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A photograph of waves crashing into the shore.
CREDIT: The Royal Photographic Society Collection at the V&A


Welcome to the Historical Group

The 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. 

The Group acts as a forum for all members and non-members world-wide with an interest in photographic history, from the early-nineteenth century to the present day. We also publish a journal, The Photohistorian

On 6 November 2021 we are holding our annual Research Day, in collaboration with Sheffield Hallam University. As in previous years, papers from experienced researchers are welcomed, but we aim to reserve at least half of the time for first time presenters. If you are interested in presenting, please contact Janine Freeston at by 15 October 2021.

On 1-2 July 2022 we are holding a conference to celebrate our 50th anniversary, examining how British photography and photographers have changed between 1972 and 2022. Proposals are welcomed from academics, early career researchers, postgraduate students, photographers, and those working within photography, education and heritage. Please send proposals of up to 300 words with a short biography to by 15 October 2021. 

A photograph of a crowd gathering round a boy looking through a telescope.
CREDIT: The Royal Photographic Society Collection at the V&A
Photograph of a green, red and blue tartan ribbon against a black backdrop.
CREDIT: The Royal Photographic Society Collection at the V&A
A salted paper print of a row of books in Fox Talbot's library.
CREDIT: The Royal Photographic Society Collection at the V&A