Resources and bibliography
The following resources relate to four online resources, British artists' suppliers, 1650-1950 (3rd edition, October 2011), British picture framemakers, 1600-1950 (3rd edition, October 2012), British picture restorers, 1600-1950 (2nd edition, August 2014) and British bronze sculpture founders and plaster figure makers, 1800-1980 (2nd edition, September 2015). Last updated August 2015.
Business records Records for individual businesses, where known, are identified within the entry for the particular business.
Roberson account holders Roberson Archive, Hamilton Kerr Institute, Cambridge. The publication by Sally Woodcock (cited as Woodcock 1997) of an index of account holders, 1820-1939, with Charles Roberson, subsequently Roberson & Miller, Charles Roberson & Co, and C. Roberson & Co Ltd, makes this valuable resource available. See Index of Account Holders in the Roberson Archive.
Salerooms References to labelled frames, canvases and panels in salerooms occasionally derive from information in published sale catalogues but otherwise through personal observation. References to sellers and purchasers at sales in the 18th and 19th century come from various sources, including the Getty provenance index, an online resource maintained by the J. Paul Getty Trust, including indexed transcriptions from numerous British auction catalogues, mostly from the period 1750-1840.
Sun insurance records Sun Insurance Office policy registers, 1710-1928, London Metropolitan Archives, formerly Guildhall Library, London (MS 11936). Card indexes by trade for London are available at certain locations covering parts of the period. A microfiche index to the registers is available for 1775-87, and an online record for 1800-39 at National Archives Advanced Search (to find a record, select ‘Search other archives’ and then London Metropolitan Archives and include the word ‘insured’ in the search term). See also Fire Insurance Records at www.history.ac.uk/gh/fire.htm.
Apprenticeships The Inland Revenue registers of tax payments on apprentice’s indenture are now available online as Registers of Duties Paid for Apprentices' Indentures, 1710-1811, a co-operation between Ancestry.co.uk and the National Archives. This largely supercedes Percival Boyd’s index, The Apprentices of Great Britain, 1710-74, abstracted from same records in the National Archives, series IR 1 (index available at Society of Genealogists, Guildhall Library and elsewhere). Another series, ‘London Apprenticeship Abstracts, 1442-1850’, with over 300,000 names from City Company records, is available through a cooperation with the Society of Genealogists at findmypast.co.uk. Yet another resource, Records of London's Livery Companies Online, a project to create a searchable and freely accessible database of membership information for City of London's Livery Companies, from earliest surviving records until c.1900, has by July 2015 made available records relating to the Bowyers' Company, Clothworkers', Drapers', Founders’, Girdlers', Goldsmiths', Mercers', Musicians', Salters' and Tallow Chandlers'.
Births, marriages, deaths (BMD) Records of births, marriages and deaths have been studied through three helpful websites. FreeBMD is an ongoing project to transcribe the Civil Registration index of births, marriages and deaths for England and Wales, and to provide free Internet access to the transcribed records; it contains partial index information for the period 1837-1983 at www.freebmd.org.uk/ . References to ‘registration district’ or to ‘district’ refer to the civil registration districts. Non-conformist BMD provides information on a fee basis from the registers of various non-conformist churches, 1534-1865, at www.bmdregisters.co.uk/ . London Parish Records provides information on a fee basis, covering certain London Baptisms, Marriages and Burials 1538-1812, Births and Baptisms 1813-1906, Marriages and Banns 1754-1921, and Deaths and Burials 1813-1980, etc, at Ancestry.co.uk , provided with the London Metropolitan Archives. For Scotland, see Scotlands People, below.
Censuses Reference is made to the records of successive censuses, taken on 6 June 1841 and during the period 30 March to 7 April in the ten-yearly censuses from 1851 to 1911. These are available on a fee basis online for England and Wales at www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/census/ and elsewhere. In the 1841 census, ages were rounded down to the nearest five years. Another resource, FreeCEN, at www.freecen.org.uk/ aims to provide a free-to-view online searchable database of 19th-century UK census returns, with the useful facility to search by occupation; of the partially completed database, the coverage for Scotland in 1841 and 1851 and for St Pancras in London in 1891 is particularly useful. The 1881 census can be searched by occupation at Ancestry.co.uk. For Scotland, see ‘Scotlands People’ below.
Land tax assessments Land Tax Records, 1692-1932, for various areas in London, held by the London Metropolitan Archives, can be searched by name at Ancestry.co.uk . The records provide a wealth of information on people’s addresses but are not altogether straightforward. Many individuals do not appear at all in the records now made available and may have never been listed, especially when tenants in a divided property, while others were not accurately recorded in the original assessment or, alternatively, in the modern digital transcription. While one can “turn the pages” of the records, the online resource is not searchable by street name.
