Hamilton Kerr Institute

Fitzwilliam Museum

Archives held at the Hamilton Kerr Institute

Roberson Archive

the Roberson shop in Picadilly The Roberson Archive is the archive of the artists’ colourman Charles Roberson & Co. (1810-1985). Roberson was one of the most important colourmen in London in the nineteenth century and the material in the archive gives detailed information about the internal workings of the company and its relations to both its customers and suppliers. It is the largest artists’ colourman’s archive in the United Kingdom and covers the period from 1815 to 1944, providing a record of the materials and techniques of many of the leading nineteenth and twentieth century British artists. These include among others all the artist members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Leighton, Alma Tadema, Watts, Whistler, Tissot, William Morris and many other members of the Royal, Cambrian, Hibernian & Scottish Academies. It is also of interest to those studying amateur artists, firms of decorators and suppliers to the art world.

An index to the Roberson Archive, the most complete record that survives of a 19th century artists’ colourman, was published in 1997. Since that time the archive has received a steady number of requests for access. Consequently the Hamilton Kerr Institute are now proposing to undertake a digitisation project to increase access to and preserve the fragile nature of this resource. A demonstration outlines the scheme by which we hope to make this resouce accessible.

To consult the Roberson Archive please contact us to make an appointment.