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British Victorian Photography Collection

Date range: 1844-1900

Medium: Photography

Number of items: c.1,000 items.

The Victorian British Photography Collection contributes to our understanding of the origins of the photographic medium within Victorian British Art. It demonstrates a range of analogue photographic processes and formats including cyanotypes, stereoscopes, albumen prints, gelatin silver prints, waxed paper negatives, salt paper prints, ambrotypes and daguerreotypes. The collection contains excellent holdings of early British photo-books and particular strengths are evident in the genres of portraiture, landscape and architecture.

The collection includes work by eminent and pioneering photographers such as William Fox Talbot, Roger Fenton, Julia Margaret Cameron, Francis Frith, James Mudd and Mary Dillwyn, as well as anonymous individuals.

Covering a wide spectrum of subjects, this collection provides valuable insight into such diverse aspects as grief and bereavement, the early treatment of mental health and warfare. The collection is of interest to researchers across many disciplines, including photography and art history, and also to those interested in visual culture, architecture and sociology.

Particularly noteworthy items include:

  • Interieurs Anglais, a portfolio of cyanotypes from Bedford Lemere and Co.;
  • West Riding Asylum (Menston) album, 1901;
  • Manchester by Francis Frith and Co.;
  • Album of Women's Work in Wartime by Arthur Reavil;
  • Recollections of Dunham, by James Mudd;
  • Margaret and Adeline Norman, by Julia Margaret Cameron;
  • Doppelgängers and spectres;
  • Examples from Roger Fenton's Crimean War series;
  • Items of photo jewellery including memento mori and mourning jewellery.

See also:

Further information:

Recorded in Library Search.

Alternative formats:

Digital images of many items are available via Manchester Digital Collections.


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