Visual collections

image - montage of items  from the visual collections


The Library holds significant collections of art works, objects and photography.

The scope of our collections is international, with particular strengths in:

  • Portraits: paintings, miniatures, drawings, sculptures, photographs, ceramics and bone, depicting a wide range of individuals from various cultures and historical periods.

  • Visual Print Culture from the 15th century to the present, containing a spectrum of subjects and a range of different printing techniques.

  • Objects that link visual and literary cultures from the ancient world to the present.

  • Analogue photography, containing a comprehensive range of subjects, photographic formats and photographic equipment.

  • Works of art created by artists working within post-World War II avant-garde art movements.

  • The art and visual culture of the Near, Middle and Far East.

  • Architectural, urban, garden and landscape history.

  • The art and illustration of science, technology and medicine.

Find out more

Many of our visual collections are as yet uncatalogued.

Visual material within our printed collections is recorded in Library Search, while most of our archives are catalogued on Elgar.

Our Image Collection, contains digital surrogates for many individual visual resources. 

Contact us

For advice on material not covered by the online catalogue, or for any other enquiries relating to the visual collections, please contact us.