When dating old photographs, there are three main sources of information to be taken into account. These include, although they are not always available:
- the attributes and characteristics of the photographic mount or case
- the image (fashion etc.)
- trade directory entries.
This page is about trade directory entries
We can now provide access to an extensive database of trade directory entries from all over the UK which have been gathered over the last 30 years. Entries include photographer names, addresses and dates advertised.
Trade directories are a very valuable source of information as they give a positive indication of when a particular photographer was actually operating at a particular address.
However, it is important to be aware that, as with other types of historical data, trade directory entries have some limitations that need to be taken into account. These include:
- Not all photographers advertised in trade directories
- They did not necessarily advertise every year (sometimes only at start up or when moving or when business needed a boost)
- Trade directory data was collected as much as a year prior to publication, by which time details could have changed.
- Trade directories do contain printing/spelling errors and inconsistencies
Nevertheless, they are a wonderful and invaluable record of the past. For further discussion of Trade Directories, visit: Using Trade Directories.
To buy trade directory data about a photographer on line, visit http://www.victorianphotographers.co.uk
For more information on dating photographs, return to the Dating page.