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12201228085?profile=originalFor the first time at Watts Gallery, discover an exhibition dedicated to a 19th century craze that saw the birth of 3D images. Victorian Virtual Reality: Photographs from the Brian May Archive of Stereoscopy will present highlights from the Brian May Archive of Stereoscopy to explore the 19th-century photography craze that, for the first time, enabled pictures to appear in 3D.

Featuring over 150 stereoscopic photographs, experience how this lesser-known Victorian innovation continues to captivate today through a range of viewers and digital techniques.

Discover the 19th-century art of stereoscopy, which saw a second wave of popularity in the mid-20th century. It was at that time that the young Sir Brian May – later the lead guitarist for Queen – began his passion for this photographic phenomenon and formed his world-leading collection of stereoscopy.

Through viewers, stereoscopic photographs and interactive elements, explore topics such as celebrity portraits, snapshots of Victorian life, scenes of satire and devilry found in Sir Brian May’s collection. Stereoscopic photographs and other artwork from Watts Gallery Trust’s own collection will feature among the loaned works.

Victorian Virtual Reality will be the first exhibition at Watts Gallery dedicated to stereoscopy. It will open with an introduction to the stereoscopy and early images from Sir Brian May’s collection, including his first ever stereocard – the Weetabix hippos - and examples of the earliest viewing devices and photographs of Victorians at home, sharing and viewing their own collections of images.

Victorian Virtual Reality
4 July 2023 – 25 February 2024
Watts Gallery, Down Lane, Compton, Surrey, GU3 1DQ

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12201228693?profile=originalRobert Thornton Brain was a retired Inland Revenue Officer in 1891 when he began taking stereoviews of Great Yarmouth and beyond.  His stereoscopic photographs were usually given a serial number and a date, along with a brief description of the subject. He also included some technical details such as the exposure time, aperture and the manufacturer of the photographic dry plate. Various plates were tried by Robert Brain and included Ilford, Paget, Castle etc.

I am having difficulty in deciphering the annotation on this card of Great Yarmouth’s Britannia Pier that appears to say :- “Soo” for the manufacturer of the dry plate. Does any member of this forum have any ideas what dry plate manufacturer this abbreviation represents?

Any suggestions will be gratefully received.                                                                                                                         


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12201225080?profile=originalTuesday 30 May is National Creativity Day, and Newport's creative arts department in Coleg Gwent will be celebrating this by creating Wales’ largest cyanotype. This Welsh record-breaking cyanotype will be made in Waunfawr Park, Newport, opposite Crosskeys Campus, on Tuesday 30th May at midday and everyone is welcome to be involved. 

The cyanotype artwork will 11 meters long and three meters wide – 33m2 in total. It will be made using staff and learners to create silhouettes to represent the wonderful diversity of people in Crosskeys Campus.

12201225476?profile=originalLecturer in Photography and Course Leader of the FDa and BA Photography programme Peter Britton says "This will be a test process for something exciting we have happening later in the year... We have just started the process of applying to the Guinness book of records to make one of the worlds biggest photographs. We will be using the cyanotype process again, to create an image that is ENORMOUS - the worlds biggest cyanotype! As for date and location, to be confirmed, but probably September this year..."

More on BPH when details are released. In the meantime this record-breaking Welsh cyanotype is equally exciting. and

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12201226500?profile=originalAs Great Britain faced a third year of gruelling trench warfare on the continent and dirigible attacks on its shores, the American expatriate Alvin Langdon Coburn joined with fellow London transplant Ezra Pound to produce a series of experimental photographs Pound dubbed ‘vortographs’.  This talk from Anne McCauley will explore how these pictures came into existence by focusing on the day of their public presentation at the London Camera Club and why abstraction found a particular resonance at this historical time and place.

