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Viewers' key of a panorama entitled "Lord Nelson's Attack on Copenhagen", by Robert Barker and Henry Aston Barker

Identifier: Coll-2001

Scope and Contents

This is the viewer's key for a panorama entitled "Lord Nelson’s Attack on Copenhagen", printed by J. Adlard in 1802. It is an exploded circular diagram, with the illustrated features numbered, and a letterpress explanatory key.

According to Ralph Hyde's Dictionary of Panoramists of the English Speaking World, this panorama was exhibited between May 1802 and April 1803 and executed by Robert Barker’s son, Henry Ashton Barker who had been introduced to Nelson by Sir William Hamilton, and who visited Copenhagen, being entertained by Nelson, in 1801 shortly after the action.


  • Creation: [1802]


Language of Materials


Physical Description

Single sheet, 410 x 340 mm. Old creases.

Conditions Governing Access

Open. Please contact the repository in advance.

Biographical / Historical

Robert Barker was an Irish artist, born in 1739. He worked in Edinburgh in the late 18th century and invented the "panorama" concept - a 360 degree view designed to be placed round the inside of a cylinder and viewed from the centre. The word was taken from the Greek "pan", "all", and "horama", a view (from "horan", to see).

Barker was granted letters patent in June 1787 by George III to display his panoramas. Although these were displayed in London, his first panorama was a view of Edinburgh displayed in Edinburgh in 1788.

In London, Barker panoramas were exhibited at an establishment in Castle Street, off Leicester Square. In 1791, a view of London from the roof of the Albion Mills was displayed. Later on, from 1793, Barker panoramas moved to the first purpose-built panorama building in the world, in Leicester Square, London. This was an immediate success, and when he died in 1806, his son and pupil Henry took over the business in partnership with the artist John Burford.


1 sheet ; 410 x 340 mm

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased in October 2023. Accession no. SC-Acc-2023-0163.

Physical Description

Single sheet, 410 x 340 mm. Old creases.

Processing Information

Catalogued by Aline Brodin in December 2023, using information supplied by the seller.

Viewers' key of a panorama entitled "Lord Nelson's Attack on Copenhagen", [1802]
Aline Brodin
December 2023
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
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Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
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