History of the Photographic Archive
Although photography at Eton (and elsewhere) began around 1850, there were few formal attempts to gather photographs at the college and photographs tended to be produced or bought by individual boys or masters and then taken away with them when they left the school.
In 1952, Eton master Peter Lawrence placed a newspaper advertisement asking for donations of photographs of Eton, from which he would build an archive. Many were given: albums, boxes of loose prints and glass plate negatives. He published many of the most interesting in An Eton Camera (1980).
Buildings, sporting teams and house groups are particularly well represented. We have a wide range of image types, from 10×8 inch glass plate negatives through to 35 mm negatives and transparencies, and also many types of print.
Work on digitisation and cataloguing is ongoing but not complete, so it is usually worth asking about any subject that doesn’t appear on the website. We also offer an image service. We cannot normally release photographs of living individuals.
We are always grateful to receive donations of additional photographs filling gaps in the collection. Please get in touch.
images from the Photographic Archive appear in our online catalogue