ARCHIVES, ARTEFACTS AND LIBRARY
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There is a wide ranging variety of material which has been given, loaned or acquired, usually at auction. A very brief summary is shown below. On viewing, the full catalogue can be consulted.
Archive includes artworks on paper, some photographs, and written work, either manuscript or published material. Items include drawings, attributed to A.W.N. Pugin, and a number of drawings and designs by John Hardman Powell, Pugin’s assistant. There is microfilm consisting mainly of Pugin’s letters to his closest colleague, John Hardman, and also a substantial quantity of photocopies of Pugin’s letters to his other correspondents. Although these have been published, it is interesting to see them as they appeared in Pugin’s own hand. There are also some varied nineteenth-century religious engravings, chromolithographs and one or two etchings, a signed drawing by the French artist and etcher Alphonse Legros, and much more.
Artefacts include Pugin/Minton encaustic tiles from the Palace of Westminster, some framed works of art, stained glass and carved wooden fragments, a wax seal from the Pugin family, and further items connected with Pugin and his world.
Library The Library holds copies of many of Pugin’s writings in either modern facsimiles or nineteenth century editions. Particularly notable among the latter are a second edition of Contrasts and the two volumes of the rare Ayling’s Photographs from Sketches by A.W. Pugin, compiled by Edward, Pugin’s son. Other nineteenth century books in the collection are Specimens of Gothic Architecture and Examples of Gothic Architecture, the fruit of Pugin’s father’s collaboration with E. Willson. The latter is also available in French (Architecture Gothique, three volumes) published in 1863.
Volumes of The Collected Letters of AWN Pugin, edited by Margaret Belcher, are available and we also have The Life and Letters of Ambrose Phillips de Lisle, by ES Purcell. We also hold five volumes of The Broad Stone of Honour, by Kenelm Digby, and another of Pugin’s collaborators, Daniel Rock, is represented by his Hierurgia. There are also secondary works on Victorian ecclesiastical and architectural history, notably by Michael Fisher. The other part of the Library is devoted to the mission of St Augustine, and that completes the collection.