Enterprise and Adlib catalogue issues: Update

Edit 20 December: Enterprise is now fully functional.

Following some upgrade issues, the Enterprise search boxes on the Library and Special Collections homepages are working again. There are still a few styling issues which we are liaising with our supplier to fix. At present we recommend using Firefox instead of Internet Explorer to search Enterprise.

There are still problems with both Enterprise and Adlib searching data taken from the Archive and Museum Database.

We are investigating the issue and will update readers when we can. We apologise for any inconvenience this has caused; if you need any help accessing materials please feel free to call or email the Reading Room (0118 378 8660 or merl@reading.ac.uk / specialcollections@reading.ac.uk).

New acquisition: a set of Talwin Morris poetry books

The graphic artist Talwin Morris (1865-1911) was a member of the circle of artists surrounding the architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh in Glasgow. Through his book designs, Morris was able to introduce a wide audience to what was known as the ‘Glasgow Style’ as it flourished at the end of the nineteenth century.

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Front cover design by Talwin Morris

Five years ago we organised an exhibition of Talwin Morris book covers which was on display outside the Special Collections reading room, with an accompanying exhibition page on our website. The exhibition showcased a selection of book covers designed by Morris from our rare book collections and the MERL library. Since then, we have been very pleased to receive a number of emails from Talwin Morris collectors and other individuals with an interest in his work, sometimes to offer Morris books for sale or donation, or just to share interest and knowledge.

In this way we were contacted recently by an Oxfam bookshop in Birmingham seeking information about a beautiful set of poetry books designed by Talwin Morris. We are delighted to say that we have now purchased this set for the Printing Collection, part of the rare book collections at Reading.

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Volumes from ‘A Library of Choice Poetry’ designed by Talwin Morris

The set is a later version of the Red Letter Library, published by the Gresham Publishing Company as a boxed set with the title ‘A Library of Choice Poetry’ some time between 1902-1911. The books are bound in cloth with front cover and spine designs by Talwin Morris [shown above], who also designed the title-pages and endpapers [detail of endpaper design shown below]. The series includes volumes of poetry by Matthew Arnold, Tennyson, Wordsworth and Keats.

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Detail of endpaper design by Talwin Morris

One of the appealing features of Talwin Morris’s work is that, aside from the beauty of the designs, examples of his book covers can still be found for sale for fairly modest sums in charity shops and secondhand booksellers as the texts themselves are not particularly rare – once you become familiar with his style they are easy to spot!

[Many thanks to Ladi Dell’aira from the Oxfam bookshop in Kings Heath, Birmingham, for her kind permission to use her photographs of the books in this post and for her help with the acquisition of the books].