The Charles Lawson Collection of Sketches


These drawings are by Charles S. Lawson (d. 1884), a Dundee lithographer. They record various aspects of the burgh as it was before the Improvement Act of 1871.

The discovery, analysis and scanning of the Lawson collection of sketches of drawings of mid 19th century Dundee is one of the most significant events in recent Dundonian history. For here are six hundred or so illustrations of pre-improvement Dundee, sufficient to revolutionise our understanding of the history of this great seaport – which is otherwise so much beset around with mythology.

Charles Lawson appears to have been one of the two Lawson brothers who produced a curiously illustrated guide to Dundee in 1870. The drawings in the guide seemed to exaggerate their naivety and amateurism - to such an extent that, generally, they were rarely reproduced. The drawings commissioned or collected by Alexander Lamb for his Old Dundee – its Ancient and Historic Buildings seemed much more credible.

Staff in the Local History Centre may be contacted on:

Tel: 01382 431550
Fax: 01382 431504
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