Great Exhibition Collection

The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations, also known as the Crystal Palace Exhibition, was held in Hyde Park, London, from 1 May to 15 October 1851.

The collection contains around 150 printed books and periodicals, plus pamphlets and ephemera, approximately 50 prints, and some objects. It includes the Commission's official catalogues and jury reports, handbooks, unofficial guides and accounts; serious contemporary comment on the likely influence of the exhibition on industrial design and development, and on society as a whole; less serious, sometimes satirical contemporary comments; popular, often pictorial material, souvenirs and similar pieces. There are also later, secondary works and works on the 1951 Festival of Britain and other international exhibitions and world fairs.

The core collection was acquired in 1966 from Charles Hasler ; additions are made.

An item from this collection was our featured item for October 2008 - 1851: or, The adventures of Mr and Mrs Sandboys and family (PDF)

Items from the collection were on display as part of our Festival of Britain exhibition in 2010.

More information

  • Most printed books are catalogued and appear on Enterprise
art, economics & economic history, history, printing history printed books (post-1850), art works, ephemera Y great exhibition collection

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