Anne McCauley, ‘Alvin Langdon Coburn, the Great War, and the “World’s First Abstract Photographs”: 8 February 1917’ 
30 May ‘23, 1800 - 1930
Keynes Library, Birkbeck, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H OPD
Free and open to all

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12201227491?profile=originalSpanning nearly 200 years of photography history, the sale begins with a wide range 19th century processes, albums, and subjects, including an enigmatic portrait of a young man “contracting his eyebrows” from Guillaume Benjamin Duchenne Du Bolougne’s (1806-1875) landmark publication The Mechanism of Human Facial Expression, c.1854-1856, a beautifully-presented set of chromo-collotypes by master Japanese printer Kazumasa Ogawa (1860-1929), and a rare ambrotype depicting an distinguished African American gentleman, c.1860.

The sale continues into the 20th century with headlining works that include a pair of ‘loop-de-loop’ prints by Jacques-Henri Lartigue (1894-1986) from his personal albums, which embody the care-free and fun-loving life of the young photographer and his family, a rich platinum-palladium still life by Horst P. Horst (1906-1999) that demonstrates the photographer’s masterful use of light and process, a striking, large print of New York City’s Flatiron building by Berenice Abbott (1898-1991), and a selection of works by British social documentary photographers of the 20th century, including Thurston Hopkins (1913-2014), Colin Jones (1936-2021), Roger Mayne (1929-2014), and Wolfgang Suschitzky (1912-2016).

19th & 20th Century Photography Auction
31 May 2023
Catalogue link below:
Register to bid using Chiswick Live, for the lowest online seller's commission of any digital platform.
Any questions, condition reports or telephone bids, please email:
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12201224484?profile=originalHMS Erebus took part in the Ross expedition of 1839–1843, and was abandoned in 1848 during the third Franklin expedition. The sunken wreck was discovered by the Canadian Victoria Strait expedition in September 2014. In a fascinating series of blog posts Professor Russell Potter reports on several visits to see the process of conservation on recovered artefacts. 

One, particularly, is relevant to daguerriean photography. A metal device sparked Potter's interest. He notes: "I was struck at once by the fact that the square seemed similar in proportion to the Franklin daguerreotypes made by the operator from Richard Beard's firm" and thought it might be to do with plate polishing. The hunch was confirmed by Mike Robinson who confirmed it was part of a device patented by John Johnson in 1841 and known to have been used in Richard Beard's studios. 

Potter concludes: "So now we have something we didn't have before: clear evidence that indeed such an apparatus was aboard HMS "Erebus," and that, assuming it was used as intended, Daguerreotypes were almost certainly made during the expedition. It's only one small step to add to the hope that someday such plates may be recovered; if they are, they'll be the earliest photographs ever taken in the Arctic!"

Read the full, illustrated, blog here:

With thanks to Anne Strathie for the link.

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12201227080?profile=originalSouthport's The Atkinson venue and the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI), with Ponting's biographer Anne Strathie, is showing a new exhibition Herbert Ponting: Explorer and Photographer at The Atkinson from 10 June to 2 September 2023.  Ponting's family lived in Southport from the 1880s. 

Alongside the exhibition of photographs and rarely seen artefacts relating to Herbert Ponting are a series of talks and events. 

Ponting’s father was appointed Manager of Preston Banking Company in the 1880s and the family set up home in Park Road West, Southport.  

Herbert Ponting: Explorer and Photographer
10 June-2 September 2023
Free admission, Monday-Saturday, 1000-1600
The Atkinson, Lord Street, Southport, PR8 1DB

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12201223462?profile=originalThe second and final phase of the V&A's Photography Centre is now complete and ready for its public unveiling on Thursday, 25 May 2023, At an opening event this evening V&A Director Tristram Hunt and the leading curator Marta Weiss explained the thinking behind the Centre and acknowledged the support of donors and photographers.

Below are a few photographs of the new spaces that compliment and extend the existing galleries. 

