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New book - Chamonix Mont Blanc in 3D

12201003096?profile=originalThis unique book contains over 200 side-by-side stereoscopic views dating from the 1850s to today. These photographs, by Tairraz, Savioz, Couttet, Bisson, Braun, England and others, transport the viewer into the Alps during the golden age of alpinism. Famous fellow travellers such as de Saussure, Dumas, Ruskin, Whymper, etc., provide a commentary as we cross crevasses and climb Mont Blanc with Victorian alpinists, visit the main tourist sites and participate in everyday 19th century life at the end of the "little ice age". All in glorious 3D.

Several modern views taken by the author can be contrasted with views taken 150 years ago from the same vantage point, to highlight significant changes and the impact of global warming.

A fold-out stereoviewer is included with the book, allowing readers to immerse themselves in these astonishing Victorian 3D images.

Born in Scotland, at home in Chamonix, Peter Blair spends his free time enjoying the mountains on foot and on ski. A PhD graduate in chemical physics, he has always been fascinated by the science and magic of photography. He has amassed one of the largest collections of stereoviews of the Alps and loves to share this passion.


Chamonix Mont-Blanc in 3D

A journey through the stereoscope from the 1850s to today

Chamonix Mont Blanc en 3D, is available in either French or English and costs 29 euros (plus postage and packaging). 128 pages, 29x21cm, hardcover, full colour, Editions Belvedere, ISBN:  9782884193542

At present the English version is only available from

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12200998881?profile=originalThe history of photography, perhaps more so than any other art, is a history of technology that is best revealed in the very vehicle that makes it possible – the camera.

Through a selection of fifty landmark cameras, Michael Pritchard tells the story of this ground-breaking piece of equipment that changed the way we saw the world around us. Beginning with Louis Daguerre's daguerreotype of 1839, other entries include the Brownie (1900), the Kodak Instamatic 100 (1963), the Polaroid SX-70 (1972), right up to the Canon EOS 5D Mark III (2012) and the Nokia Lumia camera phone (2013). 

Illustrations show not only the cameras themselves but also the advertising material that accompanied them and some of the well-known images they were used to take. Pritchard uses each camera as a point of entry for talking about the people who created and used them and the kind of photos they produced, from Weegee and his Speed Graphic to Cartier-Bresson and the Leica's role in the invention of photojournalism. In the hands of individual photographers, he reveals, cameras came to represent unique styles of depiction. 

Together, the stories of the fifty cameras gathered here present an approachable and informative take on a medium that continues to fire the imagination, whether we're perfecting the selfie using the modern camera-phone or longing for the days of Fotomat.

The book is available for £20 (or £18 via the Bloomsbury website). Click the link to learn more

Table Of Contents

1. Talbot 'Mousetrap' Camera (1835)
2. Daguerreotype Camera (1839)
3. Ottewill Collapsible Camera (1853)
4. Sutton Panoramic Camera (1859)
5. Enjalbert Photo-Revolver de Poche (1882)
6. Rouch Eureka Detective/Hand Camera (1888)
7. The Kodak Camera (1888)
8. Stirn Vest Camera (1888)
9. Scovill Book Camera (1892)
10. Goerz Anschutz Camera (1894)
11. Thornton-Pickard Royal Ruby Field Camera (1895)
12. Brownie Camera (1900)
13. Sanderson Hand Camera (1904)
14. Soho Reflex Camera (1905)
15. Ticka Camera (1906)
16. Vest Pocket Kodak (1912)
17. Thornton-Pickard Hythe Camera/Gun (1917)
18. Voigtlander Prominent Camera (1932)
19. George Washington Kodak Camera (1932)
20. Zeiss Ikon Contax I Camera (1932)
21. Canon Hansa Camera (1935)
22. Leica I Camera (1935)
23. Coronet Midget (1935)
24. Kine Exakta Camera (1936)
25. Minox Camera (1937)
26. Compass Camera (1937)
27. Kodak Super Six-20 Camera (1938)
28. Eastman Kodak Co, Matchbox Camera (1944)
29. Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta 533/16 (1948)
30. Polaroid Model 95 Camera (1948)
31. Hasseblad Camera (1948)
32. Speed Graphic Camera (1950)
33. Viewmaster Personal Stereo Camera (1952)
34. Leica M3 Camera (1954)
35. Nikon F Camera (1959)
36. Rolleiflex 2.8F Camera (1962)
37. Topcon RE Super Camera (1963)
38. Kodak Instamatic 100 (1963)
39. Pentax Spotmatic Camera (1964)
40. Olympus OM1 Camera (1972)
41. Kodak 110 Instamatic (1972)
42. Polaroid SX-70 Camera (1972)
43. Canon A1 Camera (1978)
44. Sharp J-SH04 Camera/Phone (1980)
45. Sony Mavica (1981)
46. Fuji QuickSnap Camera (1986)
47. Canon RC701 (1986)
48. Kodak / Nikon DCS100 (1991)
49. Apple Quicktake Camera (1994)
50. Camera-phone (2013)

