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Westminster (London, England) Collection on the London Blitz

Identifier: MS-0022

Scope and Contents

The Westminster (London, England) Collection on the London Blitz consists largely of promotional pamphlets, posters, brochures, catalogs, and designs sent to the City Engineer and Surveyor of Westminster from various British manufacturing companies. They advertise glass-related items adhering to the new Air Raid Precautions (ARP) requirements for war-time lighting and window installation. Specific objects marketed include tools to obscure light, portable electric lanterns with special glass, luminescent directional signs, traffic mirrors and special glass paint and sealer to render windows shatter proof.

The collection also contains correspondence from Westminster’s City Engineer and Surveyor, the Director of Public Cleansing and the Town Clerk regarding the removal of light and glass debris from the streets. There two folders of ephemera, comprising a pamphlet on general war-time lighting restrictions, a reprint from the “Daily Mirror,” an unidentified oversize design drawing, and the original oversize folder in which the collection was contained.

The materials are organized alphabetically by name of manufacturer, with oversize materials in Box 2. The correspondence and ephemera folders are filed at the back of the boxes.


  • 1936-1943

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for public research. Researchers must make an appointment to view this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

The Copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement. The user agrees to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the Corning Museum of Glass and the Rakow Research Library against all claims, demands, costs and expenses incurred by copyright infringement or any other legal or regulatory cause of action arising from the use of Library materials.

Biographical / Historical

During World War II the Germans conducted a sustained bombing campaign against London and other cities in England, beginning in September 1940 and lasting until May 1941. These strategic aerial raids are referred to as the Blitz. The City of Westminster, which is an inner borough of London, was one of the hardest-hit areas during the Blitz. The Air Raid Precautions (ARP) was the organization created by the British government to protect civilians from aerial attacks and manage the damage from bombings. ARP wardens were assigned to sectors and patrolled the streets making sure no lights were visible which could be used by enemy planes to locate bombing targets. They were also trained in first-aid and were usually the first on the scene after a bomb had been dropped. From: BBC History


1.75 Linear Feet (1 Hollinger box and 1 flat box)

Custodial History

Acquired in 2007.

Westminster (London, England) Collection on the London Blitz, 1936-1943
A Guide to the Collection
Sandra Glascock
March 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Rakow Research Library Manuscript Collection Repository

The Rakow Research Library
The Corning Museum of Glass
Five Museum Way
Corning NY 14830 USA