The Correspondence of William Henry Fox Talbot

More than 10,000 letters from and to Talbot are available in verbatim transcriptions in this freely searchable online resource.  It is tied in closely with the Catalogue Raisonné. The Correspondence Project, started at the University of Glasgow in the late 1990s, was one of the pioneers in digital humanities and was published in full by 2003. Revisions are regularly made and new letters are added as soon as possible after they have become known. Prof Schaaf is the Editor and the website is now based at De Montfort University, Leicester.

 

 British Photographic History

This constantly updated site is a labour of love for Dr Michael Pritchard, Chief Executive of the Royal Photographic Society.  It is the place to find announcements of upcoming events and publications and plays an active role in encouraging crowd-sourced answers to research questions.  The optional registration gives one access to internal messaging and to posting questions.

 

Lacock Abbey, Fox Talbot Museum and Village

Although the Talbot family is no longer in residence, a pilgrimage to Lacock Abbey is essential for anyone interested in the photography that emminated from there.  The National Trust has made many changes over the years, taking parts back to various historical periods but the number of Talbot views that can still clearly be seen is inspirational. The family collection once housed in the Fox Talbot Museum is now in the British Library in London but Curator Roger Watson (on our Advisory Board) promotes an active programme of displays and photographic workshops.  Their facebook page is an excellent source of news.

 

This diverse and growing resource is based out of the Wilts and Swindon History Centre in Chippenham, near Lacock Abbey.  In addition to making an archival search facility available, the site is filled with articles written by dedicated amateur historians.  It covers the nine centuries that the Abbey has been there.

 

Mike Ware Alternative Photography

Another of our Advisory Board members, Dr Mike Ware, has turned his wide practical experience into a very useful website.  Dr Ware is a retired chemist and an excellent photographer, blending these skills to thoroughly investigate the technology and science underlying early photography.

 

Harold White’s Lacock

Harold White was a commercial photographer who first visited Lacock Abbey during WWII with orders to photograph a typical English village coping with events just fine, thank you.  He and his family became close friends with Miss Matilda Talbot and after the war spent considerable time there.  Although White’s ambition to write a biography of Henry Talbot was never realised, with the help of Miss Talbot he accomplished a great deal of organisational work on Talbot’s collections, even rescuing the plaster Bust of Patroclus from an outbuilding. This site was set up by his friend Paul Godfrey of the Great Yarmouth Photographic Society.

Luminous Lint

This resource is the result of Alan Griffith’s years long dedication to bringing a comprehensive overview of the history and art of photography to the web.  As is claimed on its home page,  “Luminous-Lint has been constructed collaboratively over the last decade to share information on the history of photography worldwide. Over 2,950 people, estates and institutions have provided information – with hundreds of continually-improving histories of photography it is unique in the arts.” Some valuable information is available without charge but a subscription unlocks a great deal more information.

The RPS Journal

The Journal of the Photographic Society first appeared in March 1853 and it has been published continuously ever since. Now known as the The RPS Journal, it is the world’s oldest photographic periodical and has reported Society activities as well as general events in the wider world of photography.  The Society has  digitised the entire run of the journal from 1853 to 2012, with over 30,000 fully searchable pages.  Early photographic journals are an invaluable source of biographical and technical information and one hopes for more of them to become available like this.

 

The Daguerreian Society

This society was originally founded to meet the needs of collectors of daguerreotypes, but over the years has evolved as the central force in early photography.  Being a long-standing member, I feel that I can freely express my opinion that this organisation should be re-designated as the Daguerreian Era Society.  Their annual meeting has become a major platform for photo historical studies.  Members enjoy a range of benefits including access to a resource-rich website, electronic publications and the Annual.

 

Photographic Exhibitions in Britain 1839-1865

Another of our Advisory Board members, Roger Taylor, is the inspiration behind this resource.  Mr Taylor recognised that the catalogues of the regular exhibitions of photography in its early years contained a wealth of information about not only photographers, but also processes and even the exhibitors who sponsored photographers’ work going up on the walls.  A companion project covers the Exhibitions of the Royal Photographic Society 1870-1915. Like the Correspondence Project, these sites are hosted by De Montfort University, the home of the Photographic History Research Centre.