The Fay Godwin collection

Fay Godwin, Meall Mor, Glencoe, 1988
Fay Godwin, Meall Mor, Glencoe, 1988 Gelatin silver print Godwin Photo 6/2 (159)

The collection comprises the photographer’s complete studio collection, including exhibition and work prints, contact sheets, negatives and transparencies and correspondence with a number of sitters.

About the collection

The photographer Fay Godwin (1931-2005) started her professional career as a portrait photographer and in the 1970s and 1980s photographed a wide range of literary figures. During this period her poetic black-and-white interpretations of British scenery also established her reputation as one of Britain’s most accomplished landscape photographers. She collaborated with a number of writers and photography and literature were combined most successfully in Remains of Elmet (1979), a collection of poems and photographs produced in partnership with Ted Hughes. Her later work—particularly after receiving a fellowship from the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television at Bradford in the 1990s—was characterised by an increasing use of colour and semi-abstract compositions of natural forms.

Fay Godwin’s archive was allocated to The British Library in Lieu of Inheritance Tax in 2007. The collection comprises the photographer’s complete studio collection, including exhibition and work prints, contact sheets, negatives and transparencies and correspondence with a number of sitters (including the poets Ted Hughes and Philip Larkin).

What is available online?

Cataloguing of this collection is ongoing. Listings of those parts of the collection available for viewing can be found in the Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue.

A selection of Godwin’s work held in the British Library can be viewed in Images Online.

What is available in our Reading Rooms?

Photographs from the Godwin Collection can be viewed in the Print Room, located in the Asian and African Studies Reading Room. Viewing is by appointment only, Monday-Friday. For an appointment details, please email apac-prints@bl.uk

Further information

Landmarks, by Fay Godwin, with an essay by Roger Taylor and an introduction by Simon Armitage (Stockport, 2001)

Land, by Fay Godwin, with an essay by John Fowles and an introduction by Ian Jeffrey (London, 1985)

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