052

White Stork. Congratulations

Drawn from: A History of the Birds of Europe,
Vol. 6, E. R. Nicholas after Henry E. Dresser. London, 1871-1881
The Mitchell Library, Special Collections. Shelf-mark: D124122

 

This card is unlike all the others. It was drawn by me from an item held in The Mitchell library. It was my first letterpress plate. So I have included it so that I can tell the story of how it all began.

Over the year The Mitchell library has been a great source of  inpiration and enjoyment. I visited whilst in my first year at Glasgow School of Art to research the history of the tobacco industry in Glasgow for a site specific public art project.

I was then and am still amazed at the amount of fantastically old and wonderfully interesting books, maps, posters, records and letters that can be accessed free and in person.

It is a few years ago now that I went in looking for a picture of a stork to make a baby announcement card and made great use of their marvellous micro film catalogue Looking for Audabon style ornathalogical drawings. After enjoying an afternoon looking through a number of books that were brought up from the Soecial Collections stores I found the perfect one. I wanted to share my enjoyment and my surprise at how easy it was to sit in the reading room and look through these precious books. I began wondering if I could make cards that might celebrate the marvellous collections around the country that are held in Libraries and Museums and encourage people to access items that are there for them to see. There is nothing like finding a real gem that maybe has not been out of the store for a long time and simply appreciating it.

 

The wall in my studio.

The Mitchell Library, Special Collections

The Mitchell Library is one of Glasgow’s great institutions and its collections reflect hundreds of years of life in the ‘Dear Green Place’ and beyond. Highlights of its special collections include mediaeval manuscripts and pre-1500 printed books known as incunabula. Robert Burns and many early Scottish poets feature in the archives alongside the celebrated Crimean war sketches of William Simpson. The Mitchell Special Collections are open to all visitors with proof of ID but appointments may sometimes be necessary.

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Let's work together

If you truly treasure something the best way to show that love is to share it. The Keyhole Collection is dedicated to bringing artwork and artefacts to a new audience. We do this by sharing and collaborating. Working with museums, archives, organisations and stately homes we unearth the quirky and the curious. Images and objects which may have lain unloved and out of sight for centuries can be admired and appreciated again. The stories behind their creation seen through new eyes. The cards we produce celebrating the original work and the history behind it but with a fresh, colourful approach designed to appeal to everyone. So if you are curator or archivist and would like to bring your collection to life and attract new visitors please just get in touch. We also work with families and individuals who own special collections and would like to share these in memorable ways with friends and loved ones. Find out more about how we work and the organisations we work with.