British photographic history

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Niépce conference proceedings available

The proceedings of a conference that examined three plates from The Royal Photographic Society’s Collection by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce dating from c1826-27 have been published. The investigation by the National Media Museum and Getty Conservation Institute re-wrote photographic history and revealed a hitherto unknown photographic process.

In October 2010 the National Media Museum, Bradford, held a major conference, supported by The Royal Photographic Society, to present the findings from an extensive investigation into three plates by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce contained within the Society’s Collection. The conference brought together specialists from different areas ranging from conservators, to historians of picture frames, paper and fingerprints, as well as photographic historians. Exciting new findings were presented about the plates which rewrote the photographic history books. They revealed for the first time that the plates were the result of three different processes including a previously unknown photographic process.

The majority of the papers from the conference have been published by The Society’s Historical Group in a special edition of The PhotoHistorian and a one-off issue of The Society’s Imaging Science Journal totalling some 93 pages.  These are available as a set only in a commemorative folder for £20 including UK and worldwide postage.

The proceedings can be ordered via The Society website by clicking the link or by contacting The Royal Photographic Society on +44 (0)1225 325733 or

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