Highlights from the photograph collections

Thomas Annan

Part of a Glasgow University building
The Outer Court, University of Glasgow
Carbon print, 1870. From 'Memorials of the
Old College of Glasgow' (Glasgow, 1871).
[Library reference: Phot.med.10]

Thomas Annan (1829-1887) was one of the most influential, successful, and innovative photographers in 19th-century Scotland.

He produced work in all the main categories associated with commercial practice in the mid-19th century, including portraiture, landscape, urban and industrial documentation, and reproductions of works of art.

Innovations in technology

Annan's reputation today rests largely on his work for the City of Glasgow in 1871 known as 'Photographs of the old closes and streets of Glasgow'.

But he also pioneered the use of several important innovations in photographic technology, especially the use of the carbon process (for which his firm held the patent in Scotland) and of photogravure.

University image

This example, a carbon print of rich deep tones, exactly suits the nature of the architecture.

It is included in a photographically illustrated book devoted to the Old College of Glasgow University, which dates from 1450.


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