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Our Latest Newsletter

With the leaves falling from the trees and the seasons changing faster than the turnaround between dances on Strictly, it's time to hunker down indoors and consider whether turning on the heating might bankrupt you. However, have no fear; we are here to bring you cheer with our monthly newsletter which this time includes some petrol palavers of the past, a chance to connect online and a furry new friend at the library. Read on and keep smiling.

Panic at the Pumps!

As if the times we've been living through haven't been challenging enough, now going out to fill up the car has become a Hunger Games-style fight to the death.

Of course, as with everything, petrol shortages aren't anything new and we've pulled together an interesting selection of images that not only chronicle fuel limitations in 1953 (due to a fuel tanker drivers' strike) and 1974 (sparked by shortages caused by the Arab-Israeli War), but also lots of other related material including early electric cars, wartime rationing, petrol signage, some fascinating petrol station architecture and a useful gadget called the Auntie Siphon - designed to prevent illegal petrol purloining.

New Website

You may have noticed that our website has recently undergone a subtantial revamp. The new site has a contemporary look and feel, while maintaining the ethos and traditions of the library that our clients have come to love and respect over nearly six decades.

Images, at both thumbnail and preview size, are larger than they were, and new functionality includes the ability for clients to access their downloads from the preceding three months, and to pay outstanding invoices using a secure online payments system.

The Artists, Collections, Celebrities and Anniversaries Pages have each undergone a major overhaul to better show off the breadth and depth of the the collection, and more easily provide clients with ideas for projects and stories.

The hugely popular microsite, Poems and Pictures, which is now home to more than 300 poems, each inspired by images in our collection, has undergone a substantial overhaul, making it easier to browse poems and to find poems by poets' name. We continue to add a new poem every week.

The new site also includes a number of enhanced security features to keep clients' data, and our images, even more secure than they were before.

Optical Illusions

For those who enjoy a bit of brain-bending visual stimulation, we have recently added a small set of optical illusion postcard designs to our website from the Grenville Collins Collection which we're sharing here, just for fun. Some are easier than others to figure out, and while there are plenty with a slightly spooky theme, we particularly like this delightful one, showing the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans meeting for a kiss over the Panama Canal.

Prints in Practice

Our print site continues to grow in line with the library's content and we really cannot recommend it highly enough if you're searching for something gorgeous to adorn your walls.

And to prove we put our money where our mouth is: when our Head of Sales & Research Luci recently completed the decoration of her hallway and staircase, what better finishing touch than a framed print from the home of history? Luci chose a WW1-era advertisement for the fashion designer, Elspeth Phelps, part of a series she found in The Tatler a few years ago. And here is the result. You can find tens of thousands more fabulous archive designs via

Anglo-Irish Treaty 100 years on

On 6th December 1921, a delegation from the Irish Republic signed a treaty with the British government which formally brought an end to the Irish War of Independence, and established the Irish Free State as a self-governing dominion of the British Empire. At the same time, it gave Northern Ireland the option to withdraw from the free state, which it did, with a Boundary Commission formed to draw a boundary between the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland.

The treaty and resulting partition was divisive; within less than a year, the country had descended into civil war and two of the signatories from the Irish delegation, Michael Collins and Arthur Griffiths, were dead. The controversial treaty remains a significant marker in the troubled history of Northern Ireland.

Click here to see a selection of images including contemporary newspaper reports.

Come and connect at BAPLA Connect

We're delighted to be taking part in a new networking event this Friday 8th October from 13:45, which offers a virtual meeting place for libraries, archives, picture researchers and image buyers.

Organised by BAPLA, the event can be experienced from the comfort of your desk or armchair, and is free to anyone in the industry. If you've a project you'd like to discuss, have any questions about using our library, or would simply like to say hello, do drop by our 'breakout room' where we'll be available throughout the afternoon.

You can find out more details and register here.

Team Pupdate

A new member of the Mary Evans team has been slowly introduced to office life over the past couple of weeks. Meet Feargal, the Glen of Imaal Terrier, who at five months old, has found his first visits to the library very exciting and perhaps a little overwhelming.

Once trained up, we hope Feargal will become a valuable member of the Mary Evans team with key responsibilities for greeting visitors enthusiastically, playing hide and seek and entertaining all with the famous 'Glen Sit'.

His line manager Luci assures us that although he is demonstrating some issues with concentration, acting on instructions and treating colleagues appropriately (including office dog no.1, Missie), he is working on his skill set and will improve with time. Woof.