Greenock is often seen as a post-industrial town in decline and is overshadowed by its neighbour, Glasgow. These acquisitions help us explore the literary and artistic side of 19th-century Greenock in an attempt to show this unexplored history.
Sir Joseph Noel Paton was a Scottish artist, illustrator and sculptor. He had a great interest in, and knowledge of, Scottish folklore which is reflected in his paintings. Paton studied at the Royal Academy in London in 1843 and it was during this time that he met John Everett Millais. Allan Park Paton (1817 or 1818–1905), a writer and patron of the arts, was one of the most accomplished and eminent citizens of the 19th-century Greenock. He is probably best remembered as the Librarian of the Watt Library.