the powys society

The official website of THE POWYS SOCIETY

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The Collection

John Cowper Powys T. F. Powys Llewelyn Powys The Powys Family
the powys society collection
jcp t f powys llewelyn powys the powys family

~ The Powys Collection ~ 

A Resource for both Private and Public Research
The Powys Society has long had an important role in the field of literary scholarship; and this area of the site is primarily intended as a guide for those both within and without the Society who are actively engaged in private or public research.
The Powys Society Collection is on semi-permanent loan to the Dorset County Museum in Dorchester where it was housed until 2014. However the bulk of the Collection has now been re-housed in Exeter University Library, with some material still kept at the Museum.
An Archive of Powys Family Material and Information
The Powys Society Collection and Archive was established in 1992 to provide a focus for scholarship into the Powys Family, particularly John Cowper Powys (1872-1963), Theodore Francis Powys (1875-1953) and Llewelyn Powys(1884-1939) and their immediate circle of friends.
The core of the Collection consists of major bequests by Mr E E Bissell and Mr Francis Feather, who have bequeathed their very important collections of Powys books and manuscripts to the Society in perpetuity. Other gifts and bequests continue to extend and enrich the material available.
The manuscripts, typescripts, letters and copies of published works by or about the Powys family, as well as ex libris volumes, are held in Exeter University Library. The Collection also includes an important corpus of Powys family letters, as well as correspondence with their wide circle of friends, including the writers Sylvia Townsend Warner, Huw Menai, Louis Wilkinson, Henry Miller and Elizabeth Myers.
Paintings, photographs, wood engravings and memorabilia relating to the Powys Family as well as items donated directly to the Dorset County Museum are kept in the Museum at Dorchester. Access to these is according to the Museum’s regulations on archive access. The Museum also exhibits some Powys material in its Writers’ Gallery. There are several works by the painter Gertrude Powys also kept securely at the DCM.
The move to Exeter from Dorchester has been recent and we are still in the process of shelving and cataloguing the material. However the old catalogue will give an idea of what is available. (A new catalogue will be available soon.)
A link to Exeter’s collection is available here .

If you wish to consult the new Collection Inventory or visit the Collection at the University of Exeter please contact:
Dr Christine Faunch
Head of Heritage Collections
University of Exeter
Research Commons
Old Library
Prince of Wales Road

tel (0)1392 723879

The Society's Powys Collection Liaison Officer is Michael Kowalewski
tel: 01935 83552
email to



The Agreement which enables the transfer of the Powys Society Collection from Dorset County Museum to Exeter University has been signed by Exeter University, the Powys Society and Trustees of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society. This Agreement can be downloaded here.

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“In books dwell all the demons and all the angels of the human mind. It is for this reason that a bookshop — especially a second-hand bookshop / antiquarian — is an arsenal of explosives, an armoury of revolutions, an opium den of reaction.” — John Cowper Powys

“She would wish that far stranger weddings happened in the world than anything that she saw or heard of at Madder. She needed much more than plain Madder life to interest her — some events more like a proceeding that had happened in a book of fables that she had once read, where a little mouse wished to be joined in holy wedlock with a lioness, who, unluckily going out to meet her little dear before the wedding, chanced to set her foot upon him.” — T.F. Powys

 "No sight that the human eyes can look upon is more provocative of awe than is the night sky scattered thick with stars.” — Llewelyn Powys

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Glastonbury Tor
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Permission must be asked before using any material from this site.

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