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12201070868?profile=originalThe Fellows Lunch: Curator Series is a set of four free lunchtime research talks given by recipients of Paul Mellon Centre Curator Research Grants. All are welcome but please book a ticket in advance. Two upcoming lunches are of particular photographic interest: 

  • 15 May. How might women photograph war? With the support of a Paul Mellon Curatorial Award, Dr Pippa Oldfield investigated the ways in which women have responded to the First World War, both during the conflict and a hundred years later. She will share her research that led to the national touring exhibition No Man’s Land: Women’s Photography and the First World War, which opened at Impressions Gallery, Bradford, in 2017 and is currently on view at Bristol Cathedral from 7 April to 1 July 2018. Pippa will discuss pioneering women who made images at or near the frontlines, including Mairi Chisholm, a First Aid nurse and ambulance driver in Flanders, Belgium; Florence Farmborough, a nurse with the Russian Red Cross; and Olive Edis, the UK’s first officially commissioned woman photographer sent to a war zone. She will also reflect on contemporary responses by artists Alison Baskerville, Dawn Cole, and Chloe Dewe Mathews, and consider how assumptions of gender have shaped the practice of war photography. See more and book here:

  • 29 May. Four Corners and Camerawork were two examples of innovatory, workshop-based cultural film and photographic practice characteristic of the radical 1970s and early 1980s. This presentation will explore the curatorial approaches involved in assembling photographs, films, publications, documents and oral histories for an online archive and public exhibition. Through a discussion of the archival research process, this talk will trace the different and sometimes contradictory histories involved. The talk is given by by Carla Mitchell, Head of Four Corners' artistic programme development and Four Corners and Camerawork archive project. See more and book here:
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12201074884?profile=originalThe only London screening of Do Not Bend: The Photographic Life of Bill Jay, produced and directed by Grant Scott and Tim Pellatt is being held at the Frontline Club on 8 May. 

Magazine editor, writer, lecturer, photographer, evangelist, mercurial force; Bill Jay was all of these and more. Bill Jay ignited the fire beneath British photography in 1968 with his magazine Creative Camera and fanned its flames via Album magazine, the ICA, the RPS, and camera clubs and polytechnics across the land before decamping to the University of New Mexico and on to Arizona State University. His lectures and teaching created a generation of American photographers, teachers, curators and publishers. He wrote twenty books and over four hundred articles, living a life filled with controversy and passion. 

Do Not Bend: The Photographic Life of Bill Jay documents his life through archive images, audio and photographs alongside interviews with his friends, colleagues and family including Martin Parr, David Hurn, Homer Sykes, Ralph Gibson, Paul Hill, Brian Griffin, Daniel Meadows, Alex Webb, John Benton-Harris, Sue Davis, and Mary V. Swanson amongst others.

Following this screening, Grant Scott and Tim Pellatt will take questions from the audience.

To book click here:

A book published by titled Do Not Bend: The Photographic Life of Bill Jay which features Bill Jay's portraits of photographers he interviewed and encountered will be available for purchase.  

Main image: © David Hurn / Magnum. Image above: © Tricia Kearney.

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12201076052?profile=originalThe History of Art department of the University of Oxford, is holding its Trinity Term Photography Seminar programme. Meetings takes places on Tuesdays from 1pm-2pm in St Luke’s Chapel, Radcliffe Humanities. The convenors are Geraldine Johnson and Sajda van der Leeuw. Open to all. 

