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M-156: Felix Darley Illustration Collection

DATE: ca. 19th century

CREATOR: Darley, Felix Octavius Carr (1822-1888)

HISTORY: Artist Felix Darley (1822-1888) set the standard for nineteenth-century book illustration. The range of his artistic talents included engraving, wash drawing, woodcut, and lithography. Darley's long and distinguished career witnessed the gradual importance of book illustration in the mass cultural setting of his day. Not only did his designs meet the visions of a growing American reading public, he also helped set the stage for the eventual triumph of book illustration as an independent graphic art form. Indeed, Darley illustrated for some of the greatest authors of the nineteenth century, including Charles Dickens, Edgar Allen Poe, Washington Irving, James Fennimore Cooper, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Alfred Lord Tennyson, and many others. Many examples of his work can be found in the Mercantile Library's vast nineteenth-century book collections.

ACCESS: This collection is available for on-site use only in the Rare Book and Manuscripts Reading Room. Some of the material in Special Collection M-156 may be photocopied, digitally scanned or photographed, subject to condition. For collections marked limited access, researchers are advised to contact the library at least three business days in advance of their visit to submit a request to view the physical material.

An exhibition catalog with selected illustrations for Special Collection M-156 is available on site: Stories on Stone: The Darley Lithographs for "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" & "Rip Van Winkle." 

Researchers are advised to call ahead concerning changes in hours due to University intersessions and holidays. The St. Louis Mercantile Library is located on levels one and two of the Thomas Jefferson Library building.

In observance of security procedures, certain services may not be available shortly before the daily closing time.

Preferred Citation: When citing the material from this collection, the preferred citation is: From the Special Collections of the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri – St. Louis.