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Some books…

The literature on collecting prints is huge, and very long lasting. This is a field where early books are still of great interest and value.

For our site, we have mostly just listed a fairly small selection of fairly recent and therefore still easily obtainable books. Many of these books contain extensive Bibliographies.


Boyne, William (1869) The Yorkshire Library, reprinted by N T Leslie, Hull, 1974
Key book for collectors of Yorkshire prints, it lists the majority of books with illustrations of Yorkshire produced in the C17, C18 and C19.

Calloway, S (1980) English Prints for the Collector, Lutterworth Press, Guildford.

Chaloner Smith, J (1883) British Mezzotinto Portraits 4 volumes.
Despite its date, still a standard reference work for mezzotints.

Clayton, T (1997) The English Print, 1688 – 1802, Paul Mellon Centre/Yale University Press, New Haven and London.
Excellent review of 18th century printmaking, with a particular focus on the print makers and businesses of the time.

Gascoigne, B (1986) How to Identify Prints, Thames & Hudson, 1986, second edition published 2004.
Invaluable work

Gleeson, Janet (1997) Miller’s Collecting Prints & Posters, Millers/Reed Int, London.
We think that this is the best introductory book to prints that we have found, as it is so well illustrated. For each type of print and collecting area, there is a 2 page description with 4 or 5 illustrations, in colour as appropriate. Covers all periods and styles. We think it’s a pity that it covers posters as well - which are really a different thing. The extra space could have been better used on more print descriptions.

Godfrey, RT (1978) Printmaking in Britain – a general history from its beginnings to the present day, Phaidon, Oxford.

Goldman, P (1988) Looking at Prints, Drawings and Watercolours: A Guide to Technical Terms, British Museum Publications, London.

Griffiths A (1996) Prints and Printmaking – an introduction to the history and techniques, British Museum Press, London.

John Krill, J (1987) English Artists Paper, V&A and Trefoil Books, London.

Lambert, S (2001) Prints: Art and Techniques, V & A Publications, London.

Mackenzie, I (1998) British Prints - Dictionary and Price Guide, 2nd Edition, Antique Collectors’ Club, Woodbridge.
Invaluable Dictionary of most known British printmakers, with many illustrations.

McEwan, P J M (2004) The Dictionary of Scottish Art and Architecture, 2nd  edition (revised and enlarged) Glengarden Press, Ballater, Aberdeen.
Invaluable reference source for anyone with any interest in Scottish art - not just prints. It has over 12,000 entries. This book was first published by the excellent Antique Collectors Club about 10 years ago, the author is now going it alone with this second edition, the layout and style is just as the ACC Dictionaries.

Mallalieu, HL (1986)  British Watercolour Artists up to 1920, Volume One (Text) – 2nd Edition, Antique Collectors Club, Woodbridge, UK.
Invaluable Dictionary of British watercolour painters, with illustrations in separate volume.

O’Connell, S  (1999) The Popular Print in England, British Museum Press, London.

O’Donoghue, F & Hake, HM (1908 - 1925) Catalogue of Engraved British Portraits . . . . in the British Museum, 6 volumes, BM, London.
One of the great reference works.

Print Quarterly, Journal published four times a year since 1984 (see Websites)
Not to be confused with the The Print Collector’s Quarterly, published in 30 volumes from 1911 through to 1950/51.

Russell, R (1979) Guide to British Topographical Prints, David & Charles, Newton Abbot.
Contains useful list of illustrated books from the 18th and 19th century and list of printmakers.

Stephens, FG & George, MD (1870 - 1954) Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires . . . . in the British Museum, 12 volumes, BM, London.
THE listing of caricatures, completed by Dorothy George over a number of years.

Twyman, M (1970) Lithography 1800 – 1850, OUP, London.
Standard work.

Waterhouse E (1981) The Dictionary of British 18th Century Painters, in oils and crayons, Antique Collectors Club, Woodbridge, UK.
Another important dictionary from the excellent Antique Collectors Club - see websites.

Wax, C (1990) The Mezzotint, Harry N Abrams, New York.
Includes detailed technical section on how to prepare your own mezzotints.


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