12201223267?profile=original 12201224061?profile=original

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12201221873?profile=originalBirkbeck, University of London, and the British Film Institute are pleased to announce the availability of a fully funded Collaborative doctoral studentship from October 2023 under the AHRC’s Collaborative Doctoral Partnership Scheme.

With privileged access to the BFI’s extensive collections, this project seeks to uncover a story of British filmmaking that foregrounds the shaping influence of migrant skills, techniques, voices and visions in the emergence of a British aesthetic. The aim is to challenge and nuance our understanding of what we mean when we speak of ‘British cinema’. 

This project will be jointly supervised by Dr Agnes Woolley (Birkbeck) and James Bell (BFI) and the student will be expected to spend time at both Birkbeck and the BFI, as well as becoming part of the wider cohort of CDP funded students across the UK. The studentship can be studied either full or part-time. 

12201222269?profile=originalProject Overview 

Dominant narratives about the emergence and development of British film in the twentieth century have largely overlooked the influence of filmmakers from outside Britain. While the 1970s inaugurated an era of reflexive, radical filmmaking by Britain’s diasporic populations, less understood is the transnational sensibility cultivated by migrant filmmakers in the preceding decades and how it continued to underpin the stories Britain told about itself through film, as well as the aesthetic approaches used to tell those stories. While there has been work done into some areas of the subject – for instance into the contributions of German-speaking migrant filmmakers who came to Britain in the 1930s to escape Nazism – there remain large gaps in our understanding of the great impact made to the ongoing development of the British cinema in the post-War years by migrants from Europe, the wider Commonwealth and beyond, as British cinema moved through the 1950s and into the new movements of the 1960s.

The project examines the influence of the ‘outsider’ perspectives of, for example, refugees from post-war Communism in Eastern Europe or British colonial subjects on the story of Britain as presented in its national cinema. With this in mind, this project approaches the BFI’s collections with the intention of drawing out the neglected contributions of migrant filmmakers operating in a variety of roles, such as Director of Photography, Screenwriter or Composer; exploring what influence they have in the overall shaping of the film, and on broader aesthetic and thematic developments in British film. The project might examine the influence of, for example, Polish director Mira Hamermesh, who fled Nazism in 1941; director Robert Vas, who left Hungary following the uprising in 1956; or actor/director Lloyd Reckord, who left Jamaica in 1951. The student will access – and be trained to use – the BFI’s moving image collections (both digitised and physical material), and papers in the archive’s Special Collections holdings. Some of the figures cited above made films funded by the BFI itself, and the student would have unique access to newly-digitised films from that collection, and related paper collections. The work will contribute to a more nuanced understanding of the material in the BFI’s own collections, and to its own history.

Research questions include:

  • What influence did migrant filmmakers have on British film in the post-War period before the emergence of reflexive diasporic filmmaking in the 1970s?
  • In what ways is the notion of a national film culture disrupted by the presence of migrant filmmakers in this period?
  • How have migrants helped shape film culture in Britain through less visible roles such as cinematography, composition and screenwriting?
  • How did key geopolitical events of the era, such as the Cold War and the break-up of Empire impact on the development of British film and moving image?
  • How does an alternative story about ‘British cinema’ help us understand questions of ‘heritage’ and the legacies of colonialism?
  • How did migrant filmmakers in Britain in this period both respond to, and help to shape, wider shifts in British film culture towards an increasingly international ‘arthouse’ cinema culture?

Uncovering the Influence of Migrant Filmmakers on the Emergence and Development of British Film 1940-1970
Start date: 1st October 2023

Closing date for applications: Monday 19th June 2023, 5pm. 
Deadline for references: Friday 23rd June 2023, 12 noon. 
Interview date: w/c 3 July 2023. 
Informal enquiries about this collaborative project can be sent to Agnes Woolley
We will be hosting an online briefing for interested applicants in early June. Please register your interest by emailing   

Full details here

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12201222874?profile=originalThe Firsts rare book fair which takes place at the Saatchi Gallery, London, from 19-21 May 2023 includes a selection of early photography from Stewart & Skeels. Included within their fair offerings is fascicle no. 1 of William Henry Fox Talbot's The Pencil of Nature, 1844. It is offered at £60,000.

