About us

Look and Learn is a London-based picture library specialising in historical pictures and vintage imagery. It is a member of BAPLA (the British Association of Picture Libraries and Agencies).

The core of the picture library derives from our ownership of the copyright of some 30,000 outstanding illustrations that appeared in sixteen classic children’s illustrated magazines, including Look and Learn (1962-82).This material is complemented by hundreds of thousands of illustrations from books, magazines, prints, photographs, posters, trade cards, and ephemera of all types. All this material has been scanned and catalogued by us. Our collections include: The Peter Jackson London Collection (the largest collection of London-related printed items in private hands); The Valerie Jackson Harris Collection (items from the incomparable stock of the Chairman of The Ephemera Society); The Elgar Collection (a comprehensive collection of portraits of famous people, and related items); and The Illustrated Papers Collection (which includes essentially all the out-of-copyright illustrations in 19th century Graphic and Illustrated London News, as well as thousands of others from less well-known illustrated papers).

The copyrights that we own in classic children’s magazines were acquired from IPC Media Ltd. IPC Media’s and its predecessors’ normal business practice was to acquire all rights from writers and illustrators. Consequently, the copyright position of this material is unusually clear. Most of the other material in the picture library consists of high-resolution, and sometimes re-touched, scans of historic material, which to the best of our knowledge is no longer subject to the copyright of the original creators. In the case of such images, Look and Learn only claims ownership over the scans and associated cataloguing data. While Look and Learn aims to include in the picture library only material that may be safely reproduced, the customer must satisfy itself that this is the case in all relevant jurisdictions before using the images. See our Licensing terms and conditions. If you need help, please contact us.

Images in the picture library are available for licensing for most uses.

Other licensable materials

As well as images, we are able to license text, puzzles, educational comic strips and comic characters to publishers and others for re-printing, adaptation or other uses. There are few subjects of perennial interest to children that were not covered in Look and Learn or its junior version Treasure. The Children’s Newspaper is a unique record of the most eventful years of the twentieth century; and magazines such as Jack and Jill and Playhour contain an abundance of material capable of delighting the very young. Please contact us with an outline of your areas of interest.

Excluding the rights to certain comic strips (such as The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire) which remain with IPC Media Ltd and some other easily identifiable material, we now own the rights to the following magazines, listed here in chronological order: The Children’s Newspaper (1919-65), Robin (1953-69), Swift (1954-63), Jack and Jill (1954-85), Playhour (1954-87), Harold Hare (1959-64), Look and Learn (1962-82), Treasure (1963-71), Teddy Bear (1963-73), The Bible Story (1964), Ranger (1965-66), Tell Me Why (1968-70), Once Upon a Time (1969-73), World of Wonder (1970-75), Speed and Power (1974-75), and World of Knowledge (1980-81). Look and Learn also owns the rights to the annuals and other books associated with these magazines.

Free public domain historical images from public collections

To save our clients time and money, and as a service to the scholarly community, we have added 1,687,037 free public domain historical images sourced from public collections.

Legal status

Look and Learn Ltd is a private limited company, with both its registered office and its business address at Office 370, 19-21 Crawford Street, London W1H 1PJ, United Kingdom. The company registration number is 5294671, and VAT registration number GB 849 1277 00.


Look and Learn would like to thank the following people for helping bring the picture library to life:

Edward Leigh: development of the website; business and technical consultancy on building and making available the picture library.

Stephen Johnson: technical advice on image capture, colour calibration and workflow.

John Symonds: scanning and re-touching.