May 1st (Tuesday, Week 2 – St Luke’s Chapel, Radcliffe Humanities)
The Literary Photobook: From Grangerisation to Post-Punk Box Sets
Paul Edwards (Paris Diderot University)

May 8th (Tuesday, Week 3 – St Luke’s Chapel, Radcliffe Humanities)
From Sandscapes to Glassworlds: The Visual Imagination of Vaughan Cornish, A Fin-de-Siècle Artist-scientist
Emily Hayes (Oxford Brookes University)

May 15th (Tuesday, Week 4 – St Luke’s Chapel, Radcliffe Humanities)
The Places of Malcolm Lowry and Kurt Schwitters
Cian Quayle (University of Chester)

May 29th (Tuesday, Week 5 – Note: Seminar Room, Radcliffe Humanities**)
Liu Shiyuan's As Simple as Clay: Photography and the Aesthetics of the Search Engine
Ros Holmes (University of Oxford)

June 5th (Tuesday, Week 7 – St Luke’s Chapel, Radcliffe Humanities)
Performing Portraiture in the GDR: Unreliable Narrators, Restaging Selves & Social Gists
Sarah James (University College London)


* We meet in the Math Institute’s café for an informal lunch from 12:30pm to 1pm,
followed by the talk in St Luke’s Chapel or the Seminar Room, Radcliffe Humanities, from 1pm to 2pm.
Formal presentations begin at 1pm and finish by 2pm.

** Note: in Week 5 (May 22nd) only, we will meet in the Radcliffe Humanities’ Seminar Room.
Sponsored by the Department of History of Art (Centre for Visual Studies)

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12201069875?profile=originalA fascinating collection of more than 4,000 photographs uncovered in the Historic England Archive is giving up its secrets after more than 70 years and is now accessible to the public. Staff at Historic England’s Archive in Swindon recently discovered 4,050 black and white photographic prints documenting healthcare in Britain between 1938 and 1943.

Capturing hospital staff, patients, procedures and practices, the images provide an invaluable and extraordinary insight into medical and nursing practices during the Second World War, and immediately before the foundation of the National Health Service.

Thanks to grant funding from the Wellcome Trust 2,100 images have been digitised as part of the year-long project to conserve, catalogue and digitise the entire collection. The collection is being made accessible to a wide audience for the first time and can be viewed and searched on the Historic England website.

Historic England has also produced resources for secondary school teachers to help students explore the history of medicine as we mark 70 years of the National Health Service in July.

12201069684?profile=originalThe photographs were taken by the Topical Press Agency, but how and when they were acquired by the Archive remains a mystery. They record improvised wartime hospital wards, blood donation and transfusion, infection control, treatment of burns and early plastic surgery, alongside nurses in training and relaxing in their time off.

Each photograph is accompanied by a typed description which gives extensive background information including date, location and details of equipment and procedure. Many descriptions also include the names of the doctors and nurses shown as well as captions that capture the zeitgeist of the era, such as “the cares of house-keeping and raising a family can play havoc with a mother’s looks and bodily shapeliness.”

Duncan Wilson, Historic England’s Chief Executive, said:The Historic England Archive is full of countless gems but the Topical Press Agency images are particularly striking. Thanks to the Wellcome Trust we are able to conserve these photographs and share them with new audiences. They have the potential to expand our knowledge of wartime medical practice and revolutionary treatments and help us delve deeper into the history of healthcare.”

Abigail Coats, Archive Cataloguing Officer at Historic England, said:Working with this collection everyday has been fascinating and a real joy. The photographs reveal health and welfare provision at a time of social upheaval and change. But they also show staff having fun and unwinding after a long working day. You can see just how far some medical developments have come, but also what has stayed largely unchanged. I’m very proud to be a part of bringing this unique collection back to life and that we’re able to share this fantastic resource with the public.”

Chris Hassan, from Wellcome’s Humanities and Social Science team, said:These unique images offer a wealth of insights and surprises. Taken at a time of transition and rapid development for healthcare in the UK, these photos bring to life this fascinating period of medical history.

Memories of Nursing

We showed the collection to four nurses who trained and worked in hospitals in the North West in the 1940s and '50s. From bedpans and cut-throat razors to drainpipe climbing and hospital superstitions, watch Dorothy, Audrey, Margaret and Jean's testament to the spirit of the age. Video:

Our Archives 

The Historic England Archive is a national archive of the historic environment, with many major collections covering the architecture, archaeology and social history of England. The archives largely date from the mid-19th century onwards. They relate to the historic environment in the widest sense, including architectural and archaeological archives and aerial photography. 

