Recently uncovered in an early Governors Minute Book from the John Rylands Library, is the first mention of a photographic studio and imaging service within the Rylands. The Eleventh Annual Report, from around January 1911, has in the Report of the Librarian, a small passage about the Studio and its importance.
A year later, the in the 12th report, the studio is mentioned again, saying that the studio has been ‘abundantly justified throughout the last year’.
The service has been running in one form or another now for 101 years. These early studios would have used glass plate cameras to photograph the manuscripts and collections, and we still have some of the plates here. We also still have the Sinar P 5×4 rail camera kit from the 50’s that would have been used in the studio with 5×4 transparency and black and white sheet film. During a little poking around we managed to find a price list from 1973, and a record of photography from 1952 to around 1960. I’m sure there will be more records hiding away in the archives for us to find!