', ca. 1932

Note

Signed and numbered 19/20.
Box 2, Folder 13

Minaret and village with mountains in distance original drawing in pencil, undated

Box 2, Folder 14

Morea, Tahiti proof wood engraving, ca. 1931

Note

Signed and numbered 9/20 for 'Iorana! a Tahitian journal'.
Box 2, Folder 15

Old London Bridge proof wood engraving, 1921

Box 2, Folder 16

Open-air market original drawing in pencil, undated

Box 2, Folder 17

Otter and leaping fish proofs of two wood engravings in 'The Twelve Months', ca. 1937

Box 2, Folder 18

Photograph of a sculpture in Portland stone, nude lovers embracing, undated

Box 2, Folder 19

Poplar hawk moth original drawing in pen and pencil, undated

Note

With annotations in pencil.
Box 2, Folder 20

Proof of 'Lines on the Mermaid Tavern' by John Keats, ca. 1927

Note

From 'Lamia, Isabella, The eve of Saint Agnes, & other poems' by John Keats; with engravings by Robert Gibbings (1928).
Box 2, Folder 21

Proofs of the front matter for Gustave Flaubert 'Salambo', ca. 1931

Note

Includes a separate proof of the title page border
Box 2, Folder 22

Proofs of the ten wood engravings in 'The Voyage of the Bounty's Launch', 1959

Note

Includes a note indicating these were pulled from the original 'Bounty' blocks for the collector Joseph Kelly Vodrey.
Box 2, Folder 23

Proofs of twenty-one wood engravings for 'Trumpets from Montparnasse' and two unidentified proofs, ca. 1955

Note

The two unidentified proofs are a river scene and a tropical bird.
Box 2, Folder 24

Proofs of wood engravings for 'Beasts and Saints', ca. 1934

Box 2, Folder 25

Proof of wood-engraved initial from 'Le Morte d'Arthur', ca. 1936

Note

Signed and numbered 1/15.
Box 2, Folder 26

Reclining nude, 'Nicole', ca. 1955

Note

Oil painting on artists' board reproduced facing page 155 in 'Trumpets from Montparnasse'.
Box 2, Folder 27

River scene original drawing in pencil, undated

Box 2, Folder 28

Sailing ship in South Pacific original drawing in pencil, undated

Box 2, Folder 29

Storm at sea in the South Pacific original drawing in pencil, undated

Box 2, Folder 30

Studies of seabirds for 'Glory of Life' original drawings in pencil, 1933

Box 2, Folder 31

'Till I End My Song' proof wood engravings, ca. 1957

Note

Mounted in cartridge paper by Gibbings.
Box 2, Folder 32

Undersea scene drawn on xylonite, ca. 1956

Note

Possibly a preparatory drawing for 'The Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle'. Pencil note on back of mat calls this piece 'Down Underneath the Sea'.
Box 2, Folder 33

Water flea original drawing in pencil with annotations, undated

Box 2, Folder 34

West Cork original drawing in pencil for 'Sweet Cork of Thee', ca. 1951

 

Series 3. Bound Manuscripts 1924-1958

Physical Description: 1 shelf of bound volumes (2.5 linear feet)

Scope and Content Note

This series includes original paste-ups, notebooks, proof engravings and original drawings of Robert Gibbings's work.

Arrangement

This series is arranged alphabetically by title.
Shelved as Gibbings Bound Manuscripts

Batty Kit, Llewelyn & Theodore: two unpublished typescripts, undated

Note

With six leaves of an unpublished illustrated story on the South Seas and dealer's description.
Shelved as Gibbings Bound Manuscripts

'Blue Angels and Whales' original drawings in pencil, ca. 1938-1946

Shelved as Gibbings Bound Manuscripts

'Blue Angels and Whales' original drawings in pencil, ca. 1946

Note

Eight are annotated with instructions to the printer.
Shelved as Gibbings Bound Manuscripts

'Coconut Island' sequel preliminary drafts, undated

Note

An incomplete and unpublished manuscript with a synopsis and revised version of chapters one through four and three sketches laid in.
Shelved as Gibbings Bound Manuscripts

'Coconut Island' sequel revised draft with twelve chapters. undated

Note

An incomplete and unpublished manuscript with holograph corrections and additions.
Shelved as Gibbings Bound Manuscripts

'Coming Down the Seine' engravings, ca. 1953

Scope and Content Note

Proof wood engravings made for 'Everybody's Magazine'.

