Fonds 65 - Virginia Woolf fonds

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Virginia Woolf fonds

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Reference code

CA ON00399 65

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  • 1926, 1936, [1939?] (Creation)

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Physical description

2 cm of textual records

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Name of creator


Biographical history

The writer Virginia Woolf was born to Leslie Stephen and Julia Princip in 1882. Her father’s conventional views on education precluded her from attending university; however she began to review books for the Times Literary Supplement, and in 1905, along with friends and relatives, including Vanessa Bell, Clive Bell, Leonard Woolf, and John Maynard Keynes, formed what became known as the Bloomsbury Group. She married Leonard Woolf in 1912, and five years later they founded the Hogarth Press. Woolf’s first novel, The Voyage Out, was published in 1915, and was followed by a number of critically acclaimed others; she also gained renown as a journalist and literary critic, and as a writer of non-fiction works such as A Room of One’s Own (1929). A victim of recurring depression, Woolf’s mental condition was exacerbated by the Second World War. She committed suicide by drowning in March 1941.

Custodial history

The nucleus of the Collection was formed when Mary Rowell Jackman (Vic 2T5) presented a number of first editions of Virginia Woolf's works and Hogarth Press publications to the Women's Residence Library. Later transferred to the E.J. Pratt Library, the collection has grown considerably since then with continuing generous support from the Mary Jackman collection endowment, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Ruth Gregory (Vic 4T3) and other benefactors.

Scope and content

The collection of more than 3000 items contains all the books hand-printed by Leonard and Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth Press in London (1917–1932). (The hand-printed works include many variant issues and bindings). It is also a nearly comprehensive collection of Hogarth Press machine printed books to 1946 (the year Leonard Woolf and the Press joined Chatto &Windus) and contains many rarities and all the significant texts. Included are many variant bindings, first editions, subsequent isues and editions, presentation copies, proofs copies, limited editions and signed limited editions. A substantial number of ephemeral publications, press catalogues, announcements and notices enhance the research utility of the collection. (Records for each item can be found in the University of Toronto Library Catalogue.)

Fonds consists of a letter to Clive Bell, 1926; a letter to Stephen [Spender], [1939?]; and a letter to Lillian Turner, 1936.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Bell letter was purchased in 1982. [Spender] letter donated in 1993 by Ruth E. Gregory. Turner letter was donated in 2017 by Robert Brandeis, former Chief Librarian of Victoria University.


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No restrictions on access.

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See the finding aid for more details.


General note

Title based on contents of the fonds.

General note

The design interests of the Bloomsbury Group are represented by a selection of graphic works by Vanesssa Bell, Roger Fry, Duncan Grant and Clive Bell. Stephen Tomlin, a sculptor associated with the Group, is represented by bronze busts of Virginia Woolf and Lytton Strachey (on permanent display in the Pratt Reading Room.)

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Literary and Film Resources

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