Skip to main content

Early Photography: Home

A research guide to 19th century photography

About this LibGuide

Early Photography

In 1839 the first viable photographic process was introduced, as a gift from France, to the world. The photographic process was called the daguerreotype and was invented by two Frenchmen, Louis Daguerre and Joseph Niépce. Meanwhile, in England another inventor, Henry Fox Talbot, was toiling away with his own photographic invention which he termed the Salted Paper Print. These two processes make up the foundation of early photography. Photographs made during the 19th and early 20th century are referred to as Early Photography as it was the fledgling, early days of the photographic process. The early photographic processes are numerous, this libguide focuses on references for the most concentrated photographs within collections, namely;

  • Daguerreotype
  • Calotype
  • Salted paper print    
  • Ambrotype
  • Tintype

   This fine arts library guide aims to provide resources on Early Photography to an audience interested in historic photography, be it researchers, students, photographers, or  collectors. The libguide will cover early photographic processes, pioneers in the field, and resources for further  scholarship.

Francis Frith The Fallen Colossus Albumen Print, 1857

From the collection of the Royal Collection Trust, United Kingdom


How to Navigate this LibGuide:

There are 4 tabs included in this guide and each one may be found along the top of the guide:

Home tab

Photographic Processes tab 

Photographers tab 

Further Scholarship tab

An Historic Overview

Citations for this page

Citations for resources found on this page:

Benson, R. (2010). The printed picture. New York: The Museum of Modern Art.

Newhall, B. (1982). The history of photography: from 1839 to the present. New York: Museum of Modern Art.

LibGuide Author