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Printed images: Curzon

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 Curzon collection bequeathed by George Nathaniel Curzon (Foreign Secretary 1919-24, Chancellor of Oxford University 1907) contains a variety of different prints relating to widely-studied aspects of French history. Within the collection there are:

  • approximately 300 portraits of the French political and military establishment of 1789-1821, as well as scenes of Napoleon's career and exile, collected in 2 portfolios and 41 volumes;
  • topographical views of Paris and other European cities during the Napoleonic wars;
  • approximately 1200 political cartoons on the subject of Napoleon, part of an important collection of foreign political cartoons, and containing some items not available in the British Museum.

See the longer description of Napoleonic political satire prints contained in extra-illustrated large-paper volumes in the Curzon collection.

Access Information

The Curzon collection is accessed via the following sources:

  • The Bodleian Digital Library web resource, Political Prints from the Curzon Collection, contains digital facsimiles of 1400 prints made in Britain and Continental Europe during the time of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars.
  • Portraits and scenes of Napoleon's career and exile are contained in two portfolios, catalogued under Curzon a.5 and Curzon a.6, and 41 volumes, catalogued under Curzon b.
  • Topographical prints are catalogued under Curzon b.
  • Some political cartoons are catalogued in the British Musuem archives; those in the Bodleian are catalogued under 'Cataloguing of Political Prints in the Curzon Collection, Bodleian Library, from the collection of A.M.Broadley'.

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.

Curzon Image

James Gillray, 'Troubled slumbers of Bonaparte' (drawing, pencil and ink, c.1803).Curzon b.12(36)