The collection can be viewed at

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12201066095?profile=originalTravel back in time to Woking’s past at a new exhibition Photographs around Woking: Sidney Francis in the 1920s and 1930s which shows glimpses of what Woking was like nearly 100 years ago.

Taken by former Woking resident Sidney Francis (1891-1973), the photographs offer an insight into life in Woking and nearby towns and villages in the 1920s and 1930s. The fascinating and uplifting collection of photos includes wedding parties, sports teams, Eid celebrations, parades, dancers and musicians, and is testament to the vibrant and diverse community spirit that has always been a part of Woking.

Visitors to the exhibition will discover local residents dressing up and celebrating Woking Carnival in 1927; family-owned businesses such as dairies, butchers, printers and confectioners proudly displaying their wares; crowds gathering for Remembrance Day memorials; religious holidays at the Shah Jahan Mosque (Britain’s first purpose-built mosque) and families coming together for modest yet joyful weddings.

Sidney Francis was born Sidney Francis Patient in Southwark. By the time of the 1911 census, he was working as a photographer’s assistant in Crawley, Sussex. By 1916 he was working as a photographer in Godalming. During the First World War, he served in the Royal Air Force, possibly in a photographic unit.

From 1923 Francis lived at 88 Maybury Road in Woking, where he also ran his photography business. Often describing himself as a “photographic chemist”, Francis’ work included wedding photography, commissions for local businesses, event photography for local newspapers the 'Woking News & Mail' and 'Surrey Advertiser', and commissions for ‘The Islamic Review’.  

The glass plate negatives of Francis’ work are now housed in the archives of Surrey History Centre, who have worked closely with The Lightbox heritage volunteers to curate this exhibition. Jill Hyams, Archivist at the Surrey History Centre, will be in conversation with Peter Hall, Exhibitions Manager at The Lightbox, on Thurs 20 September 2018, 7.00pm, discussing Francis’ life and the places, people and festivities which he captured.

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Tom Reeves, from the Edward Reeves studio in Lewes, is giving an evening of photographs of Lewes from the archives of Edward Reeves. This is always a popular event – this talk will include newly researched material from the Edward Reeves Archive – early booking recommended!

Tickets and information from:

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12201074456?profile=originalAn event is being held on Thursday, 24 May, to celebrate the launch of the W W Winters Heritage Trust, a Charitable Incorporated Organisation with the objectives: for the public benefit to advance the education of the public in the history of photography, and in particular relating to W W Winter Ltd, the city of Derby and the East Midlands, in all its aspects by any means as the trustees see fit, including through: the presentation of public meetings and lectures; the dissemination of knowledge through appropriate publications; financial and volunteer support for the W W Winter Collection Trust; and support to manage, care for, make accessible and develop the collection. The Winters studio has been operating continuously since 1852. 

The launch event will include three speakers and takes place at the University of Derby, Room BM310, Britannia Mill, Mackworth Road, Derby, DE22 3BL at 6.30pm for 7pm. 

All are welcome and there is no charge, but RSVP to by 17 May 2018. 

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12201079691?profile=originalThe  Centre for the GeoHumanities is pleased to announce that Professor Joan M. Schwartz (Queen's University Canada) will give the third Denis Cosgrove Lecture on the 23rd May 2018. Elizabeth Edwards, Visting Professor at the V&A Research Institute will act as respondent.

In 1866, the young Englishman Frederick Dally opened a photographic studio in Victoria, at the time, capital of the Crown Colony of Vancouver Island. In the remarkable visual legacy he produced over the next four years, we can discern the origins of an enduring vision of British Columbia—as an outpost of Empire, as a gold rush colony, as a Royal Naval station, as the home of Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest. We can also recognize the power of photography as a tool of documentation, visualization, and imagination.

