British photographic history

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Reports of the Juries - original negatives found in NS+MM store

The National Science+Media Museum curator of photography and photographic technology Geoff Belknap has reported that 16 original glass negatives used to make the calotype prints for the 1851 publication Reports of the Juries have been re-discovered in a museum store.

Serendipity played a part as the store was being cleared, with museum curator Toni Booth, and external researchers Larry Schaaf, Roger Taylor and Anthony Hamber all involved in the initial discovery and subsequent identification process.The negative box carried a Sotheby's lot tag from May 1996 suggesting that they had been purchased. 

There is more work to do on these important negatives but it is good to know that they are extant almost 170 years after their original printing and publication and they they are now, once again, properly attributed. 

Separately, BPH readers may be interested to learn that Anthony Hamber's new book Photography and the 1851 Great Exhibition which will examine, in part the production and impact of Reports of the Juries, will be published by V&A Publications/Oak Knoll Press in October 2018. 

Images: Geoff Belknap / Twitter /

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