Thisintriguing website offers more than 20,000 historical images. Reproductions of paintings, watercolors, drawings, and sculptures provide more than a glimpse into the history of London and London life from the 15th century to the present. The cultural history of London can be explored through online exhibitions and through the versatile search engine, making this site and its collections valuable classroom resources.

Among the current online exhibitions are “Henry Dixon’s London,” “London’s Railways,” “Children in Painting,” “Victorian Paintings,” “Landscapes and Seascapes,” “Tudor London,” “London and London Life,” and “The London that never was.” Follow the links to a related collection of images and then click on thumbnail images to reach enlarged versions, complete with bibliographic information. Users may enlarge images further, put the image in a “basket” (for purchase), or email them.

All of the images are well cross-referenced, with links to broad categories (such as “street life,” “dress,” and “food and tableware”) listed at the bottom of the screen, making browsing easy. Images, however, bear a watermarked “C.” To access an image without the watermark, the Corporation of London must be petitioned according to “Reproduction Rights” instructions. For those willing to spend a little money, the COLLAGE collection can provide high-quality images for presentations.

Users may also browse the collection by selecting one of the following categories: “Abstract Ideas,” “Archeology and Architecture,” “Artist,” “Engraver,” “History,” “Leisure,” “Military and War,” “Natural World,” “People,” “Places,” “Politics,” “Publisher,” “Religion & Belief,” “Society,” and “Trade & Industry.” A keyword “search” is also available, as is an advanced search that allows for queries by artist, date, picture type, medium, collection, and support.

Reviewed by Wayne Hanley, West Chester University of Pennsylvania
How to Cite This Source
Wayne Hanley, COLLAGE The London Picture Archive in World History Commons,