Virginia Woolf

Fonds number:
Title: Virginia Woolf
Dates of Material:
1926, 1936, [1939?]
2 cm of textual records
Introduction to the Collection

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 issues 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.)

The design interests of the Bloomsbury Group are represented by a selection of graphic works by Vanessa 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).

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.

Accessing the Collection

There are several ways to access the collection:

University of Toronto Catalogue: Contains published items by and about Woolf and the Bloomsbury group held in the entire University of Toronto Libraries, including items in the Woolf and General collections at Victoria University Library. If you wish to see only those items in Victoria University Library's Woolf Collection, do an Advanced Search in the old version of the catalogue and select Victoria (Pratt) Virginia Woolf Collection from the Location drop-down menu. This will provide a list of all books in the Woolf Collection.

Victoria University Library continues to collect related special collections materials, new editions of Virginia Woolf's and Bloomsbury Group members' texts, and contemporary criticism of the Bloomsbury Group members.
See: Woolf Collection – New Acquisitions

Guide to the Virginia Woolf fonds
A detailed finding aid to the materials contained in the Virginia Woolf fonds 65

Biographical sketch

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; and she committed suicide by drowning in March 1941.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of a letter to Clive Bell, 1926, and a letter to Stephen [Spender], [1939?] (Accession 2009.06); and a letter to Lillian Turner, 1936 (Accession 2017.09).

Source of supplied title

Title based on contents of the fonds.

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

Access restrictions

Restrictions on access: None

Finding aids

Box/file list available

Access points

Woolf, Virginia, 1882–1941

Related exhibitions at Victoria University Library

In 1997 the library mounted “Bloomsbury: Books, art and design,” an exhibition based on its Virginia Woolf collection.

In 2007 the exhibition Virginia & Co. was mounted to celebrate the 125th birthday of Virginia Woolf

Related resources
  • Legend:
  • Pratt logo Available at E.J. Pratt Library
  • Emmanuel logo Available at Emmanuel Library
  • UofT logo UofT members only

Bibliographies of the Hogarth Press
Donna E. Rhein. The Handprinted Books of Leonard and Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth Press, 1917–1932. Ann Arbor, Michigan: UMI Research Press, c. 1985.
Z 232 H73 R47 1985 Pratt Reference Stacks

J. Howard Woolmer. A Checklist of the Hogarth Press 1917–1946. With a Short History of the Press by Mary E. Gaither. Revere, Pennsylvania: Woolmer/Brotherson Ltd., 1986.
Z 232 .H73 W66 1986 Pratt Reference Stacks

See the University of Toronto Catalogue for catalogued items supporting Woolf studies.

British Bohemia: The Bloomsbury Circle of Virginia Woolf – photos from an exhibition at the International Cultural Centre Poland, September 15, 2010 to January 9, 2011, featuring items loaned by Victoria University Library.

British Bohemia: The Bloomsbury Circle of Virginia Woolf – view video of an exhibition at the International Cultural Centre Poland, September 15, 2010 to January 9, 2011.

Major Authors: Virginia Woolf. The Complete Works of Virginia Woolf on CD–ROM (Through UTL Winframe Server)
Has variant and hard–to–find editions. 12,000+ manuscript images from the Collection at the New York Public Library and the Monks House Papers at the University of Sussex. Contents are full–text searchable with broad hyperlinking and cross–referencing.

Virginia Woolf e-books @ The University of Adelaide

Reading Notes for Three Guineas: An Edition and Archive Pratt logo
Provides online access to the archive of source materials kept by Virginia Woolf as she researched and prepared her work, Three Guineas. This resource currently contains three volumes of news clipping scrapbooks contained at the University of Sussex.

The Charleston Trust

Links to Web Sites on Virginia Woolf – A series of links assembled to accompany the website for the The Sixth Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf at Clemson University, June 13–16, 1996.

Monk's House Visitor Information from the National Trust website

Seventy Years at the Hogarth Press: The Press of Virginia and Leonard Woolf
An exhibition organized by the University of Delaware, Hugh H. Morris Library, curated by Max Yela that was held May 15 – September 30, 1987.

International Virginia Woolf Society

International Virginia Woolf Society Conference Proceedings from Clemson University Digital Press

Virginia Woolf and Bloomsbury an unannotated database of over 28,000 records compliled by Stuart N. Clarke, emphasizing secondary material about Virginia Woolf, some primary material written by Woolf, as well as both primary and secondary material about the Bloomsbury Group.

Virginia Woolf Seminar a website for a senior seminar taught at Clemson Universty by Dr. Elisa Kay Sparks that contains annotated bibliographies, resources for teaching, links to other Woolf resources, Woolf quotes and places of significance.

Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain (VWSGB) – The Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain is a non–profit organisation which aims to raise the profile of Virginia Woolf and promote the reading and discussion of her works....

Virginia Woolf Web: E–Text guide & collection info – a bibliography of electronic–texts by Virginia Woolf available on the Internet in text archives

Virginia Woolf Web Links

Woolf in the World: A Pen and a Press of Her Own – An online exhibition of materials from the Elizabeth P. Richardson Bloomsbury Iconography Collection and the Frances Hooper Collection of Virginia Woolf Books and Manuscripts, Smith College Libraries, Northampton, MA.

The Library of Leonard and Virginia Woolf: A Short–Title Catalog – edited and compiled by Julia King and Laila Miletic–Vejzovic. Foreword by Laila Miletic–Vejzovic, and Introduction by Diane Gillespie; WSU Press, 2003. Provided through the Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections of Washington State University.

Blogging Woolf: Focusing on Virginia Woolf and her circle, past and present

Woolf Online: An Electronic Edition and Commentary on Woolf's 'Time Passes'

Leslie Stephen's Photograph Album – An online exhibition organized by Smith College Libraries.

Vita Sackville West (1892–1962) – contains information on Woolf: bio plus a list of her works