Ken Spelman Books
70 Micklegate,
York YO1 6LF

tel: 07960 350909



A bibliography of United Kingdom
published drawing books, from the 16th century to 1914.

For over 30 years I have been keeping records of institutional holdings of these books, suites of plates, ephemeral publications &c. These are augmented with variants and additions which have appeared in commerce, in booksellers' catalogues over the last 70 years, as well as auction records.

It includes instruction manuals on all forms of painting, drawing, engraving, colour theory, perspective, anatomy for artists, &c., and currently runs to over 800 pages.

This is being published on-line as it progresses.

I would welcome details of any rarer or unusual items, especially suites of the 17th century 'drawing books' which mainly exist only in fragmentary parts, or single plates. Also ancillary material such as prospectuses, subscription announcements, trade-cards, adverts, hand-bills which relate to the books, drawing academies, and drawing masters. Manuscript material also helps build this picture.

Please email me on:

or use this contact form.

Thank you

Tony Fothergill

Now On-Line, the first entries

[A] [B]

last revised 11/12/20


Colour Context Database: Sylvie Neven
artistic treatises and recipe books

Juan Bordes Collection: Museo del Prado

British Picture Restorers 1600-1950

Birren Collection of Books on Color, Yale.

Dictionary of Pastellists before 1800

The Ambrose Heal Collection (trade cards, bill heads &c)

Reference & Secondary Sources