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Printed images: Home

A guide describing some of the notable collections of picture prints and illustrations in Bodleian Library collections, with information about catalogue resources.

Purpose of this guide

This guide is intended for researchers studying the history of printed images and those who wish to locate special collections of printed images in the Bodleian Libraries.

Use this guide to find out about the Bodleian's special collections of printed images and also of printing surfaces (principally woodblocks and engraved or etched metal plates), and any books and online resources relating specifically to these collections.

What's in the Collections?

Images in a range of media are found within the Bodleian's Special Collections. Drawings, prints and photographs, as well as copper plates from which pictures were printed, form parts of several collections which the Bodleian has acquired since the 17th century. Prints and illustrations of distinct kinds can be found in seven named collections:

  • Curzon: (material relating to Napoleon I and the Napoleonic wars, including political satires
  • Douce: prints of all types dating from the 15th to 19th centuries (the majority of Francis Douce's print collection is now in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford)
  • Firth: a collection of satirical prints
  • Gough: prints, plates and proofs made for Richard Gough's Sepulchral Monuments, 1786-1799
  • Montagu: illustrated books and extra-illustrated copies, and portrait prints arranged alphabetically by sitter, bequeathed in 1863
  • Opie: illustrated children's books and ephemera
  • Rawlinson: volumes of prints and a collection of copperplates dating from the 17th and 18th centuries

Details of what can be found under each collection, along with advice on how to access them, are under the specific tabs for each collection.

Prints and illustrations