We are a specialist picture library supplying fine illustrations of Victorian daily life, work, science, technology, and leisure to private individuals, picture researchers, social historians, clubs and societies, book and magazine publishers, heritage and interpretation designers, museums, and TV companies.

Note: we have been running our picture library for ten years, and in that time we have never received a complaint about the quality of our images.

Really glad I found your website, it’s a great alternative to the commercial picture libraries that dominate.” – UK TV Company

I love your library! I was really pleased with the quality of the farming picture, it’s for our parish newsletter.” – SJ, Devon

All our pictures are original illustrations drawn in Victorian times, scanned from books, magazines and newspapers sourced by us, and part of our own collection. They are to the very best of our knowledge out of copyright.

Important! The previews shown on this website are low-resolution jpegs only.

Commercial clients only: If you are considering using our images but are uncertain about content detail, do email us with the picture codes and we will email you larger jpegs to help you make your choice.

Your download jpeg picture and its size

Litho printed books and magazines: the 3mb jpeg when litho printed at 300dpi will normally produce a quality A4 size image.

Digitally printed books, magazines: the 3mb jpeg when printed digitally at 150dpi produces a landscape format print 54cm wide.

TV broadcasts: we regularly supply BBC and independent media companies with our illustrations and have never experienced a problem with size or quality. We are always happy to email you high-resolution jpegs in advance for you to make your choice. We can then arrange payment for any you use via the website or BACS.

Museum and interpretation displays: Depending on the quality of the original, the jpeg can be printed at 100dpi to produce a landscape format print 80cm wide. We may also be able to re-scan the original illustration to a higher resolution for a small extra charge.

Note: Skies and representations of distant hills can sometimes look blocked and over-inked in the original engravings – newspapers and magazines were often printed on poor quality, fibrous newsprint. We do our very best to tidy these up. There can also be slight registration problems with skies, where the part engravings of two different engravers have been combined.

Tinting: If you have a paint or design program you can colour your illustration or add a tinted background.



High quality illustrations

To date we have never had a complaint about the quality of our images. We spend time digitally restoring our illustrations, carefully removing the marks of age. Your chosen image will have all the crisp sharpness of the Victorian artists original. See example below.

Huge range of subjects

Our pictures show an amazing variety of subjects, worldwide. Here are just a few of the ‘Cs’ we can supply if you make a request: cafes, cookery, courting couples, circuses, Canada, cossacks, canoes, Chartist riots, children, coaching, criminals, canals, cheetahs, China, cockatoos, cricket, croquet, carpenters, cutlers, coal mines, cycling, chimney sweeps, charcoal burners, clerks, cobblers, corner shops, cottages, crofting, child labour – we have thousands of quality ills, A to Z!


Licence covering use of images

By placing your order and making payment you are accepting our licence terms. You are free to make alterations to the image or to incorporate colour.

Please credit us as follows: www.victorianpicturelibrary.com or Victorian Picture Library

Personal orders

You are free to use your illustration(s) for personal use only, including mounting and framing, greetings cards, stationery, social history projects and papers

Commercial orders

You are free to use your illustration(s) in a book or magazine, for advertising and publicity, or as part of a broadcast. For broadcasts the fee includes repeats and associated publicity materials in perpetuity.

We do not grant you permission to resell one of our illustrations as an image file, either on disk or as a download.

You are not authorised to add our images to an online or printed picture library for resale purposes.

For commercial runs (including stationery and greetings cards) please contact us for costs.


Not found what you want?

We are always pleased to search for particular illustrations. We can also search by date, so if you have a particular Victorian news story or event in mind (eg. battle or war, political event etc), let us know and we’ll tell you what we have.