Further research

This guide was last updated in 2009

Discover more about the history of portrait photography and how your ancestor may have worked by reading some general histories.

Good places to start are The Victorians: Photographic Portraits by Audrey Linkman (IB Tauris, 1993) and John Hannavy’s The Victorian Professional Photographer (Shire Publications, 1980).

Contemporary publications give a fascinating glimpse of the practicalities of running a photographic studio. Try HP Robinson’s The Studio and what to do in it (1885) and Thomas Bolas’ The photographic studio: A guide to its construction, design, and the selection of a locality (1895).

The British Journal Photographic Almanac, published annually from 1860 onwards, is a mine of information on the tools of the photographer’s trade – from cameras to darkroom fittings, painted backdrops and studio furniture.

To find out more about the history of photography, visit the National Media Museum in Bradford. Many of the resources listed here, including the Royal Photographic Society archives, can be consulted, by appointment, at Insight: The Collections and Research Centre at the museum. For more information, click here.

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