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About the Photographs Catalogue

Image copyright British Library Board
Image copyright British Library Board

The British Library’s photograph collections represent a major resource for photographic historians, scholars and picture researchers. Extensive collections of photographs are held in all departmental areas of the Library, with particularly strong coverage of India and Asia, the 19th-century photographically illustrated book, travel, European topography and portraiture. In addition, the Library’s holdings of textual material relating to the history and development of the medium, from its earliest days to the present, is outstanding, comprising a unique collection of patents relating to photography, technical manuals, photographic journals, monographs and histories.

The dispersal of these collections throughout the Library has in the past made many of these holdings difficult to locate. This new catalogue will for the first time provide an integrated search tool for this wealth of material, providing access to a unique resource for the study of photography and visual culture in general. For guidance on the most effective ways of using the catalogue, please read the search tips.

Asian photographs: The existing catalogue of photographs in the former India Office Collections will also shortly be transferred to these catalogues. The listings of these photographs at will continue to be available until this process is complete and users requiring Indian and Asian material are requested to also check this catalogue until all records have been transferred.

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