ABSTRACT

Marguerite Steen describes the creation of the Ellen Terry Museum as ‘the most permanent of Edy’s works’:

e place changed a er Edith Craig’s death in 1947, a er which it was run by her cousin Olive Chaplin who, according to Steen, even came to resemble Terry. e kind of memorialization which Lisa Kazmier has discussed in her article2 is alluded to by Steen in her description of the transformation of e Farm into ‘a kind of theatrical Lourdes’.3 e cultural and social signi cance placed on the artefacts and documents in the Ellen Terry Memorial Museum from the outset naturally tended to inform the approach to their organization and presentation. e principal focus of the Museum was Terry and therefore the letters and books of Terry were indexed rst,4 followed by other letters. As the interests of researchers and visitors changed, a new perspective developed on the signi cance of Edith Craig and the other women of Smallhythe Place. Consequently they were regarded as more than custodians of the memory of Terry. e documents and books of Edith Craig, a collection of several thousand items, were those which originally drew me to the Museum. ey came to absorb my research energies for longer than I had anticipated and a er having numbered the Edith Craig papers I took on the task of recording the Ellen Terry papers. With minimal funding from the University of Hull and Society for eatre Research and the support

of the National Trust, a database was created and over 7,000 items recorded. is seed-corn funding provided the basis from which a credible application for major funding could be made.