- See more at:

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12201004260?profile=originalThe Royal Asiatic Society, London, hosted a book launch for Christopher Penn's The Nicholas Brothers & A. T. W. Penn: photographers of South India 1855–1885. 

The Nicholas Brothers & A. T. W. Penn: photographers of South India 1855–1885 is published by Quaritch. It is available at a special price of £40 until 1 December 2014. Contact: Alice Ford-Smith: Read more about the content here:

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12201003870?profile=originalThis ground-breaking book by Kathryn Morgan examines the 1877-78 publication Street Life in London,by journalist Adolphe Smith and photographer John Thomson, which aimed to reveal, through the innovative use of photography and essays, the conditions of a life of poverty in London.

Now regarded as a pioneering photo-text and a foundational work of socially conscious photography – “one of the most significant and far-reaching photobooks in the medium’s history” (The Photobook: A History) – Street Life in London did not achieve commercial success in its own time. However, in Street Life in London we see the start, but not the conclusion, of a conversation between text and image in the service of education, reportage and social justice. This book is the first-ever in-depth analysis of the genesis, development and context of Smith and Thomson’s innovative publication. 

More information:

The author, Dr Emily Kathryn Morgan, is a Senior Lecturer in Art History at Iowa State University. 

Full details of this richly illustrated, 556-page, full-colour publication, sample pages and free worldwide shipping are available here:

This 556-page full-colour book, with 75 illustrations, includes the following chapters:

  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • Revisiting and Re-examining Street Life In London
  • John Thomson: Life and Writings
  • Adolphe Smith: Life and Writings
  • We Are Not The First On The Field
  • Making Street Life in London
  • True Types of the London Poor
  • Street Life in London as Photo-Text
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography

“As sustained and ambitious as the primary source itself… This engaging, astute account makes [Street Life in London] available to numerous other fields of study: urban history, sociology, media studies, and more.”

Britt Salvesen, Curator, Wallis Annenberg Department of Photography, Los Angeles County Museum of Art

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NMeM consults on redundancies

12200971657?profile=originalMuseums Journal reports that the National Media Museum is consulting on a restructure that could see it make up to five posts redundant across its senior management team and film department.

The Bradford museum has been forced to scale back its five-year masterplan and reduce its operational costs due to ongoing government cuts. The museum’s parent organisation, the Science Museum Group, needs to find savings of £3.7m by 2015-16, in addition to a further £787,000 cut announced in last year’s autumn statement.

The National Media Museum launched a consultation into the proposed changes last Friday. A spokesman from the museum said: “We have started consultation with five members of staff affected by proposed changes to structures and roles within the National Media Museum senior management team and film department. 

“We recognise that this is an extremely difficult time and will ensure that this will be conducted with the utmost consideration for those staff members who are affected.”

Read the full story here:

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The former Picture Post photographer Thurston Hopkins has died aged 101 years. He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society in 2000.  Godfrey Thurston Hopkins trained as a magazine illustrator at Brighton College of Art, but discovering that the camera ‘paid better than the brush’ he began working as a Fleet Street press photographer from 1930.

