Forest marks, Love is Enough, Utopia

A month or so ago, my Camberwell group visited the London Metropolitan Archive, the Guildhall Art Gallery and library, brokered by Adrian Holme. A day leafing through and opening up fascinating documents of — and belonging to — the City of London.

The LMA is, simply put, London's archive. Kilometres of shelving in strong rooms, holding miscellany reaching back to a small piece paper, a 1067 decree by William the Conqueror (or the Bastard as he was known at the time).

We spent some time with boxes brought up from the archive, related to Adrian's seminars this year. What became clear, is the impossibility of a definitive record. Through the conservator's studio and here, we handled Victorian concertina'd paper viewfinders of the Crystal Palace, a scrapbook belonging to an employee of Horniman's Tea, photographs of crowds esconced in banter and singalong, in Bethnal Green tube station during an air raid, hand-coloured architectural plans and sections of a works. It's clear there were reams of more linear records but the unpredictable truth-telling of these things detained us.

I enjoyed the Epping Forest box.

The Guildhall library presented an opportunity to handle two amazing, original Kelmscott Press editions in a limp vellum binding. This, Morris' Love is Enough (1897) with illustrations by Edward Burne-Jones. A full 100-page scan here.

And Thomas More's Utopia (1893). Note the yapp edges. Also seen here.