British photographic history

Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history

All Blog Posts (3,423)

Help identify this strange French optical viewer

This is a device that is new to me, I don't even know what to call it. 6 x 6" box, it has a concave mirror and slots to fit photos. Not at all like a Graphoscope. You position yourself behind the photo and view the enlarged image in the mirror. Rather clever, as you can see both the front and back of a CDV at the same time.

Does anyone know what this…


Added by David McGreevy on May 8, 2020 at 20:00 — 5 Comments

Public asked to identify images of Scotland

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has asked the public to help identify over 5,000 archive images which are now available online for the first time. In 2019-20, over 170,000 archive items from the HES archives were digitised, with the images now being added to Canmore – the online catalogue of HES archives. The new online records include digitised copies of…


Added by Michael Pritchard on May 8, 2020 at 11:45 — No Comments

Online: British Museum collections available

The British Museum has revamped its website and made 1.9 million images of, and from, its collection - including photographs - available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license. Commercial use…


Added by Michael Pritchard on May 8, 2020 at 11:00 — 2 Comments

The Great Exhibition virtual tour

For a number of reasons the 1851 Great Exhibition and the Crystal Palace hold a particular interest for photographic historians for whom it is familiar through the photographs of T R Williams, Negretti and Zambra, P H Delamotte and others. For the first time, visitors can take a 360 tour around The Crystal Palace, the venue of the formidable 1851 Great…


Added by Michael Pritchard on May 8, 2020 at 9:22 — No Comments

Crimean War Images in Private Collections

Over the years searching for online digital copies of images taken by the James Robertson/Felice Beato photographic team in the Crimea in 1855-56, I have come to the conclusion that there must be many in private collections that are not available to people like me who would find them useful historically. I first became aware of this when I found three under…


Added by David Robert Jones on May 6, 2020 at 5:29 — No Comments

V-E Night Impression

This week sees the 75th Anniversary of VE, so I thought I would just post this picture called “ V-E Night Impression” which was taken by my Grandfather in a West End pub on VE night. The picture was subsequently displayed at The London Salon.

In his notes, he writes :- “ Created by ‘time and flash’ exposure. The camera held in one hand with the…


Added by Kelvin Jouhar on May 5, 2020 at 18:00 — No Comments

Research: The National Archives digital resources go free

In the light of the closure of The National Archives at Kew due to COVID-19 the decision has been taken to provide free access to digital records available on its website for as long as TNA remains closed to visitors. Registered users can now order and download up to 10 items at a time, up to a maximum of 50 items over a rolling 30 day period. The limits are…


Added by Michael Pritchard on May 2, 2020 at 10:30 — 3 Comments

Blog: The Mackinnon Collection - Dawn of Light and Liberty

When the National Galleries of Scotland and the National Library of Scotland jointly acquired the MacKinnon Collection of historic Scottish photography, they knew it contained many exceptional…


Added by Michael Pritchard on May 2, 2020 at 10:27 — No Comments

Chevreul process

I wonder if anyone can shed light on the possible existence of a Chevreul photographic process. I’ve come across the following announcement in the Lynn Advertiser of 28th March 1857.

"W. Taylor begs to announce that he has completed his arrangements for carrying out the beautiful system of pure, untouched Photography, so successfully practised by M. Chevreul, of Paris, – producing Portraits equal in richness to the highest finished Mezzotint Engravings, and leaving…


Added by Robert Pols on April 30, 2020 at 18:30 — 2 Comments

Online talk: Lost Glasgow: Oscar, Bravo!

Recording of a Facebook Livestream, first broadcast on Thursday 23rd April 2020. Whether self-isolating or with the family, this special live stream event with Lost Glasgow’s Norry Wilson is a must for all to gather round. In this presentation Norry offers his take on Oscar Marzaroli’s incredible photographic record of the city and the legacy his work gives, as well as looking at the photographers who preceded Oscar and those who were…


Added by Street Level Photoworks on April 30, 2020 at 14:00 — No Comments

Stolen: Historic cameras and photographs, London, 9 April, 2100-2300

The following vintage cameras and photographs were stolen from a house in north-east London on 9 April. If you are offered them or have sight of them please contact: CONTACT:CMS@MET.POLICE.UK

1.Detective camera disguised as a pair of binoculars c.1890.