Note

Includes dealer's description.
Shelved as Gibbings Bound Manuscripts

'Coming Down the Seine' final page proofs, 1953

Note

Annotated by Gibbings with additions and corrections and includes proof wood engravings and original paste-up.
Shelved as Gibbings Bound Manuscripts

'Coming Down the Seine' original typescript marked for the printer, ca. 1953

Shelved as Gibbings Bound Manuscripts

'Journal of Researches by Charles Darwin...during the Voyage of the H.M.S. Beagle' proof wood engravings, ca. 1956

Note

In box with dealer's description and typed note by Patience Empson laid in.
Shelved as Gibbings Bound Manuscripts

'Over the Reefs and Far Away' original drawings in pencil, 1945-1947

Note

With annotations in Gibbings's hand.
Shelved as Gibbings Bound Manuscripts

'Over the Reefs and Far Away' original typescript, 1948

Note

With additions and corrections in typescript and in Gibbings's hand. Includes a drawing in pencil on p. 1.
Shelved as Gibbings Bound Manuscripts

Pacific notebook, ca. 1946

Note

Notes in typescript and in Gibbing's hand on history and wildlife of Samoa, some used in 'Over the Reefs' and some marked as unpublished.
Shelved as Gibbings Bound Manuscripts

South Seas drawings and manuscript notes, 1946-1947

Shelved as Gibbings Bound Manuscripts

'Sweet Cork of Thee' paste-up and proofs of wood engravings, 1951

Note

Annotated by Gibbings.
Shelved as Gibbings Bound Manuscripts

'Sweet Thames Run Softly' manuscript notebook, ca. 1937-1940

Shelved as Gibbings Bound Manuscripts

'Till I End My Song' manuscript notes and rejected drafts, ca. 1957

Note

Includes three proof impressions of wood engravings.
Shelved as Gibbings Bound Manuscripts

'Trumpets from Montparnasse' carbon of original typescript, ca. 1955

Scope and Content Note

With holograph corrections and some inserted leaves with additions in typescript.
Shelved as Gibbings Bound Manuscripts

'Trumpets from Montparnasse' paste-up, ca. 1955

Note

With proof wood engravings, drawings in pencil, and additions and corrections in typescript and in Gibbings's hand.
Shelved as Gibbings Bound Manuscripts

'Twelve Months' proof wood engravings, ca. 1936

Note

All annotated by Gibbings and most inscribed to Llewelyn Powys. In folder with dealer's and Joseph Kelly Vodrey's descriptions.
Shelved as Gibbings Bound Manuscripts

Unpublished original drawings, undated

Note

In pencil with captions, in typescript and in Gibbings's hand.
Shelved as Gibbings Bound Manuscripts

Letter to Colette, 1924

Note

Illustrated with proof wood engravings by Gibbings and with note by G.F. Sims laid in.
Shelved as Gibbings Bound Manuscripts

Letters to Kenneth Hopkins, 1937-1955

Note

10 holograph and 11 typewritten letters, mostly concerning the publication of Gibbings's work in 'Everybody's Magazine'.
Shelved as Gibbings Bound Manuscripts

'Sweet Cork of Thee', 'Trumpets from Montparnasse' and 'Coming Down the Seine' original drawings, undated

Shelved as Press Coll. Gibbings

'Sweet Thames Run Softly' wood proof engravings, 1958

Note

For paging: Shelved in Press Coll Gibbings G43swe 1958.
Shelved as Press Coll. Gibbings

'Till I End My Song' proof wood engravings, 1957

Note

For paging: Shelved in Press Coll Gibbings G43ti 1957.