This collection consists primarily of published books and articles illustrated by Hugh Thomson. Thomson was born in Ireland in 1860 but moved to London in 1883. His greatest popularity came in England after 1900. He died in 1920. He illustrated popular works of fiction such as Silas Marner and The Pickwick papers and many of the Highways and byways series of guidebooks to England's counties.
There is also a small group of original sketches. These are done much larger than the finished printed illustration as many of the works were published with line blocks (a photographic process) which allows great reduction without loss of detail.