Also included is a Julia Margaret Cameron print of Sir John Herschel and other photographs. 

Details here

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12201225290?profile=originalAlan Marshall’s award-winning photography documents a significant period in the 1960s and mid-1970s when both art and design crossed boundaries to explore and portray the expanding world of technology. 

This selected collection of photographs, deeply observed through the lens of an artist, sees beauty in extreme settings and offers an insight into the humanity within powerful industrial processes.

Alan Marshall FRPS FIIP. Industrial Beauty
The School of Philosophy
South Bourne House, 78 Carter Knowle Road, Sheffield, S7 2DX
29 May-9 June 2023
Private view and talk: Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th May at 1430.

Image: Tapping Blast Furnaces - FT Industrial Photographer of the Year 1969

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12201226693?profile=originalBPH has been advised that Insight, the National Science + Media Museum's Collections and Research Centre, which provides physical access to the museum's collections is to close from 5 June 2023 until summer 2024. The museum will still be supporting research access to the collections remotely via virtual research room appointments and its enquiry service. The final in-person appointments which need to be pre-booked are available from 17-19 May 2023. 

The closure is the result of the closure of the museum to facilitate its transofmration through the £6 million Sound and Vision Project.

For more information see:

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12201221452?profile=original"It is the first study devoted to analysing how stereoscopic 3D photography became integral to daily newspapers, illustrated weeklies, and magazines." My doctoral thesis, Another Dimension: Stereoscopic Photography and the Press, c.1896-1911, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) is now available via this link.

View here

Illustration Credit: "Underwood & Underwood" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1907. b11652262.

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12201220289?profile=originalThe Photographic Collections Network is holding an online event on the preservation of photographic materials looking at photographic processes and their problems.  This session aims to help participants gain confidence in identifying different types of photographs (predominantly monochrome processes) and recognising internal and external damaging factors which have a detrimental impact on their condition.

 The session is aimed at participants who work with or own collections of photographs. Some participants may have little knowledge of photographs prior to this session but have photographs within their collections. Others may have much deeper experience with photography collections but wish to improve their knowledge and understanding of photographic materials to facilitate long-term preservation.

You will receive a confirmation email when you book, and the event link will be sent to you on the day of the event.

Preservation of Photographic Materials Session: Photographic Processes and their Problems
Tuesday, 16 May 2023, 1-2:45pm BST
Free / donation, online

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12201218858?profile=originalThe Courtauld has completed a major five-year project to open up its internationally-renowned collection of photographs to the public for free, working with 14,000 volunteers to digitise over one million images from The Conway Library as part of the biggest public inclusion project in The Courtauld’s history. In addition the Courtauld has published its approach to copyright of the material it has digitised. 

Since 2017, almost 2,000 in-person volunteers ranging from ages 18 – 86 have worked closely with The Courtauld to catalogue and photograph every image in The Conway Library collection – the majority of which have never been seen before. Volunteers were recruited from a wide variety of organisations, schools and charities, including The Terrance Higgins Trust, The One Housing Foundation, BeyondAutism, and My Action for Kids. A further 12,000 volunteers participated remotely online.

Located at The Courtauld at Somerset House in London, The Conway Library contains over one million images dating from the inception of photography to the present day: photographs and cuttings of world architecture, sculpture, paintings, and decorative objects, including 160,000 prints by Britain’s leading architectural photographer of the 20th Century Anthony Kersting, documenting his extensive expeditions across the Middle East, rare 19th Century photographs of world architecture, unpublished images revealing bomb damage across Europe following WWII, and T.E. Lawrence’s photographs of Saudi Arabia.

