William Gell Collection

William Gell (1777-1836)

The BSR’s Gell Collection, relating to the topographer and antiquary William Gell, comprises six notebooks, twenty-four loose topographical drawings and three topographical maps.

Thomas Ashby purchased a number of Gell’s notebooks in Naples where Gell lived until his death. The six notebooks containing sketches and notes from Gell’s excursions in Italy form part of the BSR Library’s collection of manuscripts. Ashby donated the notebooks relating to Gell’s travels in Greece to the British School at Athens.

Our aim is to reunite virtually all Gell’s notebooks scattered around the world and the BSR has initiated the project, in collaboration with Prof. Rosemary Sweet and Dr. Richard Ansell, both from the University of Leicester, by publishing Gell’s sketchbook of landscapes and monuments in northern England and Scotland together with a research essay on Gell’s life. The drawings have been individually catalogued and a digital version of the sketchbook can be browsed.


Click here to visit our Highlight on the William Gell Project.


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