2.Another detective camera disguised as a pair of binoculars c.1900.

3.A Ticka detective camera disguised as a pocket watch, hands at seven minutes past eleven.



Added by Michael Pritchard on April 29, 2020 at 8:00 — No Comments

Research: Roger Fenton Crimea salt print, question about labeling.

This is a recently acquired salt print, 'Col. Dickson, Royal Engineers' by Roger Fenton. It is mounted on the usual large 18 x 24" page. Rather than having the number printed in the title, it is hand written in ink on the obverse. Is this an early 'proof'? A later copy?…


Added by David McGreevy on April 27, 2020 at 19:30 — 1 Comment

Discovery - You never know what you'll find - aviation pioneer as a young boy.

One of the great pleasures in collecting old negatives is finding the odd 'ruby in a mountain of rock'. Whilst recently scanning a group of glass negatives I had recently purchased and had loosely titled 'Camberwell, Southwark and Richmond Collection' I came across the image of a middle-aged gentleman sitting with a young girl in the back garden of a house…


Added by Michael Holden on April 27, 2020 at 13:00 — No Comments

Icon Photographic Materials Group - Call for Speakers

The Icon Photographic Materials Group committee would like to host a number of online lectures in the coming months, to help keep our community connected as part of Icon's "Conservation: Together at Home" webinar series. This is a great opportunity to share knowledge and ideas through a virtual platform. We are open to a wide variety of…

Added by Stephanie Jamieson on April 27, 2020 at 11:30 — No Comments

Obituary: Sue Davies OBE HonFRPS (14 April 1933-18 April 2020) - UPDATED 2

Sue Davies who has died, after a short illness, aged 87 years, was the founder director of London’s The Photographers’ Gallery, the first public space dedicated solely to photography and photographers in the United Kingdom. During her twenty years as gallery director she established it as the go-to place for photography, particularly in its early years when…


Added by Michael Pritchard on April 20, 2020 at 9:00 — 22 Comments

Mistakes in the titles of Crimean War photographs held by collections

I have recently been comparing collections holding Roger Fenton’s Crimean war images and have discovered that the titles of some portraits in the Library of Congress (LOC) in Washington are different to the same images in the Royal Collection Trust (RCT). The portrait entitled Colonel Goodlake at the LOC is entitled Lieutenant Colonel…


Added by David Robert Jones on April 18, 2020 at 11:00 — 9 Comments

Online exhibition: The Lost Photographs of Gerty Simon

The Wiener Holocaust Library has made available an online version of its 2019 exhibition of Gerty Simon's life and work Gerty (Gertrud) Simon (1887-1970) was a German-Jewish photographer renowned in the 1920s and 1930s for her portraits of important political and artistic figures in Weimar Berlin and interwar London. In the 1930s, as a refugee from Nazism in…


Added by Michael Pritchard on April 18, 2020 at 10:58 — No Comments

Source magazine makes issue 96 available free

Source magazine has provided free access to the digital edition of Issue 96 - Privacy: Picturing Our Inner Selves until the end of April. It features portfolios from Rachel Glass, Maurice Hobson and Gillian Wearing, fashion and marketplace columns, reviews, and interviews. 

Accessible here: …


Added by Michael Pritchard on April 18, 2020 at 10:47 — No Comments

Online stream: 'Only for Freedom' Q+A with Frank McElhinney

Glasgow's Street Level Photoworks has made available a Facebook live stream artist talk with Frank McElhinney on his project 'Only for Freedom', followed by a Q+A with Street Level director Malcolm Dickson.…


Added by Street Level Photoworks on April 15, 2020 at 15:30 — No Comments

Film: Oscar Marzaroli - Shades of Oscar

Produced to coincide with our Oscar Marzaroli retrospective this short AV work features poignant narration by Marie-Clare Marzaroli sharing recollections of her father and reflecting on the huge legacy he left behind.…


Added by Street Level Photoworks on April 15, 2020 at 15:30 — No Comments

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