Dally's images reflect ideas about land and life brought to British Columbia by government administrators, Royal Engineers, and Royal Navy officers; by miners, merchants, and settlers. Compiled into personal narratives of colonial service, commercial enterprise, and individual initiative, his portraits and views helped to reinforce old world values and shape new world traditions. Pasted into albums taken back east, enclosed in letters sent abroad, published as engravings in books and the illustrated press, they have helped to focus our thinking, shape our writing, and construct our ideas about place and progress, identity and belonging in British Columbia.

Many of Dally’s images have become icons of British Columbia history. In this paper, I follow the lives and afterlives of some of these images as they moved through time and across spaces, both physical and digital. With an emphasis on context and meaning, order and materiality, this foray into oeuvre and archivesheds light on the role Dally’s photographs played in shaping both Victorian understandings of the nineteenth-century present and contemporary understandings of the Victorian past.

Moore Building, Lecture Theatre, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham

Admission is free, but booking required here:

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Ever come across Edward Scott? He is listed in the 1861 census as one of the (many) servants in the Hawardens’ London household. His role is listed as “Photographic Attendant.” His age is given as 19 and his birthplace as Ireland.

Any idea who he was? I assume that he would have gone to work (and live) with Hawarden on the recommendation of an associate in the Photographic Society. Perhaps he went on to work in a studio after her death in early 1865.

Another point: I wonder how many amateur photographers had “photographic attendants” on household staff? 

Thoughts, info, comments all welcome!

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12201068099?profile=originalGlass plate negatives are found in many collections in museums, libraries and archives. This half day event is aimed at heritage professionals or anyone with responsibility for these collections, who are looking to undertake projects with these materials for the first time. The event will offer introductions into the history of the format, its care and conservation, and will present case studies which demonstrate approaches to digitisation, cataloguing, outreach and interpretation. As such It will also be accessible and open to students and other practitioners.

The event runs is on Thurs 17 May 2018 from 14.00 to 17.30 approx. It will followed by networking event from 17.30-18.30.

Doors open at 13:50. 
Coffee & tea will be provided.

The Main Lecture Theatre (A)
London College of Communication
Elephant & Castle
London SE1 6SB

This Free event is a collaboration between The UAL Photography and the Archive Research Centre (PARC), The Past on Glass Project at Sutton Archives, The Edward Reeves Archive Project and The Photographic Collections Network. 

Details of the Symposium and how to apply for tickets (Free) can be found here:

Many thanks,

Kath Shawcross, Past on Glass Digitisation Project12201068876?profile=original

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12201067473?profile=originalBeaford Arts has secured funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to carry out a major conservation and digitisation exercise that will curate and publish online around 10,000 unseen images that together illustrate the late 20th Century social history of rural north Devon. It is seeking a freelance curator for the project.

The Curator will take overall responsibility for the successful development and delivery of a major exhibition in the Burton at Bideford during May and June 2019. S/he will oversee the selection, interpretation and display of a varied body of project content including but not limited to: black and white photographs from the James Ravilious and Roger Deakins collections, at least 80 Oral History recordings, film of various strands of project activity, a wealth of multimedia responses from children at 6 primary schools, the work of 6 artists in residence, responses from the project journals of around 25 volunteers, memories recorded at 20 reminiscence workshops in north Devon, and digital contributions made via our online archive

Find out more and apply here:

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12201071482?profile=originalThe Martin Parr Foundation was formed in 2014. The aim of the Foundation is to support and promote photography from the British Isles and with this it:: 

  • Preserves the archive and legacy of Martin Parr, one of the most significant documentary photographers of post war Britain
  • Holds a growing collection of works by selected British and Irish photographers as well as images taken in the British Isles by international photographers.
  • Houses an expanding library of British and Irish photographic books.

The Foundation comprises a studio, gallery, library and archive centre. The gallery shows work related to British photography as well as images by Martin Parr and is open to the public on a regular basis. There is a facility to book group visits and individual research sessions. There is a programme of public talks, educational events, book signings, and seminars, all related to photography in a wider sense.

The Head of Membership and Fundraising will have three key responsibilities

  • to establish and promote a membership scheme.
  • to fundraise for projects including, but not limited to, photographic commissions, publishing, archiving and expanding the collection
  • to oversee visits to view the collections.

