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Victorian Wallpaper and Fabric Design Collection

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 9 May 2017

Biographical History

William Morris (1834-1896) was an English textile designer, author, and socialist activist. A strong believer in fine crafatsmanship and the use of quality raw materials, he is closely associated with the British Arts and Crafts Movement and was a major contributor to the revival of traditional British textile arts and methods of production. Over his lifetime he produced more than 600 designs for wallpaper, textiles, and embroideries, as well as hundreds of borders and ornamentations for his private publishing venture, the Kelmscott Press. His designs remain popular today.

Arthur Sanderson & Sons, founded in 1860, is a British manufacturer of fabrics and wallpaper now based in London. Since 1924, they have held a Royal Warrant as "Purveyors of Wallpapers and Paints." Their archival collection in Denham, Buckinghamshire, includes original William Morris printing blocks as well as material from other historic designers and brands.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Victorian Wallpaper and Fabric Design Collection consists of four oversize volumes of wallpaper and fabric samples printed with Victorian designs, most of them by William Morris or based on his work. Two of the volumes were produced by British wallpaper and fabric manufacturer Arthur Sanderson & Sons, one was produced by Schumaker & Co. of New York. The wallpaper samples in the fourth volume were originally pasted down to boards; they were removed and placed into a specially-constructed binder by Special Collections conservation staff.

Arrangement of the Collection

Alphabetical by title.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Morris, William, 1834-1896.

Corporate Bodies

Arthur Sanderson & Sons.


Art, Victorian.
Arts and crafts movement.
Fabric arts.
Flowers in art.
Textile designers.
Textile printing.
Textiles -- Specimens.
Wallpaper -- Specimens.

Genres and Forms




Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Victorian Wallpaper and Fabric Design Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Two volumes, gift of Frank Morigi. Remainder unknown.

Table of Contents

Fabric and wallpaper samples