However the cliché ridden imagery and ruthless tactics required by successful press photographers of the period didn’t satisfy his creative mind and, disillusioned, he returned to his home town to set up his own successful photographic business.

When war broke out Thurston joined the RAF Photographic Unit and in Italy he acquired a Leica ‘the first camera I can recall handling without a certain feeling of distaste’. After the War he freelanced for newspapers and magazines all over Europe, exploring the new visual world offered by the small format camera. Inspired during the war years by the ‘new breed’ of photographers such as Kurt Hutton, Felix Mann and Leonard McCombe, Thurston finally attained his ambition in 1949  – working exclusively forPicture Post, first in a freelance capacity before becoming a ‘staffer’ in 1951 until the magazine’s demise in 1957,

Travelling on assignments in Africa, India, Australia and the Pacific he received two British Press Pictures of the Year awards for his reportage work during this period. Thurston’s photographs are marked by his sensitive and creative approach, creating first class records of the human condition.

After following a successful career in advertising in the 1960s he taught and lectured in photography in a number of academic institutions before returning to his first love, painting. He lived on England’s south coast with his wife, Grace Robertson – another ex-Picture Post photographer.

The text above is taken from the Getty Images website:

See also:

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12201003699?profile=originalThe European Society for the History of Photography celebrates photography's 175th anniversary with a volume dedicated to the conditions that formed the historiography of photography: Looking at 175 Years of Photohistory is edited by Miriam Halwani, Ulla Fischer-Westhauser, Uwe Schögl (ed.)

Photography has established itself as an autonomous medium in science, in the museum and also on the art market. We have no reason to complain. Or, do we?

Publication of this number of the PhotoResearcher coincides with the celebration of 175 years of photography. Our title “Looking at 175 Years of Photohistory” pays reverence to John Szarkowski's book "Looking at Photographs" and, similar to him, we feel that there is a shortcoming that we want to take steps to compensate for. However, this supposed deficiency does not have so much to do with research into photographs themselves. No, what one desires today is that more attention be paid to texts that accompany photographs, the creation of their myths, methods and circulation. It is critical knowledge about photography that is on the agenda. The meta-level of photographic history is our terrain in this number.


Miriam Halwani, Ulla Fischer-Westhauser, Uwe Schögl: Editorial. Looking at 175 Years of Photohistory

Wolfgang Kemp: Photography, a Home Birth

R. Derek Wood: No Daguerreotype for the Young Queen Victoria: A Case of English Protocol or Perfidy

Stephan Koja: “The Invention was not Coincidental…” Heinrich Schwarz and the ‘Art in the Early Days of Photography 1840–1880” Exhibition 1928

Christoph Schaden: “One no longer hears anything about him and his fairytale.” A Postscript to the Transatlantic Reception of the Levi L. Hill Case

Rolf H. Krauss: Dabbing, wiping, scraping, “fummeln” – on Photographic Retouching in the 19th Century

Naomi Rosenblum in Conversation with Lena Fritsch: A Not-So-Simple World History of Photography

Claude W. Sui: Alison Gernsheim. Pioneer of Photo History Rediscovered

Christiane E. Fricke: The Birth of a Questionable Market – Dealing in Photography in the Nineteen-Seventies

Rolf Sachsse: Light on Light. Autobiographies by Photographers

The PhotoResearcher is published by the European Society for the History of Photography (ESHPh). For information about the PhotoResearcher, including how to subscribe, please contact the:

European Society for the History of Photography

Komoediengasse 1/1/17

1020 Wien




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12201002479?profile=originalYou might be interested in this 7 minute video of a hand coloured albumen photo album from the photographic studio of Adolph Farsari ( Yokohama ) 1885-1890

The video was sent to me by my friend David Iglésias of the CRDI in Girona where the original is kept.

The photographs were digitised for the Europeana Photography project

best wishes,

World Image Trader

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Photography Historians: A New Generation?

The fourth Ryerson Image Centre Symposium highlights the most current research in the history of photography, bringing emerging scholars from universities worldwide to speak about their bodies of inquiry, their methods and their findings. This rising group of young photo-historians will engage in dialogue with renowned scholars, revealing how contemporary historical inquiry sits within—and departs from—established traditions. The hope is that participants, and the audience, may better understand how we came to surpass notions of the “history of photography,” moving beyond even diverse “histories of photography,” to arrive at our present sense that there are many histories of photographs.


