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Walter Crane Collection

Call Number: GEN MSS 1418

Scope and Contents

The collection contains original sketches, drawings, autograph manuscripts, and autograph letters, signed, by the English illustrator Walter Crane. Prominent are the original drawings for two of Crane's illustrated books, Queen Summer, or The Tourney of the Lily and the Rose (London: Cassell & Co., 1891) and A Floral Fantasy in an Old English Garden (New York and London: Harper and Bros., 1899). Correspondents include Kineton Parkes and Frederic Shields. Also present is a ceramic tile bearing an image by Crane, and his watercolor landscape titled "Swedish Twilight."


  • 1876 - 1915


Language of Materials

In English.

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Walter Crane Collection is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Acquired by gift and purchase, 1956-2016. For more information, see the finding aid.


Organized into two series: I. Correspondence, 1876-1915. II. Artwork and Writings, 1878-1909.


3.79 Linear Feet (4 boxes)

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

Walter Crane (1845-1915)

Walter Crane (1845-1915), English author and illustrator best known for his work in children's literature. Among the most important illustrators of the nineteenth century, Crane was also a painter, essayist, and decorative artist who created designs for wallpapers, tiles, printed textiles, posters, stained glass, embroideries, and pottery. His formal education consisted of an apprenticeship served with the wood engraver and illustrator W. J. Linton from 1858 to 1862; later he was a founder of The Art-Workers' Guild (1884) and a founder and first president of The Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society (1888).

Processing Information

Prior to 2016, the manuscripts and artwork related to Walter Crane were kept together as one collection and primarily filed under the call number MS Vault Crane. When the material was processed in 2016 it was decided to extract and reassemble the Catharine T. Patterson Collection of Walter Crane (under call number GEN MSS 1386), and to describe the remaining Crane material—items purchased by the library or received as gifts from other donors—separately as the Walter Crane Collection (under GEN MSS 1418).

This finding aid was produced from a previously existing card set in the Manuscripts Catalog and the library's accession files; and all pertinent bibliographical information has been retained. The information drawn from those sources was greatly enhanced through the efforts of the Crane scholar Francesca Tancini, an A. Bartlett Giamatti Fellow at Beinecke Library in 2015, who examined all the Walter Crane material in the library's collection and cataloged the original (non-print) items. Many of her descriptions and narratives form the basis of this finding aid, and the library is enormously grateful for her careful work.

Former call numbers: MS Vault Crane, MS Vault Shelves Crane, Uncat MS Vault File

Guide to the Walter Crane Collection
by Sandra Markham and Francesca Tancini
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977


121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.