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Photography Collection

Date range: 1844-present

Medium: Photography

Number of items: c.100,000 items.

The Photography Collection covers a broad range of subjects from the arts, humanities, social sciences, science and medicine. Numerous photographic genres and styles are represented including: documentary, scientific, artistic, antiquarian, portraits, landscapes and still life. There are a good number of early British photographic books (1840s-1900) as well as sets of some significant 20th-century photo-magazines, including Picture Post.

The scope of the collection is international with an excellent representation of national and local photography, especially works featuring Manchester, the North West or the North of England. There are works from early photographers like William Henry Fox Talbot, Julia Margaret Cameron and Roger Fenton, but also recent and contemporary photographers such as Fay Godwin, Li Yuan-chia, Martin Parr and Simon Norfolk.

The collection encompasses the full range of analogue photographic processes and formats from the handmade, calotype prints made in the 1840s by the inventor of negative-positive photography, William Henry Fox-Talbot, to recent plastic-coated colour Polaroids. Other notable formats include: daguerrotypes, ambrotypes, salt prints, tintypes, cyanotypes, albumen prints, carbon prints, prints in photogravure, autochromes, platino-types, glass plate negatives, glass plate positives, woodburytypes, stereoprints and negatives, film negatives, contact sheets, and slides.

The collection also features associated objects including, cameras, tripods, and stereoscopes.

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Alternative formats:

Digital images of some items are available via Image Collections.

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