National Probate Calendar This index of Wills and Administrations on Ancestry.co.uk , contains summaries of the vast majority of probate cases in England and Wales, 1858-1966. In quoting from these summaries, the value of effects has been rounded down to the nearest whole pound.
PCC wills Unless otherwise stated, references to wills are to the series of Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills, 1384-1858, held by the National Archives. These cover wills proved (i.e., formally approved) by this court, covering relatively wealthy individuals living mainly in the south of England and most of Wales (what was originally the ecclesiastical province of Canterbury), available on a fee basis at www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/wills.asp , and free at the National Archives. Wills dating to after 1858 have not been studied. For Scotland, see ‘Scotlands People’, below.
Poll books Poll Books and Electoral Registers, 1538-1893, belonging to London Metropolitan Archives and Guildhall Library, digitised in partnership with Ancestry.co.uk .
Proceedings of the Old Bailey A fully searchable online edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing accounts of over 100,000 criminal trials held at London's central criminal court, 1674-1913, see www.oldbaileyonline.org/.
Rate books With few exceptions, rate books have not been studied; they have the potential to provide significant further information for early individuals. In December 2013 Westminster rate books, 1634-1900, were made available online at findmypast.co.uk. They provide invaluable information including a facility to enter the street name but the mechanism has a serious flaw since it does not allow one to go from page to page to check the location of the property and the date of the rate book. It is also sometimes unclear which rate book one is looking at, making it difficult to double check using microfilm. Many individuals do not appear at all in the records and may have never been listed, especially when tenants in a divided property, Entries are subject to any misrecording in the original rate book or in the digital transcription. For example, in the digital transcription Charles Buttery is twice given at 46 Greek St in 1830 but the particular rate books actually date to 1850 and 1851.
Returns of alien passengers Returns listing alien passengers on ships arriving at English ports, as required by the Aliens Act, cover most of the period 1826-69 (National Archives, HO 3). They can be searched digitally at Ancestry.co.uk.
Scotlands People Birth, marriage, death, wills and census records for Scotland are available on a fee basis at the official source for genealogical data for Scotland at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk . The site also provides access to Scottish wills and testaments, 1513-1901.
Periodicals and newspapers
17th and 18th Century Burney Newspapers (collected by the Rev. Charles Burney) and 19th Century British Library Newspapers Full-text searchable digital archive of numerous newspapers in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Available free in British Library Reading Rooms and some reference libraries, with online access on subscription. This website is the source for most newspaper quotations except for those listed below.
19th Century UK Periodicals Full-text searchable digital archive of nearly 600 periodicals covering all aspects of British life in the 19th century. Available on subscription at http://gale.cengage.co.uk/ukperiodicals/, and free at certain reference libraries.
British Newspaper Archive A new partnership between the British Library and brightsolid online publishing to digitise up to 40 million newspaper pages from the British Library's collection over the next 10 years. Available on subscription at www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/ .
The Art-Union Periodical published monthly 1839-48. Initially R. Ackermann was the only colourman to advertise but he was soon followed by Reeves, Roberson and Winsor & Newton in 1840 and thereafter by a changing selection of companies, including framemakers.
The Artist Periodical published monthly from 1927, examined selectively.
The Artists’ Directory Periodical apparently published annually 1870-76. 1870 is available in the British Museum Dept of Prints & Drawings, 1874 at the British Library (PP.2495.bcn) and the Society of Genealogists, 1875 with Jacob Simon, 1876 at Guildhall Library.
The Guardian and The Observer Usually available on subscription at The Guardian and Observer: Archives as the Guardian and Observer Digital Archive, covering the Guardian (since 1821) and the Observer (since 1791), full text searchable.
The London Gazette and The Edinburgh Gazette A government journal, published in London since 1665, and in Edinburgh since 1699, and more consistently since 1793. This is a useful source for changes in business partnerships and individual bankruptcies. There are certain gaps in the online coverage at www.thegazette.co.uk/all-notices, e.g. for 1796, where some details have been extracted from Maxted.
The Scotsman Available on subscription at http://archive.scotsman.com/ as The Scotsman Digital Archive 1817-1950, full text searchable.
The Times Available on subscription at http://gale.cengage.co.uk/times.aspx/ as The Times Digital Archive 1785-1985, and free at many reference libraries. There are inadequacies in the full-text search mechanism.
The Year’s Art Periodical published annually 1880-1947, examined up until 1920, compiled late in the year preceding publication. Initially Newman was the only colourman to advertise but he was followed by Lechertier Barbe in 1883, and thereafter by a changing selection of companies.
Telephone books British Phone Books, 1880-1984, a searchable online resource useful for establishing business addresses, available on a fee basis at British Phone Books, 1880-1984 - Ancestry.co.uk. It contains phone books published between 1880, the year after the public telephone service was introduced, and 1984, from the historic phone book collection held by BT Archives, providing near full county coverage for England as well as containing substantial records for Scotland, Ireland, and Wales.
