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Women and Early Photography Symposium, 1 June 2022

This website supports our online symposium on 1 June 2022, which focuses on an often-neglected aspect of photography history - photographs of and by women in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, and more broadly, women and early photography around the world.


The project is inspired by our exploration of photographs taken by the Aberdeen-based photography studio of George Washington Wilson (1823-1893), who was named the Photographer Royal for Scotland in 1860. His collection is housed at the University of Aberdeen library, and consists of over 37,000 glass plate negatives, produced by the firm that he, and then his sons, headed from the 1850s to 1908. It includes landscapes, cityscapes, and portrait photographs from across Britain and its former colonies and beyond. The GWW Collection includes diverse representations of women, in terms of their location, class, occupation, and ethnicity. An online exhibition of a selection of these photographs can be seen via this link: Envisioning Women's Places: Photographs from the George Washington Wilson Collection · University Collections (


We will be delighted to welcome Professor Elizabeth Edwards, author of Photographs and the Practice of History (London: Bloomsbury, 2022) as keynote speaker at this event.


We are grateful for the generous support of the British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grants programme for this project, which funding derives from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Link to symposium participant names and paper titles

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