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The Centre holds over 50,000 illustrations. We are in the process of digitising many of these illustrations and the images are being added to our catalogue.

The illustrations collection contains prints, drawings, watercolours and some oil paintings, mostly 19th-century, including original works by Frederick Adcock, J.P. Emslie, Geoffrey S. Fletcher, S.H. Grimm, F.J. Sarjeant, Sidney Arrobus and Thomas Hosmer Shepherd. Index to artists, engravers etc. 

The Kentish Town Rolls, a series of 19th century pen and ink drawings, by James Frederick King depict scenes on the road from St Pancras Old Church to Highgate Road (published by the Centre as the Kentish Town Panorama). 

Photographs date from 1860s but the majority cover the periods 1890s-1920s, 1940-1945 and 1950s to date. Aerial photographs, mainly post-war, show many buildings not covered by individual street photographs.

The collection includes photographs from 1903-1904 of almost every building above the Northern and Piccadilly Underground lines within the borough, and civil defence photographs 1940-1945 of most bomb sites within the former Borough of Holborn. A number of glass negatives are held.

The illustrations indexes include entries for pictures in other sources, for example books.

We have a slide collection containing many reproductions of material in the Centre, together with modern scenes. Most are available for loan.

Special collections

  • Anthony Cooper Bequest

Photographs following the route of the Regent's Canal in Camden. Taken in 1994.

  • Camden History Society photographic survey

A photographic survey of the Borough, initiated by the Camden History Society in 1973. The following areas of the borough have been systematically photographed: Camden Town (part), Chalk Farm, Covent Garden (Camden part only), Fitzrovia, Hatton Garden and Saffron Hill area, Highgate New Town, Kentish Town (part), and Tolmers Village.

  • 'Catching The Past' photographic survey

A photographic survey of all 1300 streets in the borough. Over 5000 photographs taken in 2000. Organised by the Camden History Society as part of Camden's Millennium History Project.

  • Dalziel collection

Over 250 proof copies of 19th-century engravings by the Dalziel brothers (formerly of Hampstead and Camden Town). 

  • Hampstead Area photographic committee

Photographs of Hampstead taken in the 1970s.

  • Wallis collection

Prints and drawings of Camden and parts of Islington and St Marylebone.

  • The Kate Greenaway Collection contains many drawings and proofs.