In the United States during the 1970s, the University of New Mexico, Princeton University and the University of Chicago appointed Beaumont Newhall, Peter Bunnell and Joel Snyder as the first history of photography professors in their art history departments. Since then, numerous such chairs have been created, in photography and visual culture as well as art history departments, and the discipline of photo history has never stopped rethinking and redefining its boundaries, its methods and corpuses.

During the 1980s, the Newhall-ian model of photo history, which had offered coherence to the field and initiated its recognition in the academy and the museum, was shaken by post-modernist historical approaches that addressed the social, political and economic contexts of photographs rather than considering them exclusively as a works of art. The study of photographic history then was swept up in debates within and against French critical theory, which questioned the influence of class structures and power relations and privileged a theoretical methodology at the expense of an historical approach. Discourse regarding the photograph’s indexical status emerged in this context and seemed to be a fruitful means to unify the discipline, but the idea was soon (if not immediately) questioned.

Since the 1990s, the digital revolution has challenged the nature of photography and the notion of its indexicality. Historical research about the use of photographs in the sciences or journalism, for example, has demonstrated that the very indexicality of photography cannot adequately explain, or even summarily describe, the many different roles assumed by the medium or the beliefs in its objectivity and truthfulness. This constant epistemological reflection, accompanied by increased scholarly access to significant and varied photographic collections and archives, has sustained the history of photography as a centre of interest in academic studies. The launch of three new journals dedicated to photography during this period—Études photographiques in 1996; Photographies and Photography and Culture in 2008—provided a complement to such established periodicals as History of Photography (1977) and Fotogeschichte (1981), testifying to this ongoing importance.


“Photography Historians: A New Generation?” offers emerging scholars (post-doctoral and PhD candidates) the opportunity to present their research in the context of the Ryerson Image Centre’s internationally-recognized symposium, and to engage with renowned scholars in discussion of the present state of the field. We invite emerging scholars to submit papers, which question historical methodologies, present new approaches to important collections, and explore new photographic objects and corpuses. Papers will be given in English. Please send a 300-word abstract and a short biography to Thierry Gervais ( by November 30th, 2014.

The symposium will be the last in a planned series of four, designed to foster excellence in research related to the study of photography. The proceedings will be published by the RIC in 2016: the second volume in a series dedicated to scholarly research in the history of photography.

Ryerson Image Centre Symposium

Photography Historians: A New Generation?

March 26-28, 2015, Toronto, Canada

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Exhibition: Chamonix in 3D


Chamonix-Mont-Blanc in 3D is a new exhibition at Maison de la Mémoire et du Patrimoine, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France, from 18 Oct 2014 – 29 March 2015. The exhibition of 3D images spans the past 150 years, documenting the life and times of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc: the dramatic glaciers at the end of the little ice age, the golden age of alpinism, the dawn of mass tourism, the birth of skiing in the Alps, lost professions and even earthquakes.

You have probably seen the blockbuster “Avatar” and considered 3D to be a modern innovation, but can you believe that 150 years ago virtually every middle-class home had a stereoscope with which to view photographs in 3D?

This exhibition relates the fascinating history of stereoscopy and features astonishing 3D images by local Chamonix photographers, Tairraz, Savioz and Couttet, plus illustrious Victorian visitors like Bisson, Braun, England and, more recently, Jacques-Henri Lartigue. A few modern images highlight the dramatic changes to the alpine landscape wrought by tourism, urbanisation and global warming.

Various formats of 3D image are presented with their corresponding stereoscopes: side-by-side (using the London Stereoscopic Company Owl viewer), anaglyph, 3D TV, and the mirror-based Cresswell viewer.

