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Collections & Story Resources

Collection Highlights

A stone rabbit.

Richard Adams' Rabbit Doorstop

What is it?

This stone doorstop belonged to Richard Adams, author of classic children's book Watership Down. Throughout his lifetime Richard acquired a very large collection of rabbit-themed items which filled his house. On his death, his family gifted a number of these to The Story Museum. You can see them on display in the Enchanted Library.

What's the story?

Watership Down is a survival and adventure novel by Richard Adams published in 1972. Set in southern England, around Hampshire, the story features a small group of rabbits. Although they live in their natural wild environment, with burrows, they are anthropomorphised, possessing their own culture, language, proverbs, poetry, and mythology. The novel follows the rabbits as they escape the destruction of their warren and seek a place to establish a new home, encountering perils and temptations along the way.

A print of a newspaper from the Discworld book series.

The Ankh Morpork Times

What is it?

This is a hand printed copy of The Ankh-Morpork Times, as featured in Sir Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. It was designed by graphic artist Barry Bulsara and specially commissioned by The Story Museum for Discworld Day in 2017. The front page includes a special message from Stephen Briggs, who was a long time collaborator and friend of Sir Terry.

What's the story?

The Anhk-Morpork Times first appears in the 25th Discworld book, The Truth. The book features the coming of movable type to Ankh-Morpork, and the founding of the Discworld's first newspaper by William de Worde, as he invents investigative journalism with the help of his reporter Sacharissa Cripslock. The two investigate the charges of embezzlement and attempted murder against Havelock Vetinari, and help vindicate him.

A bronze dodo statue.

Dodo Statue

What is it?

This sculpture of a dodo, carrying a walking cane, was taken from an illustration in the book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The sculpture is cast of bronze and mounted on a slate plinth. It was made by the Robert James workshop and donated to The Story Museum in 2012.

What’s the story?

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a novel written by Oxford author Charles Dodgson, under the pseudonym, or pen name, Lewis Carroll. It tells of a young girl named Alice who falls through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by strange and colourful creatures and characters.

The story has achieved lasting, global popularity with adults as well as with children and its characters and imagery have been enormously influential in both popular culture and literature.

The dodo is one of a number of iconic characters in the book. In real life this flightless bird was extinct by 1681 but Charles Dodgson and Alice Liddell viewed the remains of a dodo in The Oxford University Museum of Natural History which inspired the character.

The Robert James workshop specialises in creating bronze sculptures inspired by story book characters. The range of Alice in Wonderland inspired figures demonstrate the continuing, widespread popularity of characters from the story.

A paddington bear toy.

Paddington Bear Toy

What is it?

This Paddington Bear was bought from Hamley’s Toyshop in October 1974 or 5. He is wearing real Dunlop children’s books which were worn by the early Paddington toys produced by Gabrielle Designs. He was bought as a Christmas present for Alistair Smith and was given to the museum in 2020.

What’s the story?

A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond was the first book in a series about a small bear from Darkest Peru who was found on Paddington Station with a note saying Please Look After This Bear. First published in 1958, Paddington has become a firm favourite with children, featuring in over 20 books, a television series, two hugely successful films and the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

A ceramic plate.

'Owl Service' Plate

What is it?

A china plate with a green floral owl design, one of a dinner service designed by Christopher Dresser in the 1880s for the Old Hall Pottery in Hanley, Staffordshire. Author Alan Garner saw the plate when he visited his wife’s family for dinner. The design of owls made out of flowers was one of the catalysts for his novel The Owl Service. It was given to the museum in 2020.

What’s the Story?

The Owl Service is a novel by Alan Garner first published in 1967. Based on a Welsh legend, it tells the story of three teenagers spending one hot summer in a tiny Welsh valley, who find their lives beginning to mirror the legend. Alan Garner is known for his children’s fantasy novels and his retellings of traditional folk tales