This part of the Rossetti Archive includes material of three distinct types.
Of first importance is a series of pictures by artists other than Rossetti. These are works that relate directly to Rossetti's writings--the pictures that go with poems Rossetti wrote to accompany them. These pictures make up a type of "double work" in which Rossetti is a collaborator. With one notable exception ("The Card Dealer", which is Rossetti's imaginative response to Theodore von Holst's picture The Wish), these pictures all evoked sonnets from Rossetti--the so-called "Sonnets for Pictures" that Rossetti published at various times and with different inclusions. A group of such works first appeared in the fourth number of The Germ in 1850.
A second group of pictures includes works that help to illuminate one or another aspect of Rossetti's pictures and designs. This material includes works by Rossetti's contemporaries, English and foreign, as well as earlier works that have a critical relation to Rossetti and the cultural scene in which he made such an important figure. This second body of material might easily be very large indeed, though at present its scale is modest. We expect it to be considerably augmented as the Rossetti Archive develops through its next planned phases and beyond.
The same expectation holds for the third body of non-Rossetti pictures: that is, a large group of early photographs--many of them by Rossetti's contemporaries (and some by friends)--of Rossetti's paintings and drawings. Rossetti was one of the first artists to take a serious interest in the new medium of photogaphy, both as a form for artistic production and a means for disseminating his work. Because he and his work figure in the development of early photography in a number of ways, these photographs comprise a significant archive of materials in their own right. The Delaware Art Museum has the largest collection of these photographs, which were sold at the time by various companies. A great many were also published, and the first installment of the Rossetti Archive contains many hundreds of the latter. The entire Delaware Art Museum collection will be made available through the Rossetti Archive. At present, the alphabetized list of pictures by other artists does not include these reproductions. However, the files that present Rossetti's own artworks include a list of reproductions when such are available. Users may also use the search engine, querying for instances of "Delaware" within pictorial documents.