We have outstanding collections that support research in the areas of Art and the History of Art. Some of these, including the Blake prints and Whistler archive, are of international importance. This page provides:

Researchers are also advised to see other subject pages relevant to their area of interest, for example, Photography.

Collections relating to individual artists:

  • Louise Annand (1915-2012): Artist, educator and filmmaker. Correspondence, subject files, photographs and some sketches.
  • Blake Prints: original works by the engraver, artist and poet William Blake (1757-1827)  
  • Jessie Marion King Papers: papers of the illustrator and designer Jessie King (1875-1949) and her husband E A Taylor (1874-1951) including correspondence, presscuttings, exhibition catalogues, photographs and printed books
  • Lanark: papers of writer and artist Alasdair Gray (b 1934) relating to his novel (published 1981), including handwritten drafts and lithographs of the title pages
  • Bet Low (1924-2007): Artist. Correspondence, some sketches, photographs, material relating to exhibitions and Unity Theatre.
  • Morris: bookbindings by Talwin Morris (1865-1911) in the "Glasgow style"
  • Paterson: photographs, lecture notes and correspondence of the painter James Paterson (1854-1932), influential to the group known as the "Glasgow Boys" 
  • Whistler Archive: internationally important collection of correspondence and papers of the artist James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903); also his library and secondary source material

See also these web exhibitions:

Collections relating to dealers and writers on art:


  • Printed Art Archive: 19th and early 20th century critical works on art with some important art and design periodicals
  • MacColl Papers: over 6,000 letters to and from Dugald Sutherland MacColl (1859-1948), Keeper of the Wallace collection; also exhibition catalogues
  • Wright Papers: papers and correspondence of Harold Wright 1885-1961), art dealer and historian
  • Laver Papers: over l000 letters from artists to James Laver (1899-1975), writer on art and costume
  • Sutton Papers: uncatalogued papers of the art critic Denys Sutton (1917-1991), editor of Apollo magazine: apply to Special Collections for advice on access 

Types of sources and areas of interest:

Book design and binding

  • Euing: a wide ranging collection which includes illustrated works and landmark examples of book design
  • Morris: small collection of books designed by Talwin Morris (1865-1911) in the "Glasgow style"
  • British Bookbindings: examples of bindings from the 16th to 19th centuries
  • Private press books: includes examples from the Kelmscott Press, established by William Morris (1834-1896)


  • Caricatures: a collection of political caricatures from the Franco-Prussian war, 1870s 
  • Glasgow/Northern Looking Glass 1825-6, a satirical magazine (Book of the month: June 2005)
  • Bande Dessinée: a selection of caricatures illustrating the 'pre-history' of this french cultural form

Domestic art and architecture


Illustrations: emblems

  • Stirling Maxwell internationally significant collection of illustrated emblem books
  • Gemmell: small collection of illustrated books depicting the dance of death
  • Dancing with Death: images from a selection of illustrated books

Illustrations: medical

  • The Body Revealed: images from major illustrated anatomical works of the 16th and 17th centuries

Illustrations: medieval manuscripts and books

  • Hunterian: wide ranging collection including medieval manuscripts, anatomical and medical drawings, illustrated books etc
  • Manuscripts: general collection including many illuminated and decorated medieval manuscripts

See also these web exhibitions:

Illustrations: natural history

Illustrations: 19th century literature


We have significant collections of images from the 19th and early 20th centuries, featuring urban and natural landscapes, domestic scenes and travel. Please go to our subject page for Photography.

Tips for locating other relevant material

There are many more rare books and manuscripts which may be relevant to your research. To search across all our collections please use the rare books search (for printed material) and the manuscripts search (for unpublished material including notebooks, papers, photographs and drawings)

  • Try different keywords, synonyms and alternative spellings. For example, historical material relating to painting may refer to 'limning'.
  • Subject index on the reference shelves in the Special Collections reading room. (NB: no longer updated but worth checking in addition to online catalogue search)
  • Use the search our site option to locate resources including web exhibitions which may feature material relevant to your research.