Peter Blair describes his introduction to stereoscopy - “I spotted a bizarre Victorian contraption, in rich mahogany with brass knobs and glass lenses. Intrigued, I peered through the lenses. I was immediately transported to the heart of the Alps; the alpinist in front of me was crossing a gaping crevasse on a rickety ladder, I could sense the abyss, I could see the ice sparkling, I could follow the footprints heading higher. Three of my passions in a single, beautiful box; science, photography and the mountains. I was immediately hooked.”

Come and experience the magic of stereoscopy and immerse yourself in a bygone 3D world. Ascend Mont Blanc with Victorian alpinists, visit the locals in their spartan chalets, admire the ladies in crinolines on the mer de glace, marvel at the immense glaciers. The wonder and intimacy of stereoscopy will allow you to experience the sights like a Victorian tourist and to appreciate why a visit to Chamonix was de rigueur in the nineteenth century.

Curated by Lucinda Perillat and Peter Blair.,43-SITRA2_EVE_552665-9308-1,fr.html


Associated book:

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc en 3D, Peter Blair, Editions du Belvedere, ISBN: 978-2884193542, 29€

English version available from

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 12201002866?profile=originalRamires, Alexandre (2014) The Voyage of the Daguerreotype. On the Daguerreotypes and Physionotypes of the Oriental Hydrographe, Coimbra: author's edition. This text provides documental support for the first daguerreotype experience in Portugal, in October 1939, and the probable daguerreotype practice in islands of Madeira and Canarias latter in the same month. It also provides further documental evidence of the daguerreotype practice in Brasil.

For copies of the book we will provide the author's contact.


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cfp: Archiving 2015

12200995097?profile=originalThe Society for Imaging Science and Technology has announced a call for papers for Archiving 2015. The conference is to be held the week of 18 May at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, California. Read more and download a PDF version of this Call for Papers at

About The Conference

The IS&T Archiving Conference brings together a unique community of imaging novices and experts from libraries, archives, records management, and information technology institutions to discuss and explore the expanding field of digital archiving and preservation. Attendees from around the world represent industry, academia, governments, and cultural heritage institutions. The conference presents the latest research results on archiving, provides a forum to explore new strategies and policies, and reports on successful projects that can serve as benchmarks in the field. Archiving 2015 is a blend of short courses, invited focal papers, keynote talks, and refereed oral and interactive display presentations.

Proposed Program Topics

Prospective authors are invited to submit abstracts describing original work for presentation at the 2015 conference in technical areas related to the general fields of:

  • Digital Preservation
    Infrastructure, Repositories, Web Harvesting and Archiving
  • Creating and Preserving Dynamic Media
    Sound, Film, Digital Art
  • Imaging Technology
    Including digital documentation and forensic analysis of art
  • Using Tools, Systems, and Services
    Quality Assurance, Managing file formats including image compression and Digital Forensics
  • Managing Content and Digital Curation
    Policies, processes, metrics for services, illustrating value and ROI, and systems
    Access rights management
    Data privacy and PII (personally identifiable information)
  • Share Economies and Partnerships
  • Innovative Software, Projects, and Services

All submitted proposals will be peer reviewed by the program committee to assure that the program provides significant, timely, and authoritative information.

Submission Procedures

Prospective authors are invited to submit abstracts describing original work for presentation at the 2015 conference in any technical areas related to digital preservation, image capture and workflow, and digital curation.

All papers presented at Archiving 2015 will be published in the conference proceedings, indexed with various services, filed with the US Library of Congress, and made available as downloadable PDFs through the IS&T digital library. Authors may propose either a 20-minute oral or an interactive discussion presentation format. This enables presenters to engage with other delegates at the conference in the mode best suited to their content and desires. Oral and interactive papers are considered of equal importance and merit.

Papers presented at the conference should be authoritative and complete in regard to advancing the state of knowledge in the area of digital preservation and archiving. The conference language is English.

Abstract submissions must:

  • use the template found on the submission page and feature a total length of 1-2 pages
  • clearly identify the technical content of the paper, including information explaining how the material is new or distinct from previously presented/published work on the same topic
  • include name of author and all co-authors, and supply a maximum 50-word bio for each
  • provide complete contact info (address, phone, fax, e-mail) for the primary author, and indicate the format preference (oral or interactive).

