Death (Dance of Death)

The Dance of Death motif, emphasising the universality of death regardless of social position, has its origins in medieval society. We hold a collection dedicated to the genre:

  • Gemmell: books dating from 16th century onwards collected by William Gemmell (1859-1919).

Printed Dance of Death books are closely related to emblem literature and relevant material may also be found in:

  • Stirling Maxwell: books dating from 16th century onwards collected by Sir William Stirling Maxwell (1818-1878).

To search across all our collections, by name or keyword, please use the rare books search (for printed material) and the manuscripts search (for unpublished material including notebooks, papers, photographs and drawings).

Web exhibitions featuring the Dance of Death: