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Cuala Industries records

Identifier: MSS 0153

Scope and Contents

The Cuala Industries records includes material dating from circa 1903-1943, arranged in four series: Correspondence; Ephemera, photographs, and miscellany; Hand-colored cards from Cuala Press; and Cuala Press broadsides. Correspondence is chiefly from Elizabeth Corbet Years to R.N. Green Armitage concerning Dun Emer Press and Cuala Press. Other correspondents are George Russell (AE), Lady Gregory, A.H. Bullen, Lily Yeats, and Jack B. Yeats.

The photographs document the embroidery workshop with a picture of the Embroidery Room and twelve photographs of embroidery designs. The miscellany and printed ephemera include bookplates; a drawing by Eduard Dulac of the phases of the moon for W.B. Yeats' book, A Vision (1925); and printed advertisements for Dun Emer Industries and Cuala Industries. The numbered series of Cuala Press cards are bright, hand-colored woodcuts above short poems printed on Irish papers. The cards and broadsides include poems and illustrations by W.B. Yeats, Jack B. Yeats, Dorothy Blackham, Lady Glenavy, Mary Cottenham White Yeats (Jack's wife), and others.


  • Creation: 1903-1943


Language of Materials

Materials primarily in English with some writing in Irish.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S.Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce isrequired from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library,

Historical Note

The Cuala Industries, including an embroidery workshop and the Cuala Press, was established in 1908 when sisters Elizabeth Corbet Yeats and Lily Yeats left the parent Dun Emer Industries. Dun Emer was started in Dundrum, County Dublin, in 1902 by Evelyn Gleeson to produce handcrafted works in the mode of William Morris. Dun Emer was to employ only women and was concerned with the education of working class girls. The Yeats sisters came from London to assist with the establishment of the Industries. Lily, who had studied with William Morris's daughter May Morris, organized the embroidery workshop and Elizabeth founded the Dun Emer Press in 1902.

The Yeats sisters' brother, William Butler Yeats, contributed poetry and served as an editorial advisor to the press. Emory Walker (associated with Kelmscott Press and Doves Press) advised on typography and book production. Jack B. Yeats's illustrations appeared in A Broadside, which he also edited from 1908-1915. Dun Emer Press published greeting cards, broadsides, and hand-colored prints as well as books and booklets. Cuala Press, which was given the old Irish place name for that part of County Dublin to which the sisters relocated, continued these activities.

Following Elizabeth Yeats's death in 1940, George (Mrs. W.B.) Yeats assumed management of the press. After the death of Mrs. Yeats in 1968, Cuala Press was reorganized to continue printing in the tradition of its founders.


Miller, Liam. "Cuala Press." Dictionary of Irish Literature, Robert Hogan, ed. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1979.

Miller, Liam. The Dun Emer Press, later the Cuala Press. Dublin: Dolmen Press, 1973.

The Cuala Press, 1902-1973: an exhibition arranged by the National Book League to celebrate the seventieth anniversary of the Cuala Press, 11-30 June 1973. Dublin: Dolman Press, 1973.


1 linear foot (3 boxes)

Metadata Rights Declarations


This small collection of Cuala Industries records includes business correspondence from Elizabeth and Lily Yeats, as well as hand-colored cards and broadsides from the Cuala Press.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase 1981, 1992

Shelving Summary

Boxes 1-2: Shelved in SPEC MSS manuscript boxes

Broadsides: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize boxes (20 inches)

Processing Information

Processed by Lori A. Bridgers, March 1992; revised September 1992.

Finding aid for Cuala Industries records
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
2006 June 12
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Delaware Library Special Collections Repository

181 South College Avenue
Newark DE 19717-5267 USA