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Archive of Richard Shirley Smith


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This archive is comprised of four series:

1. Personal papers – Primarily correspondence and ephemera

2. Published works – Material concerning books by or about Richard Shirley Smith

3. Exhibitions – Material relating to exhibitions of Richard Shirley Smith’s work

4. Artwork – Original artwork and related material, including numerous objects and photographs

Most original packaging has not been retained, with exceptions noted in the catalogue where relevant.

Any original labelling has been transcribed and included within the relevant box description.

For preservation purposes, unannotated newspaper cuttings have not been retained, excluding those contained within MS. 21920/27 and MS. 21920/28.

Full details of all removed items have been recorded inside the relevant boxes.

Please note that throughout this catalogue, reference is made to (Bain: number x) and (Moss: number x). These numbers relate to item lists presented in the following titles:

Iain Bain (1994) The Wood Engravings of Richard Shirley Smith. Silent Books: Cambridge. (Available at MS. 21920/12)

Roger Moss (2010) The Moss Collection. Marlborough: Libanus Press. (Available via SOLO)


  • Creation: 1950-2022 and n.d.


7.85 Linear metres (150 boxes)

Language of Materials

  • English
  • Dutch; Flemish
  • German
  • Italian
  • Latin
  • Russian

Conditions Governing Use

Some material is closed.

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. 21920/1].

Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. 21920/1-77; MSS. 21920 photogr. 1-47; JL 998 - 1000; JL 1067 - 1091

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD 21920, 17724


This collection comprises material relating to Richard Shirley Smith (b 1935), including original artwork.

Biographical / Historical

Richard Shirley Smith (b 1935) spent his early years at Harrow School, before attending the Slade School of Fine Art. He held several teaching positions throughout his professional life, including at St. Albans School of Art, Marlborough College and Swindon School of Art, but was primarily a practicing artist in his own right. Proficient in numerous mediums, he is perhaps most well known for his murals and wood engravings.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was purchased from Blackwell's Rare Books in 2022.

Three exceptions are the mural panels (JL 998-1000), which were donated to the Bodleian by Richard Shirley Smith in 2019.

Related Materials

Additional collections of Richard Shirley Smith's artwork are held by several other institutions, including the Ashmolean, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the British Museum and the Yale Center for British Art.

Please contact their departments for more information regarding content and access.

Catalogue of the archive of Richard Shirley Smith
Bethany Goodman
Language of description
Script of description
Edition statement
First edition

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom