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Photogenic drawing of geranium leaf by William Henry Fox Talbot.
CREDIT: National Museum of Science & Media

Recent events

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Online talk: Photography and Electroplate in 1840s Birmingham, 8 February 2024

The Royal Photographic Society's Historical Group presents artist and photographer Jo Gane who discusses her PhD research and practice into electroplating and the daguerreotype, looking at daguerreotypes made in 1840s Birmingham by George Shaw and Francis Marrian.

This talk explores the role of recreative practice in understanding the material qualities of the daguerreotype alongside discussing the improvements to the daguerreotype that electroplating offered and how they developed from a competitive industrial environment in Birmingham.

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CREDIT: © Ulster Folk Museum

Online talk: Ulster in Days Gone By, 8 January 2024

Ulster In Days Gone By: The W. A. Green Photographic Collection is presented by Victoria Millar, Senior Curator of History, National Museums Northern Ireland.

The W. A. Green Collection dates from c.1880 to c.1940. It was acquired by the Ulster Folk Museum in the early 1960s, and consists of approximately 4,000 glass plate negatives, original prints, lantern slides and published series of views.




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Bradford Talk Image
CREDIT: © Bradford District Museums and Galleries

Online talk: Tales from the Bradford Heritage Recording Unit, 12 December 2023

A talk by John Ashton about 'Photos Bradford,' the photography archive of Bradford District Museums and Galleries.

Created in the tumultuous years of the 1980s, the Bradford Heritage Recording Unit sought to document aspects of people’s lives in Bradford’s diverse communities.

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Jane Wigley

Online talk: The art of being Jane Wigley, 4 October 2023

Jane Wigley, one of Britain´s first female photographers, and the official licentiate to take daguerreotype portraits in 1840s Newcastle-upon-Tyne, is today, as she was then, disregarded as a footnote.

New research presented by Kelvin Wilson illuminates the unique shaping behind Jane Wigley´s character.




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William Graham. Young girl winding bobbins.
CREDIT: William Graham. Young girl winding bobbins in an attic workshop. © Mitchell Library, Glasgow.

Online talk: Exploring the William Graham Collection, 19 September 2023

William Graham, born in 1845, lived most of his life in the Springburn area of Glasgow.

His life-long hobby was photography. He was known for his topographical knowledge of Glasgow and was an original member of the Old Glasgow Club. A collection of his photographs and negatives was acquired in 1916 and is housed in the Mitchell Library, Glasgow.

The talk is presented by Clare Thompson of the Mitchell Library.

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Tony Ray Jones
CREDIT: © Tony Ray-Jones / RIBA Collections / RIBA2760-20.

Online talk: The Robert Elwall Photographs Collection at the RIBA, 7 September 2023

The Robert Elwall Photographs Collection at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is one of the largest and most comprehensive of its kind in the world, spanning the whole history of the medium and including most types of photographic processes.

This talk by Valeria Carullo, Photographs Curator at RIBA, provides an introduction to the Collection and to the many aspects of architectural photography.

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

Online talk: Exploring the Fay Godwin archive, 6 July 2023

Bekah O'Neill of the British Library discusses the work of Fay Godwin (1931-2005) and the steps involved in rehousing, cataloguing and storing her archive to make the collection accessible for viewing.






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Discover the Historical Photographs of China Project
CREDIT: Photograph by Fu Bingchang (HPC ref Fu-n082).

Online talk: Historical Photographs of China, 14 June 2023

Jamie Carstairs (Special Collections, University of Bristol Library) was Project Manager of "Historical Photographs of China" (2006-2021).

In this illustrated talk, he discusses how negatives and photographs from family-generated collections were digitised and captioned.





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Autochrome 2
CREDIT: Royal Photographic Society Collection / Victoria & Albert Museum

Online talk: Embracing the Autochrome, 3 May 2023

In this talk, curator and author Catlin Langford discusses the history and culture surrounding the autochrome, and her process for bringing these works to life for Colour Mania: Photographing the World in Autochrome (Thames & Hudson, 2022).




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Princess Of Wales Cdv 1868 Edit
CREDIT: David Barber / Private Collection

Online talk: W & D. Downey, photographers, 15 March 2023

In 'The Road to Balmoral,' Dr. David Barber presents new research on the early years of royal photographers W. & D. Downey of South Shields and Newcastle.




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Lee And Turner 1
CREDIT: Science and Media Museum, Bradford

Sound & Vision: National Science+Media Museum Collections, 27 April 2022

Claire Mayoh, Archive and Library Manager at the National Science and Media Museum, Bradford explores its incredible sound and vision collections.



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Studio photographic portrait of young man.
CREDIT: John Thomson

Online talk: John Thomson and his photography of Asia, 29 July 2021

To commemorate the centenary of the death of former RPS member John Thomson FRGS (1837-1921), Betty Yao MBE talks about Thomson's decade in Asia.

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A bearded man in jacket and waistcoat standing by a large camera.
CREDIT: The Wick Society / Johnston Collection

Online talk: Presenting the Johnston collection, Wick, 22 June 2021

Ian Leith of the Wick Society looks at the Johnston Collection, a unique photographic archive which provides an insight into life in and around Wick from 1863 to 1976.

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Photograph of a city, with a boy holding milk in the foreground with a statue on his right.
CREDIT: (C) The MacKinnon Collection / John D. Stephen, Dawn of Light and Liberty

Online talk: Presenting the MacKinnon Collection, 20 May 2021

Talk by Blake Milteer, curator at the National Galleries of Scotland, provides a view into the MacKinnon Collection, representing Scottish life and achievements from the 1840s through to the 1950s.

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Photograph of the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television.

Online talk: A conversation with Colin Ford, 28 January 2021

Colin Ford CBE is one of Britain's first curators of photography and has had a long and distinguished career. He discusses some of the highlights with Gilly Read FRPS.

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Photograph of the Hodder river
CREDIT: The Royal Photographic Society Collection at the V&A

Online talk: Roger Fenton and Stonyhurst, 17 November 2020

Dr Jan Graffius, curator of collections at Stonyhurst College, talks to Gilly Read FRPS about Roger Fenton and his photographs of Stonyhurst and the surrounding countryside.  

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Reverse of carte de visite bearing the logo of W. W. Winter

Research Day, 14 November 2020

The RPS Historical Group’s 2020 Research Day: a series of papers of research in progress from photo-historians, students and others. 



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