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The British Isles in Old Photographs

Many localities in the British Isles have been captured in photographs and on postcards, and these in turn have been collected in book form. The genre is well over a century old if traced back to collections of etched "views".

The listings here date from the most recent collections in the British Library, acquired in the period 1975-2000. The photographs themselves, however, go as far back as the 19th century, and the Library has continued to collect these works after 2000. They are often accompanied with detailed descriptions and are an important source of local history in their own right. In addition, local history images are collected by the Library within the Local History collections of the UK Web Archive.

The Channel Islands in old photographs
England in old photographs
The Isle of Man in old photographs
Northern Ireland in old photographs
The Republic of Ireland in old photographs
Scotland in old photographs
Wales in old photographs


Each section here is a simple alphabetical listing by the first-named place in the title. Readers may wish to use the "Find" facility within the "Edit" button on their browser to find place names that appear later in the titles. Where more than one book is listed for a particular place, the name of the place is given as a heading for the section and an asterisk marks the end of the section.

Although the listings here are extensive, they are not an absolute survey. For example, the "Old photographs" format has been used for everything from football clubs to cheese: these kinds of special categories are not included in the listings here. Other items, and fuller records, can be found in Explore the British Library.

Each entry lists the title of the work, the compiler (where given), publisher, date of publication, and the British Library shelfmark.


Other British Library Photography Collections and Links

Aspects of the Victorian Book
Images Online (for commercial picture buyers)
Online Gallery (virtual exhibitions and Turning the Pages)
Oral History: Visual Arts and Crafts
Oriental and African Collections: Prints, Drawings, and Photographs
UK Web Archive: Local History Collections

External Links

Heritage Image Partnership
Images of England