Reverend James Granger (1723-1776), the long-time Anglican vicar of Shiplake, near Oxford, England, was an avid print collector. In 1769 Mr Granger published his Biographical History of England, a book notable for the blank leaves it contained to be embellished with portraits and other illustrations complementing the text. Revised editions followed, and filling up the 'Granger' became a popular pastime of the leisured. Throughout most of the nineteenth century many other books of biography and history were 'extra-illustrated' in this same manner, either with engravings purchased from print dealers or taken from other books.
Thus, in a very real sense and beyond question, James Granger is the spiritual ancestor of the historical picture libraries of today that furnish old pictures for new uses. And so when Erika and William Glover founded their historical picture library in 1964, it was not difficult to find a suitable name to grace what for nearly half a century has been known as The Granger Collection, an increasingly convenient and reliable source for illustrations of every kind from prehistoric times through the recent past: the people, places, things, and events of the past 25,000 years in every form of graphic expression save film footage.
From a half-dozen empty file cabinets in 1964, the holdings of The Granger Collection have grown to encompass more than six million black-and-white prints, photographs, and color transparencies. For most of our existence these were furnished as tangible prints and photographs but now, through the wizardry of bits and bytes, are much more often than not transmitted as digital images. But we happily accommodate those who still prefer actual prints and transparencies, or wish to have their digital images supplied on a disk.
Scanning and processing millions of images will be the ongoing work of a lifetime, but on this site you have almost instant access not only to the scores of thousands already scanned but to every single one of our illustrations since everything is housed on our premises and nothing is hidden away in any distant repository.
If you would prefer us to do the searching, our highly-skilled and knowledgeable historian-researchers will be happy to oblige, saving you time and energy and executing your picture requests intelligently, expertly, efficiently, and cheerfully. Even when contending with mugwumps and ziggurats.
The best of all possible worlds is but a few keystrokes away. Search on your own, or leave the searching to us, as you prefer.