The Perspective Research Centre (PRC) curates a specialist library on perspective and related subjects.

The PRC library was formed over 50 years; and consists of the amalgamation of several earlier collections from various sources including, the Perspective Unit at the University of Toronto; and the Maastricht McLuhan Institute. Today the library is known as the Perspective Research Centre Library (PRCL), while large parts of this library formerly comprised the library of Professor Kim Veltman.

PRC has been extremely fortunate in being able to acquire the library of Dr Ingetraut Dahlberg. She founded the Journal of International Classification (1974), which later became Knowledge Organisation (1993). She also founded the Gesellschaft für Klassification (1977) and subsequently the International Society of Knowledge Organization (ISKO, 1989).

The PRC library consists of approximately 5000 physical items, plus 10,000 digital items: books, journals, papers, academic theses, treatise(s), and pamphlets.

Library Contents

The PRC library primarily focuses on the history, theory, and applications of Optical and Technical Perspective, projection methods, imaging, and spatial concepts; whilst holding records on human vision, perception and associated visual media.

Of particular note is that the PRC library includes (in totality) the rare perspective library of Kim Veltman amounting to some 700 volumes. Plus Kim’s library on Leonardo da Vinci is included (approx. 500 volumes, with additional unique manuscripts penned by Kim). Also the collection contains Alan Radley’s one-of-a-kind optics library consisting of around 300 volumes.

Kim Veltman worked closely with new media scholar Professor Marshall McLuhan. Kim acquired an extensive library on New Media, plus details of digital and electronic media’s history and projected future(s). The PRC library contains the library of the Maastricht McLuhan Institute (in full), which reflects the full gamut of old and New Media technologies.

The main theme of the Dahlberg section of the PRC library is knowledge organisation including its philosophical and theoretical background, classification methodology, its universal and special systems, indexing and terminology. Correspondingly there are sections on each of these areas. In addition there are sections on linguistics, special glossaries, library and information science.

The PRC library continues to develop, and we are endeavouring to collect further perspective related materials; including books, articles and papers etc.


The PRC library is comprised of a number of specialised collections devoted to particular subjects.

Primary Topics

  • Optical / Technical Perspective (approx. 700 volumes)
  • Leonardo da Vinci (approx. 500 volumes)
  • Optics (Geometrical, Psychological) (approx. 500 volumes)
  • New Media (Film, Photography, Television, Internet) (hundreds of volumes)
  • Knowledge Organisation, classification and indexing (hundreds of volumes)

Secondary Topics

  • Space / Time
  • Stereoscopy, 3D Cinema and Binocular Vision
  • Philosophy (Eastern, Western) (over 200 volumes)
  • History of Language, Communication and the Alphabet (hundreds of volumes)
  • History of Photography, Cinema and Television
  • Scientific Instruments: Telescopes, Cameras, Astrolabes, Sundials etc. (over 300 volumes)
  • Maps and Cartography (over 150 volumes)
  • Virtual Reality (over 100 volumes)
  • Graphics, Computer Graphics, Visualisation (over 250 volumes)
  • User Interface Design
  • Mind, Memory and Conceptual Thinking
  • History of Science (over 350 volumes)

Tertiary Topics (sample)

  • Architecture, Environmental Design
  • Engineering And Mechanical Drawing
  • Futurism, Panoramas, Multi-Scale Views
  • Aberration, Distortion and Anamorphosis
  • Spherical Vision, Curvilinear and Spherical Perspective
  • History of Mathematics, Geometry / Structure
  • Mirrors, Illusion, Lumia, Cinematic Special Effects
  • Non-Euclideon Space and The Fourth Dimension
  • Art History, History of Theatre
  • Artificial Intelligence, Rational Agents
  • Human Vision, Eye, Visual Perception
  • Cybernetics and Automation
  • Man-Machine Systems
  • Spies and Spying, Utopia / Dystopia
  • Invention, Inventors and Inventive Process
  • Humanism, Human Freedom, Ethical Technology
  • Academic Theses (over 200)


  • Professor Kim Veltman (official archive) – over 400 items
  • Buckminster Fuller – archive of all publications (physical and digital copies)
  • Professor Ted Nelson – archive of most publications
  • Professor Marshall McLuhan – complete archive of all publications
  • Professor Sir Ernst Gombrich – complete archive of all publications
  • Professor Ingetraut Dahlberg – complete archive

Catalogue, Indexing and Organisation

It has been decided to create an index of the collection based on physical items arranged according to topic/subject classification (indexing by a single primary topic plus multiple secondary topics where useful).

Bibliographic listings and indexes to the collection are present in the document below which is a work in progress. The list detaisl all of the physical items that are held in the collection; not including digital papers and digital books which are mainly unlisted. Note that the list is about 80 percent complete.

The preliminary version of the library is here: PRC_Science_Library (2MB pdf file).

We have inserted a primary and/or secondary topic next to each title; and the list of 273 searchable topics is given in PRC_Science_Library_Topics (0.5MB pdf file); where you can simply open up the file using a PDF viewer and then search for the desired title by topic/subject index or author etc.

Library Future

Future tasks related to the PRC library are as follows:

  • Science Library: complete the catalogue, and improve the indexing method/procedure:
  • Digital catalogue: complete the catalogue, and develop an indexing procedure (important items);
  • Plans are afoot to publish digital copies of important works from the physical/digital libraries in the near future (where copyright laws allow).

There is much to do, watch this space for updates!

-- < LATEST NEWS > --

The PRC Library Catalogue is now published as a first edition.

At present, we are in the process of cataloging and organising the remaining volumes (approx. 1000) for incorporation into the list as time allows. Until that task is complete, we show a partially completed list of holdings in the PRC Library Catalogue above. Enjoy! 

Watch this space for more information.

I appreciate your patience.

Alan Radley -- 18.12.22 --

Dr Alan Radley FRSA | Scientific Director

Perspective Research Centre