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Emery Walker Library

The Emery Walker Library is a large collection of books and associated material belonging to the printer and book lover Emery Walker (1851-1933). It contains many books relating to the Private Press Movement. Walker was the pivotal figure and inspiration behind the Movement.

Private press books are produced by individuals, rather than by large companies. There was a great flowering in these handmade books in the late 19th and early 20th centuries which contributed to the high standards of book design and typography still current today.

The heart of the library consists of private press books and associated material from the Kelmscott, Doves and Ashendene Presses and many other private presses in Britain, Europe and America. We are currently adding the library to our collections database, and are digitising the books and the associated archive material. We hold two displays a year from the library as well as a display from Walker’s archives.

Discover some of Walker’s books through our Virtual Library. Turn the pages of Kelmscott, Doves, Ashendene and Essex Press books as well as books personally illustrated and written by William Morris, Ernest Gimson and John Ruskin.

Emery Walker’s library was acquired by Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum in 1990. Emery Walker’s library was acquired by Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum in 1990 for two reasons: it adds to the strength and breadth of the Arts & Crafts Movement collections and because of Walker’s personal connection with Gloucestershire. He visited the area regularly and in 1922 leased Daneway House near Cirencester until his death in 1933.  The library was purchased by private treaty sale with the support of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the MGC/V&A Purchase Grant Fund, the British Library, the Pilgrim Trust, the John Paul Getty Jr Charitable Trust and the National Art Collections Fund.

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