Sigfrid Henry Steinberg, papers on a Bibliography of the History of British Portraiture

Scope and Content

Material deposited in 1967 contains four files containing the following:
- Typescript bibliography, thought to be for 'A Guide to British Historical Portraits for the use of Historians', c. 1935-c. 1940;
- Notes for bibliography, c. 1935-c. 1940;
- Correspondence, includes correspondence from Sir Henry Mendelssohn Hake (when Director of the National Portrait Gallery) and a copy of 'Collections of Historical Portraits and other forms of Iconography in Great Britain' by W. G. Constable (1934). Some Correspondence is in German. Correspondence spans 1935-1940;
- Undated notes and newspaper cuttings, some in German, c. 1935-c. 1940.

The material deposited in 1973 consists of research material created by Steinberg for a article or book on the portraits of George I. The material includes index cards, photographs and notes.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sigfrid Henry Steinberg (1899-1969) was a Historian, art historian, German and English linguist, historian of printing and typography. Born in Goslar, Germany, Steinberg moved to England in 1936 and took up a fellowship at the Courtauld Institute of Art. A teacher of German language and author of various reference works including: A Short History of Germany (1944); Five Hundred Years of Printing (1955); Steinberg's Dictionary of British History (1963); The Thirty Years War and the Conflict for European Hegemony, 1600-1660 (1966); he was also editor of the Statesman's Year Book (1946-1969) and editor of Cassel's Encyclopaedia of Literature (1953). Steinberg maintained an interest in iconography and had intended to publish what his wife termed 'a bibliography of [British] portraiture' but the Second World War interrupted this effort and the original manuscript was lost (material relating to this unrealised project was donated by Steinberg to the National Portrait Gallery in 1967, see below). Material in the National Portrait Gallery's archive (Notes on Sitters: King George I, NPG49/1/41) indicates that in 1937 he was in the course of collecting references to portraits of George I, a project which was not to be realised in print. Following his death, in 1973 his widow Christine Steinberg donated a card index created by him, relating to portraits of George I, to the National Portrait Gallery.

Access Information

Available to view by appointment in the Heinz Archive and Library Public Study Room, to make an appointment contact Archive Reception . Although records are generally available for public consultation, some information in them, such as personal data or information supplied to the Gallery in confidence, may be restricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Personal photography is permitted for research purposes only. Photocopying is not permitted.