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Archive of Sibyl, Lady Colefax

 Collection

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Correspondence and papers, with some related family letters, 19th-20th cent., of Sibyl, Lady Colefax (1874-1950), wife of Sir Arthur Colefax, society hostess, and co-founder, 1938, of the interior decoration firm of Colefax & Fowler. The collection includes letters from many of the literary and society figures of her day, some personal and family papers, a few diaries of Lady Colefax, her visitors' books, and a number of photograph albums. Kirsty McLeod, A Passion for Friendship, Sibyl Colefax and her Circle (London, 1991) is based partly on these papers.

Dates

  • 1851-1988

Extent

7.70 Linear metres (70 physical shelfmarks)

Language of Materials

English

Preferred Citation

Oxford Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark, e.g. MS. Eng. a. 2011.]
Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Eng. a. 2011, c. 3159-3189, c. 3272, d. 2388-2404, d. 2419, e. 2751-2758; Photogr. a. 4, b. 10-11, c. 25-30, d. 4-5

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 7089

Overview

Correspondence and papers, with some related family letters, 1851-1988, of Sibyl, Lady Colefax (1874-1950), wife of Sir Arthur Colefax, society hostess, and co-founder of the firm of Colefax & Fowler.

Biographical / Historical

Sibyl, Lady Colefax, (1874-1950) was a society hostess and interior decorator. Following the loss of her investments in the Wall Street Crash of 1926, she began advising her friends on interior arrangement to make money. Following initial success, she established Sibyl Colefax Ltd in 1933, an interior decoration firm. In 1938 she recruited interior decorator John Fowler and partnered with him to create the interior decoration firm Colefax & Fowler.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Given by Mrs. M. Colefax, 1991-1993.
Title
Catalogue of the archive of Sibyl, Lady Colefax (1874-1950)
Status
Completed
Author
Finding aid prepared by Elizabeth Turner
Date
1993
Language of description
English
Sponsor
Conversion to EAD supported by the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Contact:
Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom