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Rare Books: Prints and Drawings

A guide to finding and using rare books in the Bodleian Library

Prints and Drawings

Scope of 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 and wood-blocks, 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, can be found here.