This project explored print and publishing history, and the study of cultural history through unique artefacts, in this case woodblocks and the electrotype and stereotype plates derived from them.

The project examines the first two editions of Chambers's Encyclopaedia, focusing particularly on their illustrations, the woodblocks that were made to produce them and the image-making and publishing environment in which the Chambers firm operated in the 19th century.

You can explore the woodblocks in more detail in our collections search here.

Woodblocks laid out in the National Museums Collection Centre.

Above: Woodblocks from the entire range of W. & R. Chambers Collection being selected for display in the Discoveries Galleries. Photo by Rose Roberto.

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Discover how the Scottish publishing firm of W. & R. Chambers pioneered the use of images in encyclopaedias and dictionaries, embedded within the body of the text.
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