Candidates must be able to work from the Martin Parr Foundation in Bristol and also be available to work some additional evenings and weekends as necessary.

Please email a cover letter and CV to

Closing date: 27 April 2018


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12201078472?profile=originalThe Martin Parr Foundation is presenting a programme of events, over the course of two days, celebrating and exploring British photography from the 1970s. The world premier of Do Not Bend: The Photographic Life of Bill Jay, produced and directed by Grant Scott and Tim Pellatt will take place on the 20th and on the 21st a seminar will look at British photography in the 1970s and will include John Myers, Marketa Luscacova in conversation with Ken Grant, Peter Mitchell, Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen and David Hurn in conversation with Martin Parr.

British Photography from the 1970S
Film Premiere & Seminar Day
Martin Parr Foundation, Bristol, UK
20 Apr to 21 Apr 2018
Further details and limited tickets available here:

There will be further screenings of the film, including London, see:

Image: Mr. Jackson, 1974 © John Myers

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Job: Archive Manager, Autograph ABP

12201074065?profile=originalAutograph is looking for a Full Time Archive Manager to help it undertake a programme of work to catalogue and care for its unique photographic collection as well as assess the potential to achieve accreditation.

The archive contains digital and analogue assets dating from the 1860s to current day and includes work commissioned by us from significant contemporary artists and photographers. We are looking for someone with strong technical and practical project management experience of managing and caring for  culturally significant archive assets.

Autograph ABP is highly committed to achieving an inclusive workforce to carry forward our mission to address human rights social justice, identity and representation through photography. 

Deadline for applications: Friday 4 May 2018 by 5pm. Download the job pack and application form at

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12201078657?profile=originalCambrdige University Special Collections has six textbooks published between 1910 and 1914. In October 1907 it hired the British artist Alfred Hugh Fisher to journey around the British empire on behalf of the Colonial Office Visual Instruction Committee (COVIC). He was hired to take photographs and make paintings in order to create a visual record of the people, landscapes and geography of the vast empire. From these images COVIC produced a series of illustrated lantern slide lectures and textbooks which were to be presented as geography lessons to schoolchildren.

The textbooks were accompanied by sets of lantern slides (no less than 350 per book) and the university would like to locate sets of the original slides.

Read more here:

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12201072892?profile=originalThe final resting place of the photographer John Thomson (1837-1921) who photographed in China and Asia in the 1860s and 1870s has been recently located and is the subject of a project to restore it. Located in Streatham cemetery, south London, the badly eroded headstone has fallen over and is lying flat on the ground with the inscription barely legible.

Scottish photographer, John Thomson, was one of the first to extensively document the Far East between 1862-1872.  He photographed in China, Thailand and Cambodia, publishing his images in a series of books. In association with Adolphe Smith, he produced the seminal book Street Life in London (1876-77), a visual and written survey of the people of London.

Thomson was a member of the Photographic Society (later the Royal Photographic Society) from 1879, and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, where he instructed many of the great Victorian explorers and expeditions in photography.

His photographs provide a rich and lasting visual record of the Far East and closer to home. It is fitting that his grave is restore to renew memorial to a remarkable man and his work.

A new exhibition of Thomson's photography China and Siam Through the Lens of John Thomson has opened at the Brunei Gallery, SOAS, London and is on view until 23 June 2018. 

Please donate to renovate John Thomson’s grave:

Image courtesy of Terry Bennett. 

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Returning the 1888 Chapman camera to use

12201069085?profile=originalRestoration has been kept to the minimum needed to make the camera light-proof and usable: all the interventions are reversible. Rather than fit new bellows, leaks have been repaired with removable strips of gaffer tape (inside the bellows) and splits in the dark slides have been repaired with wax fillers.

Originally, the camera had no shutter: the exposure was made by removing and then replacing the lens cap. A Packard shutter has been made to fit in front of the lens (in a mounting attached by three nylon screws each time the camera is set up and removed after use). The Packard shutter, invented toward the end of the nineteenth century, operated by a rubber bulb that allows the photographer to judge time exposures down to about 1/10 second, with a pin setting for 1/25 second.

