Faith Jaques and illustrators' rights
Out of a clearer’s skip
16th May 2012
Faith Jaques’ work, including original, unpublished illustrations for Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, became part of Seven Stories’ collection after being rescued from a skip.
Faith Jaques (1923-1997) illustrated books by Roald Dahl, Nina Bawden, Ursula Moray Williams, E. Nesbit, Arthur Ransome, Alison Uttley and many others, as well as producing several books in her own right. She also campaigned tirelessly for better recognition of the rights of illustrators, and played a crucial role in getting recognition for illustrators’ rights to a share of Public Lending Right.
Following Faith Jaques’ death in 1996 a firm of house clearers was hired to dispose of the contents of her house. The house clearer packed everything from the house into bin liners and left it outside the house overnight, awaiting the arrival of a skip. However, on reading one of the books he realised that she might be important, so he made contact with Mary Briggs and Elizabeth Hammill, founders of Seven Stories, who recognised the importance of saving Faith’s archive. With a grant from the Friends of the National Libraries and some private donations, Seven Stories was able to save Faith’s archive for the nation.