Skip to main content

Fast Facts

Media: Parts 1-4, 611 reels of 16mm microfilm; Part 5, 3,306 105 x 148mm microfiche. Part 6, 3.868 105 x 148mm microfiche.
Format: Printed guides in six volumes corresponding to the collection sections. Free with collection
Coverage Dates: 1733-1990

Intended For

Get Started


  • Download a short description
  • Share


Sotheby's of London has long been internationally acclaimed as the most prestigious of auctioneers. In addition to handling entire estates and libraries, the firm has been intimately involved in the sale of some of the world's most valuable books, manuscripts, autographed letters, pictorial art and art objects, coins, medals, and maps.

The catalogs documenting these transactions have been published every year since 1733, and more than 21,000 of them are now available to students and researchers through this microfilm collection.

In and of themselves valuable collector's items, these catalogs document the names of the sellers, the specific items sold, and dates for every auction. In addition, many of the catalogs are annotated with the names of the buyers and the prices fetched. For collectors, curators, numismatists, antiquarian book dealers, and historians, this represents a single-source research opportunity.

For art historians, Sotheby's catalogs are tools for tracing the ownership of specific works of art, for testing authenticity, and for following the often meandering path of art ownership from country to country.

Literary researchers can now chronicle the history of artistic and literary tastes since 1734, track the development of international connoisseurship, and study the economics of art as it changed over time.

Important information is provided by these catalogs on such events as the sale of the libraries of Henry Fielding, Edward Hyde, Thomas Martin, Joseph Addison, James Boswell, Sir Thomas Lawrence, and Robert Southey. Important sales of the first editions of Dickens, Robert Louis Stevenson, and others are also documented.

This collection is divided into five chronological parts and was filmed by UMI® through the cooperation of the Huntington Library, Sotheby Parke-Bernet, the British Museum, and the University of Illinois.

  • Content Type: Printed guides in six volumes corresponding to the collection sections. Free with collection.
  • MARC Records: Yes

Our Products

ProQuest Dissertation and Theses Dissemination

ProQuest Dissertation and Theses Dissemination takes responsibility for preserving and disseminating graduate research for our university and college partners.

Learn More


Intota -- Discovery, Management and Assessment for a Transformed Library.

Learn More

Ebook Products & Services

Ebook Central

With the widest selection of content, the most flexibility, and backed with the market’s most sophisticated administrative engine, Ebook Central enables libraries to significantly improve users’ ebook research outcomes and boost the productivity of their staff.

Learn More


3 Women Who Lead Teach Us How to Inspire Others

What do Malala Yousafzai, Maya Angelou, and Jane Goodall have in common?

Learn More

ProQuest Literature & Arts Content Update – July through September 2015

20 new full text publications were added to ProQuest literature and arts databases last quarter.

Learn More