An antique wooden surveyor’s tripod has been converted to take the camera, with a 300 mm diameter oak table to support the camera’s baseboard. The female thread on the baseboard’s brass bush does not conform to any known standard but the diameter and pitch are within the tolerances of a modern M8 metric bolt.

After carrying out camera tests with paper negatives, we have adopted an Agfa CP-G green-light-sensitive X-ray film, rated at 64 ASA following strip tests to determine first tone above film base and fog. We have chosen this film because it is economically available in large sheets; it can be loaded and processed under red safelight; and the spectral sensitivity gives very interesting results. It is worth noting that nineteenth-century photographic emulsions were insensitive to red light. 

Like all ultra large format medical X-ray film, Agfa CP-G has a layer of emulsion on both sides of the carrier, which makes it tricky to develop without an industrial installation. We have however evolved a dish development process, using a highly diluted Rodinal developer, that gives good results.

Processed negatives are scanned to make 16-bit B&W digital master files at a resolution suitable for printing at up to four diameters enlargement. The master files are adjusted, corrected and spotted in Lightroom and Photoshop before prints are made on Hahnemühle Matt Fine Art Photo Rag, 308 gsm, using Epson UltraChrome HD archival pigment inks.


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As part of my research on the photographer Adolf Morath I came across the (German born?) photographer Charlotte Marx who was his assistant during the 1950s and 1960s. According to the archival files she joined the Royal Photographic Society in 1963 and gained her Associate the same year.

Apart from this, I have pratically no information on her life, her education and her work as a photographer. I am thankful for any information on Charlotte Marx or any assistants who worked with Adolf Morath.

Thank you!

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12201065694?profile=originalA major new digitisation programme announced by Royal Collection Trust will transform understanding of Prince Albert's role in national life and his profound influence on Victorian society. The Prince Albert Digitisation Project is supported by Sir Hugh and Lady Stevenson in honour of the late Dame Anne Griffiths DCVO, former Librarian and Archivist to His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, and by the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851. 

The Prince Albert Digitisation Project will include the significant body of early photography collected and commissioned by Prince Albert, more than 10,000 photographs dating from 1842-1861. 

Both Prince Albert and Queen Victoria were enthusiastic supporters of the new medium of photography and in 1853 became patrons of the recently established Photographic Society. For Albert photography perfectly combined his love of art, science and technology.  He regularly attended Photographic Society meetings, supported the Society's research, visited exhibitions and purchased works. 

His collection is diverse and extensive, containing examples by many pioneering 19th-century photographers, including Roger Fenton, Oscar Gustav Rejlander, Dr Hugh Welch Diamond, George Washington Wilson and Charles Thurston Thompson. Fittingly the earliest photographs in the Royal Collection are of Prince Albert, including the daguerreotype of 1842 by William Constable, the earliest surviving photograph of a member of the royal family. From the early 1850s, Albert commissioned photographs to document life in the royal household, family gatherings and visits from important guests. These include by Dr Ernst Becker, the Prince’s librarian and private secretary, who introduced darkrooms at Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace, and became an accomplished photographer. The Prince also collected photography to record national and international events, such as The Chartist Meeting on Kennington Common by William Kilburn, 1848 and The Royal and Imperial Visit to the Crystal Palace by Negretti & Zambra, 1855.

Prince Albert also recognised the power of photography as an educational tool.  In 1853 he commissioned the Raphael Collection, a study collection of over 5,000 prints and photographs of almost every work then regarded as being by or after the Renaissance master.  The images were mounted on large folio sheets, placed in 49 portfolios and housed in a custom-made cabinet in the Print Room at Windsor Castle, where they remain today as an early example of an art-historical illustrative survey.

The announcement of the project can be read on the Royal Collection Trust’s website and further news will be shared with BPH in due course.

Image Caption: Prince Albert by William Kilburn, 1848, hand-coloured daguerreotype

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