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Dive into the history of illustration with digital material from museums, archives and personal collections. Explore stories about illustrators and search our database to find process drawings, posters, books and more.

We’ve just begun uploading collections from across the UK and will be adding more very soon.

This resource is generously funded by the John Ellerman Foundation.

Drawing of four people performing classical Thai dance wearing yellow, pink and orange costume

Search illustration collections

We are regularly adding new material to this database, but it will take time to build it up.

Can’t find what you’re looking for, or have a query about something you’ve found? Email us

Illustration of a river with greenery on its banks and a person lying on a floating raft and the words 'And then Barnaby drifted all the way back home, pleased with his good day's work'

Quentin Blake collection

Quentin’s archive of original illustrations, designs, dummy books and paintings is pledged to us.
A yellowed sheet with a column of printed illustrations of animals and people alongside a column of descriptions showing the key letters and sounds, including an image of a crow with the words 'The Crow crieth'

Illustration glossary

Browse our guide to illustration-related terms, from ‘abstract’ to ‘zine’.

About collections

We work with museums, archives and personal collections to research and share the history of illustration.

With thanks to the collections and copyright holders who have allowed us to share their material.

This resource has been made possible with generous support from the John Ellerman Foundation.