Women Photographers in the Historic England Archive

Discover the women photographers whose work enriches the collections of the Historic England Archive.

Inspired by the centenary of women first getting the vote in 1918, we want to make the women photographers who have recorded our historic environment more well-known, and their photography more widely accessible. Featured here is a selection from our collections.

  • Woman holding a camera standing in front of four chimneys of a power station

    Introduction

    The Historic England Archive collections include work produced by a wide variety of women who pursued photography for diverse motivations.

  • Group of people seated and standing outside building

    The Archive’s Earliest Photo Taken by a Woman

    The Historic England Archive’s earliest known photograph by a woman was taken in 1864.

  • Ruins of Lyveden New Bield

    Alice Marcon

    Alice’s photographs are an excellent record of rural and village life in the last years of the 19th century.

  • Arcading in the north-west corner of the Galilee Porch

    Margaret Harker

    Margaret achieved a number of milestones for women in the field of photography.

  • Ginnel between Anne Street and Helena Street, Burnley, Lancashire 1966-74 Eileen ‘Dusty’ Deste

    Eileen ‘Dusty’ Deste

    Eileen documented disappearing industries and threatened architecture in the 1960s and 1970s.

  • Bomb damaged street

    Margaret Tomlinson

    Margaret documented buildings threatened by destruction during the Second World War.

  • Bamburgh Castle

    Ethel Booty

    Ethel’s photographs from the 1940s to the 1960s record church architecture and picturesque villages.

  • Castlerigg Stone Circle

    Ursula Clark

    Ursula’s high-quality photographs were used to illustrate a number of books on architecture.

  • Wood carving of misericord

    Marjory L Wight

    Marjory’s photographs from the 1920s to the 1950s focus on church architecture and ruined monasteries.

  • Children collecting water at a pump

    Katherine J Macfee

    Katherine’s photographs record life in London in the early 20th century, and rural pastimes and crafts.

  • View of Holdsworth House

    Mary Theodora Pollit

    Mary’s small collection records historic buildings, monuments and picturesque villages.