The PhotoHistorian

The PhotoHistorian (ISSN: 0956-1455)

The Royal Photographic Society's Historical Group began publishing a quarterly newsletter from its formation in 1972. This was renamed The PhotoHistorian in Spring 1989 under a new editor, Colin Osman. The PhotoHistorian has been published ever since.

The PhotoHistorian publishes the proceedings of the meetings of the Group, research articles by members and outside contributors, plus relevant news and reviews from the history of photography. Articles range from photographic aesthetics through to photographic technology and processes.

It is received free by members of the Group as well as being subscribed to by leading international museums, galleries and academic institutions. 

A subscription to The PhotoHistorian, either the printed or CD version is available to non-members for an annual fee of £50.00. Orders should be sent to Geoff Blackwell by email

Submission of articles

The editor welcomes submissions. Please follow the guidelines below: 

The PhotoHistorian

Guidance for Contributors

The following notes have been prepared for the guidance of authors wishing to submit material for publication in The PhotoHistorian, the journal of The Royal Photographic Society, Historical Group. The Group is unable to make payments to authors but may exceptionally assist with the cost of essential illustrative material.

Text should be prepared in Word or plain text using Calibri font, size 12.

Please do not send text in pdf. Apart from tables, formatting should be kept to a minimum. Acknowledgments and a short author’s biography of up to 50 words should be shown at the end of the text. Ensure that any special characters are correctly shown in your submitted file.

Headings and text will be edited to ensure that they conform to The PhotoHistorian’s style. The following are preferred usage:

  • First World War and not World War One or WW1

  • Numerals are used for prices, dimensions and weights, and text for principal numbers e.g. 10 x 8 inches, ten million, but 100,000.

  • Metric/imperial. In general metric should be used except where the imperial measurement was used at the time e.g. 6 ½ x 8 ½ inches, £2 10s 6d

  • Capitalisation, italics and bold should be used sparingly:

    • PH prefers daguerreotype rather than Daguerreotype.

    • publication and photograph titles should be shown in italics.

    • Bold should not be used except for subheadings.

Citations and references etc.: Where authors cite the work of others they should provide full references to the original work in an endnote. Endnotes should be used also for additional explanations or supplementary material that authors wish to include. For PH style guidance for endnotes, please see below.

Images should be submitted as JPG or TIFF files. Single Column – 1005 px at resolution of 300 dpi; Double Column – 2070 px wide at 300 dpi. For full Front Cover: Width 2490 px by height 3057 px at 300 dpi.

Images should be numbered and captioned at the end of the text. Please provide a source/reference, if any.

Word Limit. 3000 words +/- 10% (longer articles may be acceptable after prior consultation with the Chair of the Editorial Board)

Copyright. Authors must own the copyright or have the permission of the copyright holder of any work or images submitted. Copyright remains with the author, but The Royal Photographic Society reserves the right to publish articles in whole or in part in any of the Society’s printed or electronic publications or online. As a charity, the Society is not normally able to pay for licences to use images. If, exceptionally, the payment of reproduction fees is regarded as essential to the text, the matter should be discussed with the Chair of the Editorial Board prior to any commitment being made.

Submission should normally be made by email to the Chair of the Editorial Board at


Complimentary copies for authors. On request to the Chair of the Editorial Board at authors will be provided with two complimentary copies of The PhotoHistorian in which their text appears. Additional copies may be purchased subject to availability.


Deadlines for submissions are as follows:

Spring edition 15 March (publication 30 April)

Summer edition 15 July (publication 31 August)

Winter edition 15 November (publication 31 December)


Reference style for The PhotoHistorian

1. Books 


William Buchanan, J. Craig Annan. Selected Texts and Bibliography (Oxford: Clio Press, 1994), p. 91.


2. Articles in journals


W H F Talbot, ‘An account of some recent improvements in photography’, Proceedings of the Royal Society, vol. 4, no. 48 (1841), pp. 312–16.


3. Multi-author books / compilations


A D Morrison-Low and Allen Simpson, ‘A New Dimension: a Context for Photography before 1860’, in Sara Stevenson (ed.), Light from the Dark Room: a Celebration of Scottish Photography, a Scottish–Canadian Collaboration (Edinburgh: National Galleries of Scotland, 1995), pp. 15–28.


4. References to online sources


National Science and Media Museum blog, Introduction to the cyanotype process:

[accessed October 2018]

Articles can be submitted to the editor by email

Recent issues and back copies

The content of recent issues together with an Index of past issues appears will be available shortly. Back copies and The PhotoHistorian on CD (£10 plus P&P) can be obtained from the Group secretary, Monica Thorp, by email.