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Printed images: Douce

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

About the Collection

The collection bequeathed by Francis Douce (1757-1834) contains portraits and other prints, mainly in the form of engravings but also in other media, collected together in portfolios, and numerous illuminated printed books as well as illuminated manuscripts. The majority of these have been transferred to the Ashmolean Museum; see the Ashmolean's online catalogue of prints.

A few albums of single-sheet prints and many illustrated books remain in the Bodleian's collections and may be found in the Douce and Douce Prints shelfmarks via the online catalogue SOLO.

A good introduction to the collecting interests of Francis Douce is found in the catalogue of an exhibition at the Bodleian Library, The Douce Legacy. This exhibiton catalogue may be found on the Weston RBMSS Open Shelves, at shelfmark R.Ref.361(60).

An appreciation of Douce as a collector and of the prints now in the Ashmolean Museum was written in a blog by Mercedes Ceron

Francis Douce had a special interest in topics of popular culture and popular history, and in the theme of the 'Dance of Death'.

Woodcut illustrations in 17th-century ballads collected by Douce are indexed and searchable via the Bodleian Ballads Online 'ImageMatch' page.

Access Information

It is important to note that most of the prints and drawings from the Douce collection have been removed and sent to the Ashmolean.

Please see G. R. Scott, A catalogue of the collection of engravings in portfolios bequeathed by Francis Douce in 1835 and received back from the Ashmolean Museum, in which they had been deposited for about 45 years, in 1915; shelfmark: Library Records d. 1889-1890.

Please direct any enquires on accessing the collection to or ask a member of the Library's reading room staff who will be able to assist you further.

Douce Image

Heures à l'usage de Rome, [Paris] : [Pour Symo[n] vostre Libraire, ... par Philippe pigouchet.] [1502?] Douce BB 172.