Photographic History

2007 saw the publication of Great Photographic Journeys, which recreated the journeys of some of the earliest British photographers to travel abroad with their cameras. Also published in 2007 was the two-volume Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-century Photography, edited by John Hannavy, who also contributed a large number of entries based on continuing original research.

John's first involvement with the history of photography can be traced back to the early 1970s when he started writing about the subject in a popular photographic magazine. Since then he has written a number of books on Victorian and Edwardian photography and photographers, curated several important exhibitions, and written and presented two well-received television series, one for BBC Scotland, the other for BBC Manchester.

His biography of pioneer Victorian photographer Roger Fenton was published in 1975, at the same time as he curated the Scottish Arts Council exhibition The Camera Goes to War - the first major exhibition of the photography of the Crimean War - the national tour of which opened at the SAC's Edinburgh gallery, and culminated with a showing at the National Portrait Gallery. 

Further exhibitions focused on the work of Dr Thomas Keith, touring in 1980-81, and in 1983 A Moment in Time which told the story of early Scottish photography and which accompanied the television series of the same name. John's biography of Dr Keith was published in 1981. A much revised and expanded monograph The Victorian Photographs of Dr. Thomas Keith and John Forbes White was published in 2015. For further information on this title, click on the 'John Hannavy Publishing' button or follow links through 'Books'.

A series of seven of John's books exploring Victorian and Edwardian life through old photographs has been published by Shire, the most recent being The Victorian and Edwardian Tourist and The Victorians and Edwardians at War


The Victorian Photographs of Dr. Thomas Keith and John Forbes White is still available from John Hannavy Publishing, the remaining hardback copies now reduced to half price, just £10.00 + P&P

To order a copy, use the Contacts page.


Published by PiXZ/Halsgrove in October 2017, price £9.99, is  Edwardian Railways in Postcards a celebration both of the railways themselves and of the art of the postcard photographers, colourists and publishers. Click on the book cover, below to log on to where you can see all of John Hannavy's currently available books. 

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All images and text © John Hannavy