Trade directories Trade directories are available at the Guildhall Library, London, and elsewhere on microfilm. Increasingly, they are being made available on the Internet. Kent's London Directory, 1794, can be accessed in trancription at www.londonancestor.com/kents/kents-menu. Numerous pre-1920 English and Welsh directories are reproduced in the original at the site maintained by the University of Leicester at www.historicaldirectories.org, with full-text search mechanism. Many Scottish directories are now available on the National Library of Scotland website at http://digital.nls.uk/directories/ . Directories were often published around the start of the year, thus recording businesses at the locations they occupied late in the previous year. In compiling business addresses, no allowance has been made for this situation.
Whitley papers British Museum, Department of Prints & Drawings, volumes of newspaper cuttings and typewritten slips, put together by William Thomas Whitley (1858-1942), presented to the Museum in 1943. Whitley was author of Artists and their Friends in England 1700-1799, 1928, and other books.
Trade cards and catalogues
Banks coll. British Museum, Dept of Prints & Drawings, collection of trade cards etc, put together by Sarah Sophia Banks (1744-1818), only sister of Sir Joseph Banks, presented to the Museum in 1818. Many of these cards were marked with the year in manuscript, presumably indicating when the card was acquired. Some cards from other sources have been filed in this sequence at the British Museum. In process of being placed online at British Museum - Advanced Search.
Heal coll. British Museum, Dept of Prints & Drawings, collection of trade cards, put together by Sir Ambrose Heal (1872-1959), by whom bequeathed to the Museum. In process of being placed online at British Museum - Advanced Search. Interesting results for all trade cards at the British Museum can be obtained by selecting ‘trade-card’ as an ‘Object type’ and then entering a search term such as ‘gilder’.
Johnson coll. Bodleian Library, Oxford, collection of printed ephemera, put together by John Johnson (1882-1956), entered Library in 1968. Much is freely available in the United Kingdom through an excellent searchable illustrated database at www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/johnson/johnson.htm .
Simon coll. Trade cards and trade catalogues in the collection of the compiler, Jacob Simon, are intended as an eventual gift to a public collection.
Trade catalogues The best listings of the catalogues of the major firms of Reeves, Roberson, Rowney and Winsor & Newton can be found in Carlyle 2001, Katlan 1987 and Katlan 1992.
Websites and digital resources
A2A Access to Archives, as formerly called, can still be consulted at National Archives Advanced Search. It contains more than 10 million records relating to items held in 400 record offices and other repositories in England and Wales. Many of the references to items held in archives are taken from this database; few have been inspected in the original. For Scotland, see below.
Biography database Biography CD-ROM database 1680-1830, covering UK and USA for book subscription lists, national, town and trade directories through to 1830 and society membership lists.
The Camden Town Group in Context This Tate project brings together artist biographies, catalogue entries on the Tate collection with information on technique and condition, thematic essays, transcripts of reviews and key publications, and other material drawn from Tate’s Archive. Launched 2012 at www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/camden-town-group
ECCO Eighteenth Century Collections Online, 135,000 18th-century English-language printed works, fully searchable including full-text and illustrations, available on subscription at http://gale.cengage.co.uk, and free at the British Library and elsewhere.
Genuki UK and Ireland genealogy The aim of GENUKI is to serve as a comprehensive ‘virtual reference library’ of genealogical information of particular relevance to the UK & Ireland; see www.genuki.org.uk/.
Google Book Search Google advanced book search covers many out of print and obscure publications. Perhaps the most useful results can be obtained when searches are limited to ‘full view’ of books published within a specific timespan. Accessible at http://books.google.com/advanced_book_search.
IGI Covering a wide selection of international sources, in the form of the International Genealogical Index, including for Britain information from some parish registers, and a transcript of the 1881 census, maintained by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at www.familysearch.org/Eng/Search/frameset_search.asp. Many birth and marriage details prior to Civil Registration in 1837 have been derived from this database.
Literature online Over a third of a million full-text works of poetry, prose and drama in English, available on subscription at http://lion.chadwyck.com/marketing/index.jsp, and free at the British Library and elsewhere.
London Book Trades 1775-1800 Maintained by Ian Maxted, formerly at Devon Library and Information Services, making available and extending his 1977 publication of the same title (see Maxted 1977). This and related material is now available at http://bookhistory.blogspot.co.uk.
National Archives of Scotland Listing official and personal papers, at www.nas.gov.uk .
Scottish Book Trade Index Covering the Scottish book trade up until c.1850, maintained by the National Library of Scotland, at www.nls.uk/catalogues/scottish-book-trade-index .