Archives of The Hogarth Press

The Hogarth Press, founded by Leonard and Virginia Woolf in 1917, was acquired by Chatto & Windus after the Second World War.

It began as a private press, operating from the Woolfs' home, Hogarth House in Richmond, publishing poems and short works which could be produced on a hand press by Leonard and Virginia who had no formal printing training. It rapidly expanded from a hobby to a cottage industry, moving first to Tavistock Square in 1924 and then to Mecklenburg Square in 1939. As it expanded, books were also printed by commercial printers. Between 1917 and 1932 thirty-four books were hand printed, including Katherine Mansfield's Prelude and T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land in 1923. Other longer works were printed commercially. Among these were some of the first translations of contemporary foreign literatures, such as works by Gorky and Dostoevski. The Hogarth Press also became the authorised publisher of the works of Sigmund Freud.

During the Blitz the Hogarth Press moved to the premises of one of its printers, the Garden City Press, at Letchworth. In 1941 the partnership with John Lehmann, the general manager and joint partner with Leonard Woolf was dissolved and his share in the company was sold to Chatto and Windus.

The collection includes editorial correspondence (1922-1955); correspondence of the Woolfs from the pre-war period; stock books 1937-1994; press cuttings 1937-1964; records of manuscripts received 1968-1983; Leonard Woolf's handwritten notebooks consisting of profit & loss summaries (1917-1939), author accounts (1926-1928), balance sheets (1925-1937), notes on production and publicity costs (1928-1929) and book orders (1920-1926); authors' accounts and statement ledgers 1926-1942; sales ledgers before 1945; financial records 1924-1994.

Post-war material from the Hogarth Press is contained in the Chatto & Windus collection.

Readers will need the written permission of Random House publishers before consulting material in this collection.

More information

  • The Archives of The Hogarth Press are catalogued on Enterprise 
  • A full description is available on our online database
  • Manuscript number MS 2750
literature, publishing history correspondence, business records hogarth press

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