The University of Aberdeen Library has been built up over five centuries. In addition to its excellent modern collection of art history books covering all periods, it is particularly strong in 18th and 19th century material, including art theory and criticism, archaeology and travel literature. The Library Historic Collections include important medieval manuscripts and estate papers. The unique George Washington Wilson archive contains over 45,000 original glass plate negatives made by this pioneer Victorian photographer.

Print Culture in Early Modern Europe

Dr Helen Pierce has a particular interest in the print culture of seventeenth-century England, as explored in her ground-breaking monograph on early modern satirical prints; the holdings of the University Library’s Special Collections in both Scottish and European print resources offer valuable parallels and connections for future research.

Dr Pierce has served on the advisory board to the AHRC-funded digitization project British Printed Images to 1700, a freely-available database of prints and book illustrations from early modern Britain.


We are interested in hearing from students wishing to undertake postgraduate level work in Print Culture in Early Modern Europe at the doctoral level. Please contact one of the supervisors below if you are thinking about applying for a PhD in their subject area.

Dr Helen Pierce: Supervision is offered in the area of prints and print culture of the early modern period, with present staff research interests focussing on Britain and northern Europe; the use of printed images as political and religious polemic; graphic satire; popular print culture; text and image studies; the ‘social life’ of the print.

PGR Students

Some current (and graduated) History of Art students and their projects from the University of Aberdeen include:

  • Andrew Popple, Art of Social Engagement in Scotland, 1939-1987: contributing to socio-political debate?
  • Lindsey Cordiner Vyse, The Architecture of Healing

The following are some selected publications relating to Print Culture in Early Modern Europe by staff at the University of Aberdeen:

Dr Helen Pierce

  • Unseemly Pictures: Graphic Satire and Politics in Early Modern England (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2008).
  • 'Graphic satire and the printed image in Shakespeare's London' in Malcolm Smuts (ed.), The Age of Shakespeare (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016).
  • 'Images, representation, and counter-representation' in Joad Raymond (ed.), The Oxford History of Popular Print Culture, Vol.1: Britain and Ireland to 1660 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011).
  • 'Artful ambivalence? Picturing Charles I during the Interregnum' in Jason McElligott and David L. Smith (eds.), Royalists and Royalism During the Interregnum (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2010).
  • 'Anti-Episcopacy and graphic satire in England, 1640-1645', The Historical Journal, 47:4 (2004), 809-848.

Some helpful links for further information and resources in Print Culture in Early Modern Europe include: