Photographic Collections

The RBGE Photographic Collections contain more than 250,000 photographic slides, glass plate negatives, cyanotypes and digital photographs. This collection continues to grow through the work of the RBGE Photographer, Lynsey Wilson, showcased in the Gallery below.

The Collection

  • Anna Atkins (1799-1871)

    A contemporary and colleague of William Henry Fox Talbot, Anna Atkins can claim to have produced the first printed book in any country to be illustrated by photography. British algae: cyanotype impressions was published in 3 volumes, issued in parts between 1843 and 1853 (see sample illustration on this page). 

    • Volume I & II (1 bound volume, spine title - Brit: Algae:) - 194 plates
    • Volume III (1 bound volume, spine title - Cyanotypes of British Algae) - 179 plates (parts V - XI)
    • Part XII (unbound) - 12 plates
    • See also the entry for John Edward Davis (below)

    John Edward Davis (1815-1877)

    Davis was the second master of H.M.S. Terror on the Ross Antarctic expedition (1839-1843) and an accomplished marine artist.

    • 6 cyanotypes including 1 by Anna Atkins (Dictyota dichotoma in the young state & in fruit, watermarked 1848) and 5 by or for Davis from various locations and dated between September 1841 and November 1842 (watermarked 1843-1848)

    George Forrest (1873-1932)

    • Photographic collections relating to seven collecting trips in China between 1904 and 1932
    Anna Atkins cyanotype which shows as a white seaweed standing out against a blue background.
  • T. Crawford Godfrey

    • A large collection of 35mm colour slides including images featured in the 1984 publication Hong Kong fruits and seeds

    George Paxton (1850-1904)

    • Glass-plate negatives of the photographs taken for Remarkable trees in Ayrshire, 1894 using the camera illustrated on this page

    Tony Schilling

    • Approximately 3,900 35mm colour slides of photographs taken in Nepal and the Himalayan region including Bhutan and Yunnan between the 1960's and 1980's

    Sir George Watt

    • Glass-plate negatives taken in India, including photographs of textiles and exhibits from the Calcutta Exhibition in which he was heavily involved

    Frederick Anthony Hamilton Wills, 2nd Baron Dulverton (1915-1992)

    • The Glenfeshie Book of Wild Flowers, album containing colour photographs of alpine zone plants taken by the 2nd Lord Dulverton on his Scottish estate in the 1970's
    A photograph showing George Paxton's camera, particularly the brass lens, wooden case and black corrugated bellows.
  • RBGE Photographers

    Robert Moyes Adam (1885-1967)

    • 1903 - 1914 (unofficial role), 1914 - 1949

    Ross Eudall

    • May 1948- August 1988

    Ken Grant

    • March 1970 – August 1990

    Sid Clarke

    • October 1988 – October 2003

    Debbie White

    • January 1991 – March 2004

    Lynsey Wilson

    • June 2004-present

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