A web-based form and instructions for submitting a proposal will be available at Use of this process is strongly encouraged, although submissions will be accepted via e-mail at Please put your LAST NAME and ARCH15 SUBMISSION in the subject line.

Abstract Submission Deadline: December 8, 2014.

Notification of acceptance/rejection:February 16, 2015

Upon notice of acceptance, authors are sent detailed instructions for submitting the full text of the paper for publication in the conference proceedings, including forms for "transfer of copyright." Please note that each author is responsible for obtaining appropriate clearance as necessary.

Final Manuscript Deadline: March 31, 2015.

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12201000857?profile=originalTate Britain's Victorian and Edwardian Art Research Centre is holding a research seminar on 4 November based around the upcoming BP Spotlight Display ‘Poor Man’s Picture Gallery’: Art and Stereoscopic Photography.  Exploring how the reproduction of fine art imagery through the intimate hand-held form of stereoscopy has affected our understanding of both forms of art, the display raises questions about realism central to the nineteenth-century arts. This seminar will provide an opportunity to share research on the works in the display, and to consider the relationship between stereoscopes and fine art.


‘A Poor Man’s Picture Gallery’
Denis Pellerin, Curator

‘Photography, cultural heritage and the expanding historical imagination’
Professor Elizabeth Edwards, Director, Photographic History Research Centre, De Montfort University

‘Inside the Sepia Cube: stereoscopic photographs of sculptures as ideal exhibition space’
Dr Patrizia di Bello, Lecturer in History and Theory of Photography, Birkbeck, University of London

Tea and biscuits

‘The Death of Chatterton’
Professor Lindsay Smith, English, Sussex Centre for the Visual

‘Knowledge in 3D: the art and science of the real’
Dr Kelley Wilder, Reader in Photographic History, Photographic History Research Centre, De Montfort University

‘Living Pictures for All: Realism, Art and Stereoscopy’
Professor John Plunkett, Associate Professor, Department of English, University of Exeter

Chaired by Professor Lynn Nead, Pevsner Chair Of History Of Art, Birkbeck, University of London

Tate Britain, Clore Auditorium
Tuesday 4 November 2014, 13.00 – 17.00

The events is free and can be booked here:

Image: Michael Burr, The Death of Chatterton (red flowers) c.1861
photograph, hand coloured albumen prints on stereo card
Collection Brian May © Brian May

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12201000286?profile=originalIn 1846 William Henry Fox Talbot provided probably over 6000 original Talbotype images to the Art Union journal in a promotional effort which today is largely overlooked.  The images were provided to popularise his photographic method and the publication was the first journal in the world to include photographs.   Due largely to the haste of production, today, the images are often badly faded and this has contributed to the poor reputation of the feat.

The Project seeks to undertake a census of extant copies of the 1846 Art Union and Calotype images. Read more about it and download the census/information form here:

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12200994657?profile=originalThe Photographers' Archives and Legacy Project is planning to add more material to the project website - - and it would like to hear from photographers whose work has a social, archival interest. It is particularly interested in: 

a) Photographers who are involved in or are about to start a commissioned project or residency, or a commissioning agency. We would like to be able to follow one or more projects, to get a picture of the potential, dynamics, issues and problems that you encounter as you work on a commissioned project and perhaps consider a legacy for the work that is made. These may become case studies or short profiles for the website;

b) Photographers who have a story to tell about their photographic work and archive and what they are doing with it. The stories will feed into the blog, which is to become more active. 


Val Millington

Project Coordinator

Photographers' Archives Research Project

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12201002256?profile=originalDe Montfort University's Photographic History Research Centre has put out a call for papers for a conference taking place in June 2015. The Annual International Conference will address the complex and wide range question of ‘photography in print.’ The conference aims to explore the functions, affects and dynamics of photographs on the printed page. Many of the engagements with photographs, both influential and banal, is through print, whether in newspapers, books, magazines or advertising.  

We would like to consider what are the practices of production and consumption? What are the affects of design and materiality? How does the photograph in print present a new dynamic of photography’s own temporal and spatial qualities? In addition, photography can be said to be ‘made’ through the printed page and ‘print communities’. What is the significance of photography’s own a robust journal culture in the reproduction of photographic values? How has photographic history is delivered through the printed page? What are the specific discourses of photography in the print culture of disciplines as diverse as history and art history, science and technology?

