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Encyclopedias & Dictionaries

These sources can be used for explanations of terms, concepts, movements, or artists discussed in relation to Cruikshank and his times.  This list includes encyclopedias and dictionaries pertinent to the field of art.  Pay attention to the date when the term you are looking for was written, and select a dictionary contemporary with that source for the best relevant explanation of what that word means. 


Brigstocke, Hugh, ed.  Oxford Companion to Western Art.  New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

            ART READY REF N33.O923 2001

            This source is useful for shorter, quicker, and more concise entries than those that can be found in the more authoritative Grove Dictionary of Art.  It is a single volume, and created for quick referencing.  It is alphabetically arranged with many cross-references, and some very nice large color plates.


Clement, Clara Erskine and Lawrence Hutton.  Artists of the Nineteenth Century and their Works: A Handbook Containing Two Thousand and Fifty Biographical Sketches.  Boston: Osgood & Company, 1885.

            ART N40.W45 (revised 1969 edition in ART REF)

            This work was written seven years after Cruikshank’s death and includes short biographical entries about notable nineteenth century artists.  If available, the editors then include quotes about the artist from critics, other artists, or scholars.  They include both positive and negative comments; so this source is an excellent place learn about how these artists were viewed by friends and foe alike during their lifetime.  Cruikshank’s entry is nearly 2 pages long.


Dickens, Charles.  Dickens’s Dictionary of London, 1879: An Unconventional Handbook.  London: Charles Dickens, 1879.

            DAVIS REF DA679.D54

            This work shows amazing insight into Dickens’s mind and view of Victorian London.  It is Dickens’s attempt at a dictionary, and includes common words, place names, and contemporary slang.  There is also a neat section of Victorian advertisements in the back of the book.  It is an excellent peak into how Cruikshank, the city of London and its inhabitants may have viewed the world.  Use this source when seeking clarity or definition of terms from sources written in the 19th or early 20th centuries.


Dictionary of Art.  New York: Grove’s Dictionaries, 1996.

ART REF N31.D5 1996 (34 vol.), also available through UNC’s electronic indexes and databases at http://eresources.lib.unc.edu/eid/  Click on the “G” and scroll through the alphabetical list until you get to Grove’s Dictionary of Art Online.

The first place to look for authoritative definitions and discussions of all things related to art, from movements, to individual artists, to materials, to cultures.  It is a great source that provides a starting point for all art research.  Most entries include bibliographies.


Houfe, Simon.  The Dictionary of 19th Century British Book Illustrators and Caricaturists (1800-1914).  Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors’ Club, 1996.

ART REF and RBC REF NC978.H65 1996

The first part of this work covers the historical background of book illustration and caricatures, then traces illustration through the century.  The bulk of the text is a “dictionary” of illustrators with informative, illustrated entries.  At the back, there are three useful appendices: Schools of Illustration, Specialist Illustration, and Famous Books and their Illustrators.  This is a great source for contextual information about Cruikshank, as well as contemporary illustrators and caricaturists.


Mitchell, Sally, ed.  Victorian Britain: an Encyclopedia.  New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1988.

            DAVIS REF DA550.V53 1988

            This is a single volume encyclopedia with good, solid entries with bibliographies, cross references, and illustrations where appropriate.  It includes personal names, places, concepts, and movements from the Victorian Era.  At the beginning of the work is a very useful chronology of the era, and in the back is an excellent section entitled, “Research Materials for Victorian Studies.”  It is an annotated bibliography of the principle reference works and important archive and manuscript collections in the field.



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