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

About this image

Eileen ‘Dusty’ Deste in front of Fulham Power Station, Hammersmith and Fulham, Greater London 1965-8 © Historic England Archive DES01/22/08/12

Introduction

Women have participated in photography since the very first years of the medium. Those who became famous for their part in its history include:

  • Constance Fox Talbot (1811-1880), the wife of photography pioneer William Henry Fox Talbot. Constance experimented with the process and printed her husband’s work
  • Anna Atkins (1799-1871) published botanical photograms in 1843
  • Lady Clementina Hawarden (1822-1865) and Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879) revolutionised artistic photographic portraiture in the 1860s

None of the famous names above appear in our collections. But the women photographers who do, contributed a great deal to our understanding of the past. Their images capture landmarks, village life, industrial towns and wartime destruction from the 19th century to the present day.

The prints, negatives and digital images we hold are by women who were either amateur enthusiasts, professional commercial or record photographers. We're fortunate to care for the work of these women photographers and provide access to the contributions they've made and continue to make in the world of photography.

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