Shijia Yu looks closely at paper peepshows at the Victoria & Albert Museum and Yale Center for British Art and discovers what may be the earliest known examples of homemade paper peepshows made from the same construction kit.

This project was supported by a Research Support Grant.

Amusing, Interesting and Curious: A Study of English Paper Peepshows, 1825–1851

  • Close headshot of Shijia Yu

    Dr Shijia Yu has recently graduated from the History of Art department at Birkbeck, University of London. Shijia’s doctorate research examines the origin and evolution of the English paper peepshow in the second quarter of the nineteenth century. She is currently preparing to publish parts of her thesis on the interaction of paper peepshows with other nineteenth-century visual entertainments and print novelties, as well as the use of embodied knowledge in visual culture studies. Shijia will also begin a new research project to investigate the exchange of print markets between Western European countries in the 1800s. Previously an associate tutor at Birkbeck and the cataloguer of the Gestetner Paper Peepshow Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Shijia currently works as a freelance educator.