The Stationers’ Company has opened a new archive room and reading room including documents on former Times proprietor John Walter II.
Walter II (pictured) was the second editor of the Times, following in the footsteps of his father, the founder-proprietor of the Times John Walter.
Among the documents on Walter II in the archive, are records of his apprenticeship and extracts from his wills.
Walter II was once a master of the Stationers’ Company. The current owner of The Times, Rupert Murdoch, is a Stationers’ Company liveryman.
The archive also contains a book on the Profumo affair, an infamous political scandal surrounding then War Secretary John Profumo’s affair with the lover of a Russian spy that made national headlines.
The Stationers’ Company archivist Ruth Frendo said: “The Stationers’ Archive is already known as a key resource to historians of the book trade. However, it also holds a wealth of records whose potential is yet to be explored.
“As custodians of the records, which we have inherited through the care and dedication of our forebears, we have a serious responsibility to maintain these documents for future exploration.”
Speaking at the unveiling, Frendo explained that the records would be moved to the archive once its environmental conditions were suitable, so as to ensure the records were not damaged.
The clerk of the Stationers’ Company, William Alden, said: “Widening access to Stationers’ Hall for educational purposes is a critical objective of the Stationers’ Company.
“The opening of the Tokefield Centre marks the completion of the first phase of a broader Hall development programme, which we hope to complete by 2023, the 350th anniversary of the building of the Hall.”
The archive is named after the former Stationers’ Company clerk George Tokefield, who rescued hundreds of records from Company with a wheelbarrow during the Great Fire of London in 1666.
The Stationers’ Company liverymen Duncan Spence and Amy Mckee made donations to the archive room fund.