Edinburgh Calotype Club Albums


Early Reports

Two Albums?

It was reported by John Miller Grey, c.1885, that  Dean Montgommery, the sole surviving member of the Edinburgh Calotype Club, had in fact compiled two albums of photographs from the Club

The albums were reported to include views of Edinburgh Castle, the Old  Tolbooth, White Horse Inn, Heriot's Hospital and Greyfriars' Churchyard, as well as views of Scotland, Antwerp, Rome and Ghent.

Edinburgh Calotype Club Album - Volume 2 - Calotype of The Scott Monument

John Miller added:

"These landscapes are distinguished by the right choice of their point of view, and many of them compare favourably in picturesqueness and artistic qualities with the mechanically produced photographs of our own time."

Source:    An extract from notes written by Edinburgh City Librarian and Curator, CS Minto, in 1962, that accompany Volume 2 of Montgomery's Edinburgh Calotype Club Album held by Edinburgh Central Library.

CS Minto based his notes on an introduction entitled "The Early History of Photography" by John Miller Gray, curator of the National Portrait Gallery, to a book of Hill & Adamson calotypes.  This  introduction was written around 1885, though the book in which it appeared was not published until 1928!


How Many Albums?

1.  Montgomery Family's Album

Calotype Club Album, Volume 2,  was acquired from the Montgomery family in 1952  by the City of Edinburgh Libraries.

2.  Tennent's Album

A fruitless search was made for  Volume 1,but for many years nothing was found.

However, a further volume of the Calotype Club Album was discovered in a private collection in Southern England in 2001, and sold at auction by Dominic Winter of Swindon in December 2001.

This album has been attributed to Hugh Lyon Tennent, as a result of examining the comprehensive handwritten notes and index that accompany the album.

It was acquired for 220,000 (against strong competition from the USA) by an Edinburgh consortium led by the National Library of Scotland, with the help of funding from the Lotteries Commission and others.

The announcement of the acquisition of this album was made by the National Library of Scotland in November 2002.  The Library hosted a series of evening lectures on the Calotype process, Edinburgh Calotype Club and its albums and also launched of a web site on the Edinburgh Calotype Albums.

3.  A Third Album?

Initially, it was thought that the album sold at auction in 2001 was likely to be Volume 1 of the Montgommery Album of the Edinburgh Calotype Club.

However, despite similarities between the two albums, the '2001' album  has now been attributed to Hugh Lyon Tennent.

This, again, leaves the possibility of another Edinburgh Calotype Club Album turning up one day!

Source:  Press reports and discussions with the National Library of Scotland following the acquisition of the Tennent's Edinburgh Calotype Album by an Edinburgh consortium led by the National Library of Scotland.



Edinburgh Calotype Club

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Newhaven Fishwives  -  from Edinburgh Calotype Club Album  Portraits             Scott Monument  -  from Edinburgh Calotype Club Album  Views

Edinburgh Calotype Club:

Background        BJP Report         Albums

Tennent's Album:

Story           Portraits         Views

Montgomery Family's Album:

Story           Portraits         Views


Members        Montgomery       Brewster

National Library of Scotland:

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