Archive of Sibyl, Lady Colefax
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.
- Creation: 1851-1988
7.70 Linear metres (70 physical shelfmarks)
Language of Materials
Oxford Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark, e.g. MS. Eng. a. 2011.]
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
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.
- Catalogue of the archive of Sibyl, Lady Colefax (1874-1950)
- Finding aid prepared by Elizabeth Turner
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Conversion to EAD supported by the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation