The project is based on research undertaken on site in Italy, France, Belgium and Glasgow, locating and photographing, where possible, the sources for Mackintosh's drawings.
The database has been compiled by George Rawson and David Buri and designed by Mick Eadie. Research was carried out by George Rawson (Italy) and Elaine Grogan (France and Belgium); captions and notes are by George Rawson; on-site photographs are by George Rawson and David Buri (Italy and Glasgow) and Elaine Grogan (Antwerp). The research was part-funded by Glasgow School of Art and the creation of the database was financed by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
The Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928) toured Italy, France and Belgium in early 1891 as the recipient of the Alexander Thomson Travelling Scholarship.
He left Glasgow for London on 21 March 1891, sailing from Tilbury on the Thames on 27 March and arriving in Naples on 5 April. He then visited Palermo in Sicily, Rome, Orvieto, Siena, Florence, Pisa, Pistoia, Bologna, Ravenna, Ferrara, Venice, Padua, and Vicenza, arriving in Verona on 10 June 1891.
The Sketchbook contains drawings from the later part of Mackintosh's tour, beginning with Verona. It covers Verona (11-14 June); Mantua (14 June); Cremona (14-15 June); Brescia (16 June); Bergamo (17 June); Lecco (18 June); Cadenabbia and Lake Como (19-25 June); Como (26-27 June); Milan (28 June-6 July); Pavia (7 July-?); Certosa di Pavia ( probably several days around 12 July); Paris and Chateau d'Ecouen (late July?); Antwerp (late July?). It also contains several pages of designs for the Glasgow Art Club (1892-3) and the Glasgow Herald Building (1893-5).
The drawings themselves are almost all pencil sketches, some of which are now quite faint. The website reflects their current condition.