Season of Photography in Scotland


Thomas Annan, The Old Closes and Streets of Glasgow, first published in 1872.

The new Special Collections display on Level 12 of the Library is part of the Season of Photography in Scotland 2015 – a series of lively exhibitions and events taking place at multiple venues across the country from mid-April to the end of September, celebrating and promoting historical and contemporary work.

The Library holds outstanding collections of early photographs and our display focuses on R O Dougan (1904-1999) as a collector of early books illustrated with photographs. Several of these are of great importance in the history of photography, including Thomas Annan’s Old Closes and Streets of Glasgow (1872) and John Thomson’s Street Life in London (1877).

Visitors are welcome to view the display during our opening hours and also to sign up for a free, illustrated talk on Thursday 11 June. Roddy Simpson, photographer and historian of Scottish photography, will present an illustrated talk on Rock House, the studio on Calton Hill in Edinburgh used in the 1840s by the pioneering Scottish photographers, David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson. It was used by successive photographers including Thomas Annan, Archibald Burns and the Inglis family, until the 1940s. Much of what comprises the Dougan Collection of early photography, in the University of Glasgow Library, came from Rock House. The talk is free and open to all, but please book a place if you would like to attend:

The Season of Photography is an initiative of the IPS (Institute for Photography in Scotland), comprising representatives from the National Galleries of Scotland, the University of Glasgow, the University of St. Andrews, Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow and Stills, Edinburgh. Exhibitions, talks, seminars and hands-on workshops are taking place at museums, galleries and other venues, including Photography: A Victorian Sensation, at the National Museums of Scotland, to which we are lending some 19th century photographic equipment. A unique feature of the Season is the variety of of self-organised events, artists’ platforms, and festivals occurring under this all-embracing initiative. The Season offers something for everyone and tells multiple stories about the diverse ways in which photography is used as a creative tool.

You can access previous blog posts about our 19th century photographic collections here.

Categories: Special Collections


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