Photography in Print continues the theme of previous PHRC conferences, which have explored photographic business practices and flows of photographic knowledge. We would, therefore, like to invite abstracts for papers on these important themes of photography in print. We welcome papers not only on the printed media itself but also on its contextualising processes (e.g. techniques, reception, work practices, design and social impacts). We also welcome interdisciplinary studies from, for example science, history, anthropology, and mass-­‐media. Papers might consider the following key topics but, of course, are not limited to them:

•    Photographic Press

•    Journals and Magazines

•    Photographic Books

•    Writing about Photography (historiography)

•    Photography’s printed ephemera

•    Printed photographs and social as well as technical change

Papers are welcome from all career stages. The PHRC can offer three small bursaries of £100 to help Ph.D. students with travel and accommodation expenses. Please indicate when submitting your abstract if you would like to be considered.

Abstracts of no more than 200-­‐300 words should be sent to: by December 1st 2014.


22-­‐23 JUNE 2015

Photographic History Research Centre De Montfort University, Leicester, UK 

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Professor Elizabeth Edwards honoured

12200999486?profile=originalLeicester's De Montfort University's Photographic History Research Centre has reported that Professor Elizabeth Edwards, Director of the PHRC, has been honoured by The Society for Visual Anthropology. The Society has given Edwards its Lifetime Achievement Award for 2014. 


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12200999456?profile=originalOxford, 6 October 2014 – The Bodleian Libraries have secured the final funds needed to acquire the Personal Archive of William Henry Fox Talbot.  The final funds come via a legacy donation to the Libraries.   

The Bodleian’s appeal to acquire the Fox Talbot Archive was launched two years ago in late 2012 with an aim to raise the £2.25 million needed to purchase the Archive.  A significant grant of £1.2 million from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) in December 2012 gave the appeal a vital boost with further gifts from the Art Fund along with donations from numerous other private individuals and charitable trusts helping to increase the tally to £1.9 million. The recent legacy donation has allowed the Bodleian Libraries to now reach its target of £2.25 million.  

The campaign to raise funds has been widely supported by many well-known names across a variety of disciplines for which the Talbot archive has particular significance. These include: photographers Martin Parr and Hiroshi Sugimoto, artist David Hockney; Director-General of the Royal Photographic Society, Michael Pritchard; scientists Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society; Sir Michael Berry, FRS, Melville Wills Professor of Physics, (Emeritus), University of Bristol; and historians Colin Ford, CBE, Founding Head, National Media Museum and Prof Martin Kemp, FBA former Prof of Art History, University of Oxford. 

Announcing the news on Sunday 5 October at the Photography Oxford Festival 2014, Richard Ovenden, Bodley’s Librarian said:  ‘We are so pleased to have reached our fundraising target and are at last able to secure the Fox Talbot archive. We are extremely grateful for all the donations we received, from the grants awarded by the Art Fund and the NHMF to all the individual donations and for the unwavering support we’ve had in our campaign. We look forward to making this fascinating and important resource available to scholars, students and the photographic community.’ 

William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877) was one of the greatest polymaths of the Victorian age, and is most famous today for being the British ‘founder of photography’. The Archive contains enormous potential for greater understanding of the breadth of Talbot’s scholarly activities, and of the influences exerted by the women in his family, in particular their educative roles, their shared interests in botany, languages, art, travel and history which are so central to Talbot’s work, and their roles as practitioners, supporters, and collectors of the new art.    

The Talbot Archive also includes artefacts such as glassware and artworks that Talbot photographed for the ground-breaking publication The Pencil of Nature, the first book illustrated with photographs. There is a strong connection to Oxford as the Archive includes some of the first pictures of the city.

Alongside items related to his pioneering work in photography, the Archive also sheds valuable light on his personal life, his role managing his estate at Lacock, his life as a Member of Parliament, and his range of intellectual interests from science to ancient languages. 

