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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.

Extent: approx. 3 shelves

Catalogue information

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

Books in this collection all have the classmark Reserve O 00.95.

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 send an email in advance of a visit to

Language: English


Going Wild in the Archives

Using the collection

Archives Reading Room

Opening Hours:

10.00 am - 1.00 pm / 2.00 pm - 4.00 pm

Monday - Friday

Contact us:

Tel. 01786 466619


Please contact us in advance of your visit. Material can be ordered in advance by emailing us at