British photographic history

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The Harry Ransom Center annually awards over 50 fellowships to support projects that demonstrate the necessity of substantial on-site use of its collections by applicants. The fellowships support research in all areas of the humanities, including literature, photography, film, art, the performing arts, music, and cultural history. 

When Harry Ransom purchased the Gernsheim Collection in 1963, he acquired what was then the largest privately held historical photographic archive in the country. It included what is is now acknowledged to be the world's first photograph - Niepce's first permanent photograph from nature, dating from 1826-1827. Along with additional manuscript material and items relating to Niépce's early experiments, the Gernsheim Collection contains outstanding examples of the earliest attempts at making photographic impressions, as well as much of the finest photography from the Victorian era to the twentieth century, as represented by the work of over twelve hundred photographers.

The 2012-2013 Research Fellowships, ranging from one to three months with various stipends, have been announced and details can be found here. The deadline for applications is 1st February 2012. 

Well, folks, this is your chance to head to the good old US of A, delve into this amazing archive and sample some Texan hospitality at the same time!  Good luck!


Photo: Color digital print reproduction of Joseph Nicéphore Niépce's c. 1826 heliograph
View from the Window at Le Gras. Harry Ransom Center and J. Paul Getty Museum.

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