About the Personal Archive of William Henry Fox Talbot

The Fox Talbot archive includes:

  • original manuscripts by Talbot
  • family diaries
  • family drawing and watercolour albums and sketchbooks, including images made  by Talbot’s mother, his wife,  and by his sister
  • correspondence
  • early photographic images made by Talbot
  • an image made by Talbot’s wife, c. 1839, which may be the earliest image made by a woman
  • several hundred photographs received by Talbot - by other photographers from Britain and across the continent, contemporaries of Fox Talbot who shared their images and attempts at early photography
  • portraits of Talbot and his family
  • materials and artefacts related to the Lacock estate including estate plans, bills etc
  • books from Talbot’s personal library
  • musical scores from Talbot and his immediate family
  • scientific instruments from Talbot’s own collection
  • botanical specimen albums made by Talbot and members of his immediate family.

Having now acquired the Archive the Bodleian Libraries plan to run a series of public events to support access to the Archive, including a major exhibition in 2017. Highlights from the Archive will also feature in the opening exhibition for the Weston Library and in a number of smaller displays.

The Talbot Archive will also provide rich material for a related project based at the Bodleian Libraries, the development of a Catalogue Raisonné of Fox Talbot’s photographic work.  The Bodleian recently appointed Professor Larry J Schaaf as Project Director for the Catalogue. The goal is to make more than four decades of Schaaf’s research available to a wider public audience through an online resource, and to invite scholars from a range of fields to add to the catalogue by contributing their knowledge and research related to Talbot’s life and work. 

Schaaf is also the founder and Editor of the Online Correspondence of William Henry Fox Talbot which includes fully annotated transcriptions of more than 10,000 of Talbot’s letters at

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12201001081?profile=originalAt a public meeting held at Oxford’s Bodleian Library today, Head Librarian Richard Ovenden (right) made the first announcement of three initiatives that will support William Henry Fox Talbot studies in the United Kingdom and internationally. At the same time they will make the Bodleian central to Talbot studies and the lead of the world’s three principal Talbot archives held at the National Media Museum, Bradford, the British Library, London, and the Bodleian, Oxford.

Ovenden was able to announce, firstly, the completion of the acquisition of the Talbot family archive for the Bodleian which completes the £2.2 million purchase, saving the archive for the nation. (Click here for the previous BPH report on the archive appeal).  

12200998669?profile=originalSecondly, he introduced Dr Mirjam Brusius (left) as an Andrew Mellon Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Bodleian. Brusius will lead a renewed focus on the history of photography in Oxford, centred on the Bodleian and will lead work on cataloguing, digitising and interpreting the Talbot archive.

Thirdly, he announced that Professor Larry Schaaf’s long mooted project of preparing a catalogue raisonné of Talbot’s photography had secured funding and would be housed at the University of Oxford and Bodleian Library. He described this as a ‘major scholarly venture’. Schaaf, who is the world’s foremost Talbot scholar, had long had hopes of preparing such a catalogue.

The catalogue raisonné, along with the recent cataloguing of the British Library, Bodleian and National Media Museum Talbot holdings, and the availability of Talbot’s online letters, has the potential to radically inform and revise Talbot’s role in the development of negative/positive photography and will help support a new chronology of his work.

12201001656?profile=originalSchaaf, speaking to the audience, (right) said the catalogue raisonné would allow researchers to ‘associate things we’ve never seen before…[and] reveal variations  never studied before’. Schaaf, who has been researching Talbot for more than forty years, has produced a series of landmark books, catalogues essays and papers on Talbot, his circle and his photography. He is project director for the Talbot letters project at now hosted by De Montfort University. He paid tribute to past Talbot historians including Harold White who’s work had prepared the ground for his own and to Matilda Talbot, who did much to ensure his legacy was preserved.

Schaaf currently has some 25,000 Talbot negatives and positives recorded in a DOS-based database and one of the new project’s tasks will be to migrate this data to a new platform that can also support images.

He concluded his presentation by saying, partly tongue-in-cheek, that ‘Digital photography is Talbot’s invention’.

More information will be made available by the Bodleian Library shortly. 

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