Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Cruikshank, George, 1792-1878
Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
George Cruikshank Collection
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1782-1894 (mostly 1825-1878)
35 boxes, 192 items, and 19.5 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-35


The collection integrates numerous accessions of English artist and caricaturist George Cruikshank material, including large amounts of correspondence as well as original drawings and sketches.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection contains personal papers and original drawings of George Cruikshank, reflecting his active participation not only in the world of book illustration and caricature but also in the temperance movement of Victorian England. Included are manuscript material, drawings, documents, and correspondence with editors, publishers, illustrators, authors, friends, and family such as William Harrison Ainsworth, John Auldjo, Octavian Blewitt, Richard Bentley, J. Cruikshank Roger, Robert Bell, Edward Dalziel, and Charles Tilt. There is miscellaneous material relating to Cruikshank's participation in the 48th Middlesex Volunteers; material dealing with the controversial Robert, the Bruce, Monument; and papers relating to his estate, a testimonial fund, a memorial at St. Paul's, and his posthumous autobiography. Many letters and manuscripts exhibit working sketches of Cruikshank, and there is a large number of bound volumes of original sketches and drawings (and engraved copper plates) Cruikshank created for published works

Much of the collection consists of papers of others, mainly, those of Eliza Cruikshank, the artist's wife and amanuensis. Beside papers relating to her husband there are correspondence and documents concerning Mrs. Cruikshank's family and friends, including Catherine Hogarth Dickens, the wife of Charles Dickens. Included in the papers of others are manuscripts submitted to Cruikshank for possible illustration. Additional papers contain letters written by Cruikshank to William Henry Merle, Charles A. Howell, and others, letters to and by Eliza Cruikshank, correspondence of others, and miscellaneous material.


Organized into ten series: Series: I. Works--A. Art, B. Manuscript Material; II. Correspondence--A. Estate, B. "Recollections," C. St. Paul's Memorial, D. Testimonial Fund, E. Gifts of Works; III. Documents; IV. Photographs; V. Memorabilia; VI. Miscellaneous Material; VII. Printed Matter; VIII. Papers of Others--A. Eliza Cruikshank, B. Cruikshank Family, C. Benjamin Ward Richardson, D. General Correspondence, E. Manuscripts sent to George Cruikshank for possible illustration; IX. Additional Papers; X. Bound Volumes.

Collection Creator Biography:

Cruikshank, George, 1792-1878

George Cruikshank, English artist and caricaturist, published in periodicals including The Scourge and The Meteor; illustrated, among others, Grimm's German Popular Stories, Dickens's Sketches by Boz and Oliver Twist, and novels by Ainsworth and Thackeray; issued The Comic Almanack, one of the predecessors of Punch, from 1835 for several years.

Collection History


5 oil paintings are a gift of Joseph F. McCrindle. Accounts record, Receipt for plate of illustrations, and exchange of letters are a gift of Stephen Weissman. Letter to W.H. Merle, etc. with bound volume is a gift of R.W. Meirs. The remainder purchased in 1977-2011.


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Judith Golden with additions by Barbara Volz and Teresa Basler in 1993. Finding aid written by Judith Golden, Barbara Volz and Teresa Basler in 1993.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

George Cruikshank Collection; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-35

Find More

Related Materials

See also a separately bound list of "Cruikshank Artwork at Princeton University Library" which lists George Cruikshank's artworks in various mediums (oil, watercolor, pencil, etc.) and their various locations in the library. Also includes works of Robert, Isaac, and Percy Cruikshank.

Visual Materials Division also contains a large collection of Cruikshank prints. See their Website which highlights selections from their collection at:

Subject Terms:
Artists -- England -- 19th century.
Caricatures and cartoons -- England -- 19th century.
Cartoonists -- England -- 19th century.
Engravers -- England -- 19th century.
Graphic arts, English -- 19th century.
Temperance societies -- England -- 19th century.
Genre Terms:
Caricatures and cartoons -- 19th century.
Correspondence -- 19th century
Drawings -- 19th century
Photographs -- 19th century.
Great Britain. Army. Middlesex Regiment, 48th
Cruikshank, Eliza.
Merele, William Henry
Robert I, King of Scots, 1274-1329