Skip to main content

Archives and Special Collections: Victorian Illustrated Books

Collection information

Collection: Victorian Illustrated Books

Classmark: Reserve O 00.95 1832 onwards

Biographical/administrative history:

The Victorian era saw great advances in the production of books, which on the one hand made books more widely available, and on the other made the production of high quality books possible. The Library has an interesting collection of Victorian illustrated books.

When Queen Victoria came to the throne in 1837, book illustrations were mostly created using wood block and copper plate. Hand finished colour printing arrived in the 1840s. By 1890, photographic processes such as photolithography and photogravure had replaced block printing. Decorative bindings were also popular.

The Victorians published a great many books on natural history, and there are several splendid illustrated books on flowers, birds, butterflies and sea life in our collections.

Contents: Collection of lavishly illustrated books featuring flowers, birds and butterflies

Extent: approx. 3 shelves

Catalogue information

All of these books are listed in the online library catalogue.

Please contact us in advance of a visit or use the request form.

Online resources

Online exhibition of our Victorian illustrated books

Additional collection information

Custodial history: The collection has been built up over the years. Some books were donated to the Library and some were purchased.

Accruals: The collection will be extended if suitable material becomes available.

Access conditions: Please contact us in advance of a visit or use the request form.

Language: English


Collection image

Joseph Hooker, Illustrations of Himalayan Plants (1855)

Illustration from Joseph Hooker, Illustrations from Himalayan Plants (1855)

Using the collection

Archives Reading Room

Opening Hours:

9.30 am - 1.00 pm / 2.00 pm - 4.45 pm

Monday - Friday

Contact us:

Tel. 01786 466619


Please contact us in advance of your visit and use the request form to order material you wish to consult.