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:
- examples of collections and web exhibitions relating to artists, dealers and writers on art
- specific types of sources or areas of interest eg book binding, domestic art and architecture
- tips for searching across our collections
Researchers are also advised to see other subject pages relevant to their area of interest, for example, Photography.
- 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:
- Drawings after ancient Roman paintings by the 17th century engraver and draughtsman, Pietro Santi Bartoli (Book of the month: May 2000)
- William Blake's illuminated book Europe: a Prophecy, 1794 (Book of the month: November 2007)
- Los Caprichos engravings by the artist, Francisco Goya (1746-1828) (Book of the month: August 2006)
- Campi Phlegraei: hand coloured plates showing the eruption of Vesuvius in the late 18th century, by the artist Peter Fabris (Book of the month: October 2007)
- James McNeill Whistler's Books & Documents from the 1840s (Book of the month: July 2003)
- Paul Kane Wanderings of an artist among the Indians of North America 1859 (Book of the month: June 2009)
- James Paterson Museum Archive a selection of photographs of the painter James Paterson (1854-1932) his work, friends and family (Book of the month: August 2004)
- Japanese prints of the Russo-Japanese war 1903-4, by various artists (Book of the month: March 2008)
- 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
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
- Decorative arts and design history examples of architecture and interior design, mainly 19th century publications
- Gothic revival and design examples of architecture, furniture and interior design, mainly 19th century publications
- The Journal of Design & Manufacture Vol 1, 1849 (Book of the month: August 2001)
- International exhibitions 1851-1951 examples of photographs, programmes and catalogues
- Domestic landscape 1860-1960 examples of household rooms
- Allan and Ferguson's Views in Glasgow: early 19th century book depicting the buildings and landmarks of the city
- Glasgow Cathedral Windows: images from books and manuscripts describing the history of the cathedral and its windows
- International exhibitions 1851-1951 including Glasgow's great exhibitions of 1888 and 1901, examples of photographs, programmes and catalogues
- Glasgow international exhibition 1901: official guide book and daily programmes
- 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
- 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:
- The Hunterian Psalter: all the full page miniatures and many of the historiated/decorated initials from this 12th century English manuscript. For a more detailed introduction to the Psalter, see the Book of the Month article for May 2007.
- Devotional & Philosophical Writings: 14th century illuminated manuscript decorated by the Chief Master of the Taymouth Hours (Book of the month: June 2008)
- De Casibus Virorum Illustrium (The Fall of Princes): 15th century illustrated manuscript (Book of the month: February 2009)
- Hypnerotomachia Poliphili lavishly designed with over 170 woodcuts, printed in Venice, 1499 (Book of the month: February 2004)
- The World of Chaucer: selection of medieval manuscripts and early printed books exploring the world of the late Middle Ages
- Treasures from two millennia: highlights fifty of the Library's greatest treasures
Illustrations: natural history
- Birds, Bees and Blooms: illustrated natural history books, from the 15th to 19th centuries
- Perennial Pages: flower illustration in books from the 15th to 19th centuries
- John Gould The Birds of Australia: hand coloured lithographs, 1840-1869 (Book of the month: July 2005)
Illustrations: 19th century literature
- Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol 1843 (Book of the month: December 1999)
- Charles Dickens, Bleak House, 1852-3 (Book of the month: November 2004)
- R S Surtees, Handley Cross, 1854 (Book of the month: November 2005)
- Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass 1872 (Book of the month: March 2000)
- See also our Novels collection
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.
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.