The Stephen Powys Marks London Collection
The Stephen Powys Marks London Collection is comprised of views of London ranging from original maps and plans from the 18th to the 20th centuries, and facsimiles from the 16th and 17th centuries. There is a range of secondary materials on the city of London as well. It is comprehensive in nature consisting of over 2,400 items, including thirty-three atlases and approximately six hundred maps.
This is the collection of Stephen Powys Marks, who was the Secretary of the London Topographical Society and thus in a position to build up their collection and begin his own. Stephen Powys Marks, an architect and literary historian published "The Map of Mid-Sixteenth Century London: an investigation into the relationship between a copper-engraved map and its derivatives." Stephen’s father was a founding member of the Preservation of Historic Buildings.
Stephen Powys Marks approached Dr. Larry Mitchell, former Director of Cushing Memorial Library & Archives, to gage interest the Texas A&M University Libraries in aquiring his collection. At that time, Dr. Mitchell was the editor of the Powys Journal, an annual academic publication of The Powsy Society, and Stephen Powys Marks was the managing editor in England.
The collection was of interest to the University from the start. Several members from different departments, such as History and English, wrote letters to gain support for the acqusition of the collection. Because Cushing Memorial Library & Archives could guarantee the collection would stay as a whole and several departments across the University provided support for the aqusition, the Library was able to aquire the only complete collection of the London Topographical Society outside of the Society's holdings.
The collection offers valuable research potential for literary scholars providing both primary and secondary materials on London ranging from books, maps, and illustrations. The collection provides an interdisciplinary appeal from English literature, architecture, archaeology, social policy, politics, geography, urban planning, and business. London was a leading metropolis, the capital of an important industrial nation, a center for English language and culture, and for a century the seat of global finance.