The Victorian Era represents the cradle of our modern society – a time when social change and new technology heralded an industrialised economy. By the time of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897, claims were proudly made of the progress since her accession to the throne. Steam ships had replaced sail, the railway system had superseded the stage coach, and the motor car had just begun to replace the horse. Not only did mass production create a new wealth of household products, ceramics, toys and games, but the arrival of cheaper printing and colour lithography made possible a profusion of printed material. The music sheets, colourful scraps, advertisements, greetings cards and children’s book illustrations that fill The Victorian Scrapbook – with such vigour – all give us an insight into the life and times of our forebears. Fortunately the thousand items gathered here have survived in remarkable condition, some by chance, others by having themselves been pasted down into contemporary scrapbooks. They all combine to celebrate a time when British ruled an Empire ‘on which the sun never sets’.