12201219280?profile=originalHighlights include: 

  •  The archive of 160,000 prints of Anthony Kersting – Britain’s leading architectural photographer, the most prolific and widely travelled of his generation. Best known for his photographs of British architecture, he joined the RAF in 1941 stationed in Cairo in a photographic unit. From there he undertook extensive photographic expeditions throughout the Middle East and across the world throughout the 1940s and 50s.
  • The Ministry of Works collection – hundreds of unpublished photographs taken by soldiers, historians, and architects across Europe that reveal cityscapes reduced to rubble by bomb damage during the final days of World War II.
  • T.E. Lawrence’s photographs of Saudi Arabia.
  • The De Laszlo Collection, an archive of 22,000 glass plates including images of works by major early 20th Century British artists.
  • Images of Istanbul from the 1850s by pioneering 19th Century photographer James Robertson.
  • Important photographs documenting the history of social housing in Britain, including Highpoint Flats by Tecton Group, London, and the Brutalist Park Hill Flats, Sheffield.

The digitisation project, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, has become the largest and most diverse public inclusion project in The Courtauld’s history, introducing new audiences and uncovering new insights into this remarkable collection. The entire collection is now available as high-resolution images, making the library easier to use as a tool for research and education and enabling a wider audience to access it.

See more here:

Read the Courtauld's approach to copyright here:

Image: top: William J R Curtis, Dubarry Court, Brighton, East Sussex; lower: Norfolk Crescent, Bath. 

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12201233282?profile=originalAs part of the run up to the UK's National Gallery's bicentenary celebrations in 2024 it is running a series of blogs and other activities in its 199th year. As part of that it has published a blog titled 100 years of the Photographic Department: Part One which looks at how the department has operated and evolved over the past one hundred years. 

Read it here:

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As part of the  AHRC funded research project Communities and Crowds – we are holding an online workshop on the 20 July, which looks at a new approach to volunteer led digitation which leads to volunteer created citizen science platforms. We’ll be sharing what we have done to date – and welcoming input from volunteers, scholars, museum professionals and other cultural heritage institutions that are interested in applying this approach to their own work and/or collections

If you are interested in attending, please email: by the 30 June 2023. 

Details of the project are here:

Further details of the workshop are below:

Hybrid Volunteering: A New Approach to Photographic Collections

Date: Thursday, July 20th

Location: Online

Summary: Volunteering with heritage collections is often separated between in person opportunities to work with GLAM institutions, or as massive online participation activities - such as platforms for crowdsourced research. This hybrid conference will bring together heritage professionals, volunteers, and digital humanities scholars to explore how we can combine in person and online volunteering with GLAM collections to make for a richer and more engaged volunteering opportunity. The workshop will share initial results from the AHRC funded Communities and Crowds research project, which has created a new volunteer-led digitization to participatory research process for photographic collections. It will also invite GLAM professionals, in-person and remote volunteers to help us explore the next steps for expanding this approach to other collections and projects.


9:30-9:45 - Communities and Crowds: An overview and Introduction (Geoff Belknap, Keeper of Science and Technology, National Museums Scotland)

9:45-10:30 - A New Volunteer led Digitization approach (Alex Fitzpatrick, Research Associate, National Science and Media Museum)

10:30-10:45 - Break

10:45-11:30 - Digital Volunteering and New Talk Infrastructure (Sam Blickhan, Humanities Lead for Zooniverse and Co-Director of the Zooniverse team at Chicago's Adler Planetarium)

11:30-12:00 - Group trial of How did we get here (Volunteer Created Zooniverse Project - National Science and Media Museum)

12:00-:1:30 - Lunch

1:30-2:00 - Exploring Histories of Community in the Archives: Perspectives from Project Volunteers (Sandra Rowe, Maureen Rowe, Lincoln Anderson, Rebecca Smith)

2:00-2:30 - Unlocking the Potential of Virtual Volunteering (Matt Hicks, Head of Volunteering, Science Museum Group)

2:30-3:00 - Building an easy-to-use App and designing efficient data workflows tailored for volunteering collections projects (Lawrence Brooks, Collections and Data Manager, Science Museum Group)


3:00-3:30 - Break


3:30-4:30 - Workshop Open Discussion - Photographic Collections Network Facilitated

Applying this approach to your photographic collection?

