476 search results for history of the collections

Thumbnail of National Art Library Great Exhibition collection

National Art Library Great Exhibition collection

The National Art Library holds a number of collections relating to the International Exhibitions including documentation on the Great Exhibition of 1851, the Schools of Design and the papers of Sir Henry Cole, the first Director of the South Kensington Museum (renamed the Victoria & Albert Museum in 1899).

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Thumbnail of National Art Library Forster Collection

National Art Library Forster Collection

John Forster (1812–76) was a noted biographer, critic, essayist and historian who collected a vast library. He bequeathed this collection to his wife and on her death it passed to the South Kensington Museum (renamed the Victoria & Albert Museum in 1899).

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Thumbnail of National Art Library children's literature collections

National Art Library children's literature collections

The National Art Library has been collecting children's publications since the mid-19th century. It now holds nearly 100,000 books dating from the 16th century to the present day.

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Thumbnail of National Art Library collection of armorial bindings

National Art Library collection of armorial bindings

Colonel Henry John Beresford Clements (1869–1940) became the acknowledged expert in the field of bindings displaying armorial and ownership devices. His collection, bequeathed to the V&A in 1940, represents the most comprehensive of its kind.

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Thumbnail of National Art Library trade catalogues collection

National Art Library trade catalogues collection

The National Art Library holds numerous examples of trade catalogues within its collections. The earliest items in the collection date from the 1760s, when the first true modern trade catalogues were produced in England by the brassfounding and Sheffield plate manufacturers of the Midlands.

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Thumbnail of History of the V&A and the Schools of Design study guide

History of the V&A and the Schools of Design study guide

Recommended resources for investigating the history of the V&A and its collections and the Schools of Design.

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Thumbnail of ‘Nothing of intrinsic value’: The scientific collections at the Bethnal Green Museum

‘Nothing of intrinsic value’: The scientific collections at the Bethnal Green Museum

Until the 1920s, the Bethnal Green Branch of the South Kensington Museum contained scientific collections as well as the better-known displays of objects of art and design. This article considers these collections, particularly the ‘Collection illustrating the utilization of waste products’, in the context of the Museum’s early history.

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Thumbnail of Mazarin Chest - art history bibliography

Mazarin Chest - art history bibliography

Mazarin Chest - Art History Bibliography

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Thumbnail of History of the Silver Galleries at the V&A

History of the Silver Galleries at the V&A

The galleries the Silver collection is now displayed in was the Victoria and Albert Museum’s original Ceramic galleries. These were restored in 1995-6.

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Thumbnail of A history of photography

A history of photography

Photographs drawn from the V&A’s collection to illustrate a history of photography.

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Theatre History

The V&A's Theatre and Performance collections chart the history of theatre in Britain from the middle ages to today. From early dramatics forms such as mystery plays and court masques, to the alternative and 'in yer face' drama of the late 20th century.

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Thumbnail of The V&A's Musical Instrument Collection

The V&A's Musical Instrument Collection

As a museum of the decorative arts, the V&A acquired its musical instruments and has displayed them as works of art rather than to tell the history of music. This is the context in which they are currently shown in the Furniture Gallery, British Galleries and the Medieval and Renaissance Galleries.

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Thumbnail of The V&A Beatrix Potter Collections

The V&A Beatrix Potter Collections

The V&A holds the world's largest collection of Beatrix Potter's drawings, literary manuscripts, correspondence, photographs and related materials, and hosts a changing display on particular aspects of her work in the Beatrix Potter Showcase.

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Thumbnail of Sikh objects from the V&A Collections

Sikh objects from the V&A Collections

The V&A was founded in 1852 as the South Kensington Museum and later absorbed the collections of the Indian Museum, established by the East India Company in 1799.

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Thumbnail of Plastics? Not in My Collection

Plastics? Not in My Collection

The Victoria & Albert Museum appointed its first plastics conservator in 1992 with the brief of surveying all the plastic objects within the collections. &#160

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