This is a collection of editions of the Dance of Death and associated critical works (76 volumes in all) bequeathed by a Glasgow physician and magistrate, William Gemmell (1859-1919). The original collection has been enlarged by selective purchases to form a corpus of some 150 items on this theme. These books comprise original works as well as critical commentary, spanning several hundred years of the Dance of Death tradition. With its macabre theme and ghoulish imagery, the Gemmell collection is of potential interest to a wide spectrum of researchers, particularly in the fields of art, history and literature.
The collection charts the origins of this captivating theme through to its journey into print format, from its original conception at the hands of Hans Holbein, through its many reincarnations, covering almost 500 years of the Dance of Death in print.
How to find material from the Gemmell collection
- Browse through a list of titles shelved at Sp Coll Gemmell; alternatively, use the rare books search to locate items
- Dancing with Death : a web exhibition featuring items from the Gemmell Collection
- Gemmell Collection on the Dance of Death: chronological list with full descriptive and bibliographical notes by Dr William Gemmell (1919): duplicated typescript at shelf-mark Gemmell Add. 59 (please note that this lists only the original collection and not additions)