British photographic history

Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history

Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history ranging from exhibitions and museum news, publications, and jobs



Looking for roll film holder information 7 Replies

Started by Paul Kay. Last reply by Paul Kay on Saturday.

A.E.Staley and Sands and Hunter 4 Replies

Started by Anne Bull. Last reply by Anne Bull Nov 14.

Documentation of the Orotone (Curt-Tone) process? 3 Replies

Started by Roger Hyam. Last reply by Alan Hodgson Nov 13.

Seeking Identity of this Lady in Ambrotype

Started by John SurreyUK Nov 6.

Press photographs from 60’s - SKR credit

Started by Steve Dean Nov 4.

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Welcome to the British photographic history blog which was launched at the start of 2009. There are now over 3500 members, in addition to regular readers. These range from museum and gallery curators, photographic academics, students, collectors, dealers and representatives from the photographic press from around the world. The blog provides a forum for news of events and happenings within the British photographic history community. This can include lectures or meetings, exhibition news, jobs, reviews and general news affecting collections of photographic material or individuals within the field. While the focus is on Britain it may, on occasion, include material that is of wider interest from Europe, the United States, Africa and Asia.

A summary of the previous week's posts is usually emailed to signed up readers each Monday. 

Dr Michael Pritchard

PS. Thanks to George Eastman House (now George Eastman Museum) and History Today magazine blogs for recommending British Photographic History as one of their own favourite blogs. The Daily Telegraph made BPH one of its photography websites of the week

Blog Posts

Auction: 'grey paper album' Fenton on sale / 3 December 2020

A print from an album likely to have been compiled by Roger Fenton is being offered by Chiswick Auctions online on 3 December. The anonymous portrait, by Fenton, comes from the notorious 'grey paper album'. The important album was disbound and each image was offered, and dispersed, individually, at auction between 1977 and 1984.

No record of the album…


Posted by Michael Pritchard on November 23, 2020 at 18:00

Signing 19th Century Lenses - A Common Practice?

My collection of Grubb Patent Aplanatic Lenses made in Dublin between the 1850s and the 1870s all have micro-engraving with a number at the very edge of the glass lens element to match the engraved or stamped number on the brass barrel of the lens. The purpose behind this is to indicate authenticity and avoid fakes.The writing (for that is what it is) is…


Posted by William Fagan on November 22, 2020 at 14:00 — 7 Comments

The nineteenth century's largest glass plate negatives

The largest glass plate negatives produced in the nineteenth-century appear to have been made in Sydney, Australia, in 1875. They were made by the professional photographer Charles Bayliss with the help of a wealthy amateur photographer Bernhard Otto Holtermann, who also funded the project.

Only four of the colossal glass negatives produced by Bayliss…


Posted by Geoff Barker on November 20, 2020 at 23:30

Exhibitions: Health and Well-being / Bristol, Arnolfini, from 4 December 2020-February 2021

Bristol's Arnolfini arts space is presenting two photography exhibitions as part of its Health and Well-being series, both come from the Hyman Collection. A picture of health presents a group of women photographers and Jo Spence: from fairy tales to phototherapy presents work held in the Collection. 

The first, brings together a group…


Posted by Michael Pritchard on November 20, 2020 at 11:00

Auction: Dickens daguerreotypes / 17 December 2020

Two daguerreotypes of Charles Dickens and his wife, Catherine, by the London photographer J. J. E. Mayall, are being offered at auction on 17 December 2020. Both are dated c.1853-55 and are estimated £50,000-70,000 and £10,000-20,000 respectively.

Dickens was regularly photographed by Mayall and he wrote about his experiences in his publication…


Posted by Michael Pritchard on November 20, 2020 at 10:59 — 1 Comment

Auction: James Hedderley photographs of London / 15 December 2020

Sworder's London auction is offering a lot of London photographs by James Hedderly. The eight photographs are estimated at £1000.

JAMES HEDDERLY (1814-1885)

a collection of seven photographs of Chelsea before the building of the  Embankment in 1871-3; Old Battersea Bridge (as depicted by Whistler); Chelsea Old…


Posted by Michael Pritchard on November 19, 2020 at 20:00

cfa: Rijksmuseum Fellowship Programme / closes 14 January 2021

On behalf of Mattie Boom and Hans Rooseboom, Curators of Photography, we would like to bring to your attention our current research opportunities within the…


Posted by Michael Pritchard on November 19, 2020 at 19:57

Auction: Pencil of Nature fascicle on eBay for £20k / closes 23 November 19.23 (GMT) (UPDATED)

If you have a spare £20,000 then one fascicle from William Henry Fox Talbot's The Pencil of Nature (1844-1846) - the first commercially published photographic book - can be yours. The fascicle is illustrated with two calotypes - including one view of Lacock Abbey, and one photogenic drawing of…


Posted by Michael Pritchard on November 19, 2020 at 19:00


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