Accessibility statement

George Smith collection

The collection

The George Smith collection comprises:

  • British engravers and their works and associates
  • Original, British, Commonwealth and especially US banknotes produced directly or indirectly by the engravers that Smith concentrated on
  • Original postage stamps associated with the engravers

The collection would be of interest to anyone studying:

  • 18th and 19th century British painting and engraving.
  • Connections between engravers.
  • How engravers diversified into stamps, banknotes and medals besides drawing and paintings.

The collector

George W Smith amassed a considerable collection of books and prints illustrative of British engraving and painting in the 18th and 19th centuries, which he used in writing James Heath: engraver to kings and tutor to many (1989).


After George Smith's death in 1995, the collection was donated to the University by his family.

Collection access

Most of the material in the collection is catalogued and can be accessed via the University of York’s online catalogue. Items can be consulted in the Borthwick Search Room and copies can be made subject to copyright.

Related collections

Further information


Smith, George, James Heath: engraver to kings and tutor to many (1989)