What should a Holistic Hybrid Volunteering Toolkit look like/include?

4:30-5:00 - Discussion and Next Steps

Dr Geoff Belknap (he/him)

Keeper of Science and Technology

National Museums Scotland

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Ben Dunham writes... The photographer was Thomas Bell, born 1870 in Northumberland. In 1910, he married Ann Mary Lucas, the daughter of landscape painter George Lucas. His brother-in-law was J. Alphege Brewer, who made his fame with very large, color etchings of cathedrals and other historical buildings damaged or threatened during WWI (see my website at ( It is difficult to explain the perspective and level of detail in Brewer's etchings without including the possibility of the use of photographic projections. 

From comparing the etchings to surviving postcards and other views from before the war, it seems as if Brewer might have had his own source of photographic images especially taken for this purpose. I'm wondering if Thomas Bell might have collaborated with Brewer in this project.

Does anyone know more about Bell and his studio, and whether any of his photographs of historical buildings (if any) survive? 

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12201232694?profile=originalJust published is the annual Burlington Magazine photography special issue timed to coincide with next week's Photo London fair. It is available in printed form (£25) or as a PDF download (£20).

The published papers and articles include The Bayeux Tapestry photographed (Ella Ravilious); ‘Goethe’s house is severely wrecked’: Lee Miller at Buchenwald and Weimar(Katharina Günther), One short trip to New York: Bill Jay and Tony Ray-Jones (Grant Scott), Landscape as grid in Stephen Shore’s American surfaces’ (Tom Cornelius), Soft, feminine and forgotten: Kate Smith’s autochromes (Catlin Langford), Rrose Sélavy as house painter (Francis M. Naumann), an article review of The Photography Centre at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (Lisa Stein) and editorial on the digitisation of the Conway and Witt Libraries. 

The Burlington Magazine, May 2023, #1442 – Vol 165 

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This study day aims to gather researchers around the subject of the printed image since the 1880s. With particular attention to material bibliography and production techniques, we seek to better understand how illustrations contribute to the formation of meaning and discourses within different contexts from illustrated newspapers to etiquette manuals, from scientific journals to children’s books.

Straddling the disciplines of literary studies, art history, bibliography, and library sciences, the field of illustrated print culture is a privileged inroad to social history. We are inspired by the foundational work of Richard Benson’s The Printed Picture (MoMA, 2008) as well as recent scholarly interest in vernacular media, such as Sarah Mirseyedi and Gerry Beegan’s important contributions on the development of photomechanical reproduction and Thierry Gervais’ edited volume The “Public” Life of Photographs (The MIT Press, 2016). Heeding the call of rare books specialist Roger Gaskell, who has identified the need to develop a “bibliography of images,” we invite contributions in French and English that address any aspect of mass-produced visual materials as well as the diverse industrial or manual processes that enabled their production.

The Image on the Page: A Study Day Around Illustrated Print Culture
Friday 13 October 2023
Concordia University (Montréal, Canada)

Proposals for 20-minute papers (in English or French) can be sent to before 15 July 2023.

They should include a title followed by an abstract (200 words max.) and a short biography (100 words max.). 

Organizing committee:

  • Stéphanie Hornstein, PhD candidate, Department of Art History, Concordia University and Concordia Library’s Researcher-in-Residence 2022-2023.
  • Michel Hardy-Vallée, PhD (art history), Visiting scholar, Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art, Concordia University.

Complete CFP and info here:

Image: Gabor Szilasi, Photos chez l'imprimeur, 1966. Fonds Ministère de la Culture et des Communications, Office du film du Québec, BAnQ Vieux-Montréal, Montréal. Licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0.

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