Book: Paper Toy Making

Paper toy making by Margaret W. Campbell (1937)

Margaret Campbell’s seminal book Paper Toy Making was published in England in 1937, and it contains a large collection of origami designs.



Available to borrow – see Main Research Source link below

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What have we learnt?

I’m interested in finding out more about Margaret Campbell. How did she learn all this stuff? This is what I’ve gathered so far;:

Margaret was a Scot who married a South Africa medical doctor and they lived in Natal, South Africa. She wrote the book when she was in her 70’s and dedicated it to her grandchildren.

From the introduction:

I learned much of my paper-folding in Japan, China and other Eastern countries where the children begin paper-folding from their babyhood.

From the preface by her son, Roy Campbell:

Though she includes many traditional tricks, a great many more of these paper structures are of her own invention.

Bit as s David Mitchell points out ‘Unfortunately the text of the book does not clarify which are which.’

Her father James Dunnachie of Glenboig, travelled all over the world with regards to his fireclay business and was an enthusiastic connoisseur and collector of paintings, a friend of Pre-Raphaelite painters and famous poets.

Typescripts of his 20 years of memoirs 1865 – 1885 are held in the University of Glasgow Special Collections – although these are listed as America, Africa & Russia (not ‘Japan, China and other Eastern countries’ that Margaret mentioned) – maybe they hold the answers, or perhaps not?



I’d love to find out more about how Margaret learnt these skills.

  • Perhaps she travelled with her father?
  • Maybe she and her husband travelled?