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Our Latest Newsletter

Good morrow to picture pickers near and far, and welcome to the Mary Evans monthly missive. We're beginning to enjoy the benefits of the new boiler in the library and it's nice to feel toasty while rummaging through the archive.

With the nights drawing in and Christmas creeping closer, it's that time of year when everyone is project-focused, keen to get things tied up before they crack open the sherry and slip into festive oblivion. We're here to help with pictures, quotes and any library-related queries. In the meantime, we're sending you updates and inspiration for you to mentally file away for future reference. Read on for a new content round-up, perfect posters, a calendar reminder and our debut in one of the world's most revered interiors magazine.

World of Interiors

We often talk about what a unique place Mary Evans Picture Library is and we're always pleased to collaborate with people who feel the same way and completely 'get' who we are and what we do. We are therefore delighted to be featured this week on the prestigious World of Interiors website, in a feature by Elly Parsons, with photographs by Alice Inggs. The piece perfectly encapsulates the atmosphere and ethos of the business founded by Mary and Hilary. We think they would have been thrilled to see their beloved library profiled with such insight and sensitivity.

You can read the full article here, and if you are part of a team or organisation who would like a tour of the library, do get in touch. We've shown round several groups this year, including TV researchers and publishing picture editors, and the feedback is invariably enthusiastic. We even do evenings for larger groups.

Calendar Countdown

Tick tock, tick tock. The countdown is on until the legendary Mary Evans Picture Library calendar begins to drop through letterboxes. Without revealing anything, the 2024 calendar is another change of direction and we think it's rather lovely.

Here's the deal. If you, or your company, have purchased pictures from us in the last couple of years, then you lucky people will be in line to receive this highly-anticipated piece of wall candy.

If there are any staff changes at your company and there's somebody who is new and really deserves a calendar, let us know and we'll try to add them to the list. Please bear in mind calendars will be sent to whatever address we have on file for you so make sure you're in work over the next couple of weeks in order to intercept yours!

Please get in touch by emailing if there have been any changes of address in the last year which we may not know about.

The Toy Hospital

We were excited to learn that Channel 5 will be airing 'The Toy Hospital' next week, a show where people can take their old toys to be repaired and brought back to life (not literally we assume, now that would be a show).

Toy hospitals seemed to figure large in our childhood literature but rarely existed in real life, so this promises to be a nostalgic bit of escapism for any of us who longed to take our battered teddies somewhere for a cure.

We have some lovely pictures of children with well-loved toys (even one of an actual 1920s toy hospital) and we thought we'd share a selection of some of favourites here, from illustrations by Muriel Dawson and Raymond Sheppard to photographs by Roger Mayne.

New Content Round-Up

Our busy content department adds new, lovely and useful things to our website on a daily basis and sometimes it's good to give a quick round-up of some recent highlights.

We have more images of hard times from Peter Higginbotham with a variety of views of asylums, orphanages and workhouses around the country.

The latest set of colourful picture postcard views from John Hinde this time come to us from Ottowa, while there are another 450 lantern slides showing social scenes from the Keasbury-Gordon collection now online too.

The latest batch from Pharcide brings us historical views around the United States from Michigan to Missouri, while Suddeutsche-Zeitung have sent us another 750 photographs documenting different aspects of 20th century history.

Finally, The Peter and Dawn Cope Collection can always be relied upon to supply some delicious illustration. Here's the latest batch from them.

Pick up a Poster

Our last News of Note highlighted the 40th anniversary of leading poster auctioneers, Onslows, and this month, we're pleased to share the latest batch of gorgeous images just recently supplied by them.

There are some splendid cycling posters from the turn of the last century, a clutch of WWII era examples (including two with clothing care advice - as useful today as it was then), other nautical-themed designs for shipping lines, highly detailed regional maps for Pratt's motor oil and several which are advertising exhibitions.

Click here for a dazzling display.

Fashion City

Regular News of Note readers will know we love a good exhibition and this month we're recommending 'Fashion City' at the Museum of London in Docklands.

This fascinating show explains how the Jewish community shaped fashion in London, from tailoring to couture. It's a multi-layered story, with themes of immigration, working conditions, high street and West End designer salons, overlapping with personal stories of those who lived and worked in the industry and ultimately influenced the capital's style.

Names such as Alexon, Chelsea Girl, Wallis, Moss Bros and Marks and Spencer all had Jewish founders, as did many boutiques of the 1960s Kings Road and Carnaby St, such as Mr. Fish or the legendary I Was Kitchener's Valet.

We loved it and were delighted to supply a number of pictures for both display and the exhibition catalogue, including a portrait of Cecil Gee by Ida Kar and a photograph of a 1937 court presentation gown by Isobel from The Sketch.

And finally, we have a soft spot for ....

....butter sculptures! Dairy intolerant people look away now but we're fascinated by the vogue for butter sculptures in the early twentieth century when it was quite the thing to carve famous figures from pounds of buttery goodness.

Usually done for exhibitions to promote the dairy industry, we are particularly impressed by the one done of the Prince of Wales at the 1924 British Empire exhibition, as seen in a postcard just added to our site from the Woodward Postcard Collection.