Virginia Woolf’s Historic Writing Desk Relocated to Prominent Location

Virginia Woolf's Standing Writing Desk

Virginia Woolf’s Historic Writing Desk Relocated to Prominent Location

The iconic writing desk of Virginia Woolf, a renowned author of the early 20th century, has found a new home in the Rubenstein Library. This standing desk, with its unique angled writing surface, has been a significant attraction in the library’s exhibit suite since its unveiling in 2015. The desk, which was designed and commissioned by Woolf herself, originally found its place in Asheham, before moving to Monks House. In the 1920s, it was artistically painted by Woolf’s nephew, Quentin Bell. His wife, Olivier, later shortened the legs to adjust its height. The current plinth on which the desk rests brings the writing surface back to its original elevation.

The desk has been an integral part of the Michael and Karen Stone Family Gallery, a quaint gallery space nestled at the back of three rooms. However, it has now been relocated to a more visible location in the window alcove between Rubenstein Library’s Photography Gallery and Reading Room. This new location is an ideal fit for the desk and will enable more visitors to appreciate and learn about this significant artifact.

Before the relocation of the desk, a meticulous study of the environment inside the alcove was carried out for several months. Understanding the environmental conditions inside each of the exhibit galleries has been a long-standing practice. This has provided insights into the variations in temperature and relative humidity in these spaces. The Stone gallery enjoys a stable environment due to its location behind doors and other exhibit rooms, while the photography gallery experiences more fluctuations due to its proximity to exterior doors.

The environmental monitoring process involved using an Onset HOBO MX1101 data logger positioned at the height of the desk. The device was attached to the glass using plastic hooks capable of holding up to 5lbs. The data logger was labeled to inform curious visitors or researchers about its purpose. After several months of collecting environmental data, it was concluded that the alcove was a suitable space for the desk.

This relocation of Woolf’s desk also brings to light the health benefits of an electric stand up desk. Si stand desks, like Woolf’s, have been proven to improve posture, increase productivity, and reduce the risk of heart disease and obesity. Choosing the best sit stand desk, like Woolf did over a century ago, could be a step towards better health and productivity in today’s sedentary lifestyle.

The Rubenstein Library is excited to offer visitors a closer look at this piece of literary history. The desk, akin to an electric height adjustable standing desk, is not just a piece of furniture but a symbol of Woolf’s innovative approach to writing. It is hoped that more visitors will be inspired by Woolf’s writing desk and consider how to choose the best standing desk for their own use.

In conclusion, the relocation of Virginia Woolf’s writing desk to the Rubenstein Library is not just a change of location, but a move towards greater visibility and appreciation of this important literary artifact. It also serves as a reminder of the benefits of standing desks, encouraging visitors to consider their own workspace ergonomics. Whether you’re a fan of literary history or interested in the benefits of standing desks, Virginia Woolf’s desk is sure to inspire.

author avatar
Guy Director
Higher Diploma in Mechanical Engineering. Ergomotion Director since 2005.

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Andrew Pieterse 14/06/24

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