About Us

RPS Historical Group AGM, Bradford, March 2015The Royal Photographic Society's Historical Group was founded in 1972 to promote knowledge of the history of photography in all its aspects, and to encourage the preservation of photographs, photographic equipment and documents relating to the history of photography. 

Members of the Group (some of whom are shown, left) are able to use their expertise on the care of the RPS Collection, archive and library which is held at the National Media Museum, Bradford.

The Group acts as a forum for all members and non-members world-wide with an interest in photographic history from the early nineteenth to the twenty-first century. Members include historians, academics, museum professionals, auction specialists, collectors, dealers, and general enthusiasts. Their interests range from particular photographers, aesthetic movements, cameras, processes and photographic technology.

Membership of the Historical Group is available to members of The Society at a cost of £20 which includes The PhotoHistorian three times each year, an email newsletter and admission to events.

To join the Historical Group:


You will need to join The Society to join the Historical Group. You can join a Group for FREE in your first year of membership - see the 'New Members' section below for details.

New members
You can join a Group FREE in your first year by:

1) Choosing the Historical Group at the point of joining on the website.


2) Contacting membership@rps.org


3) Filling out & returning the form included in your welcome pack.

1) Login to the website
2) Click on 'My RPS' at the top right of the screen
3) Click on the blue 'My Account' tab
4) Click on the 'Join a Special Interest Group' link in the right hand column.
5) Select the Historical Group and you will then be asked to make a pro-rata card payment.