The John Cooper Ashton collection

Scope and Content

Lantern slides of European scenery, antiquities and natural history, collected by J. Cooper Ashton. Particularly strong in ecclesiastical architecture. Special collections on R W Martin & Brothers pottery, Southall and on the area round Pontoon, County Mayo. Mainly photographs by Ashton but includes several slides published by commercial photographers c.1880.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Cooper Ashton (fl.1880-1935 ) was proprietor of coffee rooms in High Holborn, London. Ashton was also a proficient angler and gifted amateur photographer. He had special permission from the Italian government to photograph churches in Italy and this collection includes many interiors and close-ups of architectural details, perfected by frequent visits. There is also extensive coverage of ecclesiastical and other buildings in Britain, Dalmatia and France, with more selective views of Spain, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland. His collection includes many passing scenes of everyday life and events in these countries.

Parts of the collection are arranged for a series of six lectures which Ashton delivered to interested societies. They are described in detail in a printed syllabus. Three are devoted to Italy and one each to Dalmatia and France. The sixth was entitled A glance at nature’s gallery and contains photographs of natural history phenomena, including photomicrographs illustrating marine biology, aimed particularly at children. The collection also contains the manuscript text of this lecture. Other groups of photographs were taken on angling expeditions based at Pontoon, County Mayo, Ireland and at Porthouslock, near Mevagissey, Cornwall as well as various other places along the South Coast of England. These include scenes with fellow members of the British Sea Anglers’ Society, of which Ashton was curator. In addition there is a substantial collection devoted to the Martinware pottery of R W Martin & Brothers at Southall, Middlesex, with views of the potters at work as well as of their products.


The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Donation : c.1985

Other Finding Aids

Item level descriptions are available via the department's online manuscripts catalogue available at the University of Glasgow Library, Department of Special Collections, searching by the call number Ashton.

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Keeper of Special Collections.

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 0247 procedures

Custodial History



None expected

Related Material

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Location of Originals

This material is original


No known publications using this material