Wood Collection

The Wood collection is comprised of 210 illustrated books published in England during the mid to late nineteenth century and collected by George Henry Wood (1874-1945). Donated to the Alexander Turnbull Library by the collector in 1940 and held in the Turnbull Named Collections, it includes works of poetry, fables, allegories and ballads, as well as books of humour, books for children, and works on art, nature, and Christianity.

Covers and spine of an 1866 book, 'The life of man'.
John Leighton, The life of man, 1866. Record page

The collection encompasses the Victorian era of British history; the earliest publication is dated 1841, and the latest dated 1913, with the majority of works published 1850-1880. Works include illustrations by Burne-Jones, Madox Brown, Watts, Holman-Hunt, Birket Foster, Brothers Dalziel, Charles Bennett, John Gilbert, John Leighton, Harrison Weir and others.

The collection includes many stunning examples of English bookbinding in this period. Among those bookbinders represented are Edmonds & Remnants, Kent, Bone & Son, Leighton, Son & Hodge, Preston Bros. & Co., Smith, Elder & Co., and Trickett & Sons. Among the publishers represented are John Murray, Routledge, Longman, Chatto & Windus, Ward Lock & Co., Nimmo, Cassell, and Kent.

The book collection is enhanced by several related items held in the Alexander Turnbull Library unpublished collections, including:

Access items in this collection

Original items in this collection can be requested through the Library’s catalogue and consulted in the Katherine Mansfield Reading Room.

This collection is catalogued online and may be called up as a list on the National Library catalogue by searching ‘Wood’ using the ‘in call number’ search option in the NLNZ catalogue advanced search.

George Henry Wood's bookplate for Puck on Pegasus, showing a desk covered with books, lighted by candle.
George Henry Wood's bookplate in H. Cholmondeley-Pennell, Puck on Pegasus, 1874. Record page