Are there any books about
dating old photographs?
Here are two both written by Robert
Pols. Both have illustrations and notes about collecting. The
prices I paid are a) £8.95, b) £4.95
a) Looking at Old Photographs
Published by the Federation of Family History Societies 1998
ISBN 1 85306 586 2
b) Dating Old Photographs
- Published by the Federation of Family History Societies 1992
ISBN 1 86006 013 7
Ron Cosens, who has a personal
collection of over 100,000 old photographs, is passing on some of his
knowledge through a series of articles for Photographica World, a magazine
published by PCCGB (The Photogrpahic Collectors' Club of Great Britain).
The first of these articles is to appear in the 2003/2 edition, no.104.
Are there any web sites listing early photographers in other cities?
don't know of other web sites, but two sets of small booklets have been
published, one set covering several towns and cities in Britain, the other
set covering Scotland. Please click the link below for further
RPS PhotoHistorical Supplements and
SGS Lists of Scottish Photographers
Alternatively, if you have just one or two queries, you could email me and
ask if I have the appropriate booklets in my collection. If I do
have them, I'll look up the information, and let you know what I find.
Who can tell me
about James Valentine
James Valentine's business was
established in the mid-19th century in Dundee. a large number of
landscape photographs were produced, some of Scotland, some further
afield. In later years, the company went on to be one of Britain's
major producers of post cards.
When James Valentine ceased trading,
their records and a large collection of their photographs were passed on to St Andrews University Library. This
library has produced a useful little booklet, enabling the date of a
negative to be discovered, given the 'JV' number printed on a photograph.
For further details see the
University Library web site, which has a link to a page
Questions about their collection.
Where can I buy old
pictures of Edinburgh?
There are a few shops in Edinburgh that sell 19th century engravings,
normally hand-coloured and mounted behind card. One of these shops
that you could try is Scottish Pictures, 64 West Bow, Edinburgh.
I have old photos with
numbers on them. Have any records survived that will help me
discover who is in
I have not yet found any
photographers who kept records that would enable numbers to be matched
with the names of the sitters.
Numbers were frequently added to the
cabinet prints, or postcards so that the purchaser could request further copies at
a later date.
However, the would not need to keep a
record of names in order to make extra copies. It would be
sufficient for him to file his negatives in numerical order.
The negatives used for these photos
in the late 19th century were glass, so they were heavy and bulky.
They were probably thrown out when the photogrpaher ran out of room to
store them, or thought that further orders for reprints would be unlikely.