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Herbert F. West collection of A. Hugh Fisher

Call Number: GEN MSS 795
Scope and Contents

The Herbert F. West Collection of A. Hugh Fisher consists of correspondence, writings, clippings, tearsheets, and fine art sent to Herbert West by the artist Alfred Hugh Fisher between 1938 and 1945. It includes over 300 letters from Fisher to West, 1938-1945; autobiographical memoirs by Fisher; volumes of travel journals (in the form of letters to his colleague Halford Mackinder) covering Fisher's work with the Visual Instruction Committee of the British Colonial Office and recording his visits to Australia, Borneo, Canada, China, Fiji, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Japan, Malta, New Zealand, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Tasmania, and Tonga, 1907-1910; various articles, clippings, notes, manuscripts, and ephemera; and a selection of drawings, paintings, and prints by Fisher whose subjects include the home of writer Margaret Leigh, and portraits of his contemporaries Lascelles Abercrombie, Walter de la Mare, T. Sturge Moore, George W. Russell, and W. B. Yeats, among others. Also present is an etching by Hungarian printmaker Gyula (Julius) Komjati, whom Fisher visited in 1932.

Although West and Fisher never met in person, their long-distance friendship gave the artist someone to whom he could entrust his work and legacy, a particularly important concern when British citizens were anticipating Germany's impending attack. In addition to describing daily life in wartime Britain, Fisher's letters to West provide further personal history and context for the material West was receiving.

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Herbert F. West Collection of A. Hugh Fisher 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

Gift of Herbert F. West, 1954-1957; letter to Miss Pye, gift of Bertram Rota, 1958; "Lycidas" woodcuts, gift of Robert Barry, 1953.


Organized into three series: I. Correspondence, 1913-1954. II. Writings, Ephemera, and Photographs, 1860-1945. III. Fine Art, 1881-1941.

Associated Materials

West's collection of books inscribed by Fisher were cataloged separately. Fisher's letters to William Rose Benet, also a gift to the library from Herbert West, are filed in the Benet Family Papers. Albums of photographs taken by Fisher during his time with the Colonial Office Visual Instruction Committee are in the Royal Commonwealth Society Collections at the University of Cambridge Library, Cambridge, England.

1860 - 1945
Majority of material found within 1901 - 1945
2.54 Linear Feet (9 boxes)
Related Names
West, Herbert Faulkner, 1898-1974
Komjati, Gyula, 1894-1958
Language of Materials