Print Collection

The Print Collection includes some 8,000 prints, mostly etchings, engravings, mezzotints, lithographs, woodcuts and wood engravings.

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669)
The Persian, 1632
Etching, sheet: 9.7 x 6.1 cm
Print Collection, Baillieu Library,
University of Melbourne
Gift of Dr J. Orde Poynton 1959
reg. no. 1959.3709


Inspiring and visually striking, the Baillieu Library Print Collection includes approximately 9,000 individual works of art. It encompasses prints (engravings, woodcuts etc.) and also print albums, drawings, paintings, tools and books. The majority of the collection is European featuring such renowned artists as Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt and William Hogarth. It is representative of Western printmaking practitioners and techniques (relief, intaglio and planographic) dating from the 15th to the 19th century, but also includes examples from the 20th and 21st century.  

History and development

The collection was first established in the Baillieu Library in 1959 through a gift by Dr John Orde Poynton of approximately 3,700 Old Master prints dating from 1460 to 1850. Works of art by high caliber artists such as Albrecht Dürer, Jacques Callot, Rembrandt van Rijn and William Hogarth were included in this major gift. The important Sadeler albums, which were collected by Elizabeth Seymour Percy Northumberland, were purchased in 1962. The collection was further enhanced in 1964 with Harold Wright’s bequest of half his Lionel Lindsay print collection and prints by Lindsay’s British contemporaries. In 1995 Dr Pierre Gorman gifted his collection of prints relating to Cambridge. The collection development has been guided by these individual collectors and continues to grow in scope and depth through additional donations and purchases. The primary role of the collection is its rich resourcefulness for teaching, research and exhibition.

Viewing the Print Collection

The Print Collection is entirely searchable and its database is available online (click below).

To view prints in person, please submit a request via the Reading Room.

To make an appointment in the print room, to book a class, or discuss a research project please contact the curator.