Home Cameras/Lenses Royal Photographic Society: Browse 165 years of photographic history with no charge

Royal Photographic Society: Browse 165 years of photographic history with no charge


A treasure trove of 165 years of photographic history is now available for on-line browsing. Even better, it is all free. The Royal Photographic Society has been producing its journal since March 1853, and the new digital archive features some 30,000 pages of searchable access to all issues through to 2018. More recent material will be added as it is completed.

Britain’s Royal Photographic Society was founded in the same year of 1853 to make the art and science of photography more widely available. It remains one of the world’s oldest photographic societies, with a vibrant programme of exhibitions, talks and workshops. The RPS decided to publish this outstanding reference archive to celebrate the 160th anniversary of the foundation in 2013. This new widening of access provides an unrivalled reference point for all keen photographers.

Throughout the years, the Journal has provided a commentary on contemporary photography trends, with thousands of fascinating articles and illustrations. One of the most interesting aspects of this archive is the advertising which, through the years, has charted the development of photographic equipment, providing a fascinating insight into marketing and pricing.


  1. Some interesting extracts from this Archive about the development of Leica cameras have been posted on the Leica Forum in the past day or two. These include the difficulties with using FILCA cassettes which could be a relevant aspect of my Swiss Roll story. I must admit that up to this I had mainly used this archive in respect of 19th Century photography including the brass lenses made here in Dublin by the Grubbs. Now all I have to do is to find the time to start looking at the Leica/Leitz material in the archive.

    The RPS are to be congratulated on making this material available.



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