The collection was established ca 1969. It includes examples of the wood engravings of Thomas and John Bewick of Newcastle, England, from the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Both monographs (89) illustrated by them and scrapbooks of examples of their work are present. Of particular interest is the recently acquired 1826 edition of A History of British Birds. It is heavily annotated throughout, with notes on the impression of the plates, the descriptions of the birds and the order of the entries on almost every page. Many of these changes appear in 1832 edition, the first to appear after Thomas Bewick's death in 1828. In addition, there are 700 engraved wood blocks from the early nineteenth century of which ten are by Thomas Bewick.
Description: Christopher Heppner, "A Collection of Wood Blocks and Related Material at McGill University". The Book Collector, vol. 35, no. 1 (Spring 1986), 53-66.