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The University of Manchester Library

Using image collections and visual resources

The JRUL’s Special Collections contain a wealth of visual materials: prints, paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, textiles, ceramics and glass, as well as printed, illuminated, and painted books and manuscripts.

Many of these materials are to be found within our printed collections and archives, but there are also a number of discrete collections:

Archives of artists, art critics and collectors include those of William Holman Hunt, Charles Fairfax Murray, John Ruskin, Marion Harry Spielmann, Walter Crane, Frank O. Salisbury, Margaret Pilkington, dom sylvester houédard, Li Yuan-chia, Jeff Nuttall, Walter Strachan, Allen Freer and Stephen Raw. The manuscript collections teem with examples of art and visual culture from the West, to the Near, Middle and Far East.

The entire history of photography is represented in the collections, ranging from Fox Talbot’s The Pencil of Nature (1844), and pioneering photographs taken by W.S. Jevons in Sydney, New South Wales, during the 1850s, to the experimental photography of the artist Li Yuan-chia in the late 20th century. Our archive collections contain countless photograph albums, lantern slides, glass-plate negatives and individual prints.

The Guide to Special Collections provides the best overview of the Library’s visual collections.

Visual material within our printed collections is recorded in the library catalogue, while most of our archives are catalogued on Elgar

Luna, our image database, contains digital surrogates for many individual visual resources.