Many people have photographs of their ancestors and ask the question ‘Can I find any more photographs of my family by the same photographer?’ or ‘Can I find out the names of the people in my photograph?’.
To do this would mean that the photographer’s records need to be available somewhere, especially their day books listing customer details and their heavy, old glass negatives.
This is very rarely the case as the books and negatives have nearly always been destroyed many years ago as the need for providing reprints died out.
For an interesting story of glass negatives that were saved – see https://www.cartedevisite.co.uk/faq/negatives
Very occasionally, records have been saved and are held in a museum, library or County Records Office local to where the photographer had his studio. It is always worth enquiring and, if you do get lucky, don’t forget to let us know about it as we are trying to build up a list of archives that hold this type of material.
At present only some of the work and records of the more famous photographers such as Camille Silvy and Alexander Bassano are held at places like the National Portrait Gallery in London.
Don’t forget, we have over 5,000 photographs of NAMED sitters listed on this site – see https://www.cartedevisite.co.uk/sitters – and we have details of one other source which may also be able to help.
Ron Cosens August 2009 https://www.cartedevisite.co.uk