The History of Eton’s Photographic Archive
The Photographic Archive at Eton College was set up in 1952 by Peter Stafford Henry Lawrence (PSHL) after he wrote to The Times asking for old photographs of the College and thousands flooded in.
Subsequent Keepers of the Photographic Archive had a keen interest in photography and the taking of photographs. They added many images that they took themselves, expanding the collection and reflecting life at the College as the decades passed.
Roddy Fisher was appointed as Keeper in 2009 and concentrated on digitising the collection. By the time of his retirement in 2021, he had digitised over 22,000 images and made them available on the Collections’ online catalogue.
In 2021, the collection came under the direction of the College Archives.
The Future of Eton’s Photographic Archive
On the last day before his retirement, Roddy Fisher, Keeper from 2009-2021, reflected on the history of Eton’s photographic collection. He concluded that there were three significant moments in the life of the Photographic Archive. The first being its creation by P.S.H. Lawrence and the very start of the collection through donations.
The second was when Fisher himself became Keeper of the collection and set out to digitise the growing collection and make them accessible to the public.
The third, he stated, was happening right now with the Photographic Archive being incorporated into the College Archives and looked after by the College Archivist, Eleanor Hoare.
The future of the collection is very exciting prospect and to celebrate this magnificent collection, here are some highlights:
By Georgina Robinson, Archivist