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Early photographs boost university collection

Early photographs taken by pioneering photographers Hill and Adamson have been acquired by the University of St Andrews. The nine ‘salt paper’ prints taken by David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson between 1843 and 1848 strengthens the existing collection of early photographs already owned by the University.

The prints, which reflect various aspects of Hill and Adamson’s art, were offered for sale to Scottish public collections, even though they would have fetched a substantial sum at auction.

The University’s purchase was made possible by the generous assistance of the National Art Collections Fund and the National Fund for Acquisitions, administered by the National Museums of Scotland.

As a thank-you to the Art Fund, the University arranged a visit for their Fife branch earlier this month. Thirty members were given a talk by University Archivist Norman Reid about the work of the Special Collections Department, and were offered a private viewing of not only the nine ‘new’ images, but some of the treasures among the collections, drawn from the photographic collections, the early printed books, and the manuscripts and muniments.

Both Hill and Adamson have connections to St Andrews – Adamson was born at ‘Burnside’, a farm down near Boarhills, and was the younger brother of John Adamson, a St Andrews GP and part- time lecturer in Chemistry at the University. He was also a friend of Sir David Brewster, the University Principal, and himself a famed photographic pioneer. It was Brewster who introduced Adamson to Hill, an Edinburgh artist, in 1843, and they worked together for 5 years, until Adamson’s death from TB in 1848.

ENDS

http://specialcollections.st- and.ac.uk

NOTE TO PICTURE EDITORS:

IMAGES OF THE NEWLY ACQUIRED PHOTOGRAPHS ARE AVAILABLE FROM THE PRESS OFFICE – CONTACT DETAILS BELOW.

Issued by Beattie Media – www.beattiegroup.com On behalf of the University of St Andrews

Contact Gayle Cook, Press Officer on 01334 467227 / 462529, mobile 07900 050 103, or email gec3@st- andrews.ac.uk Ref: H&A photos 160506.doc View the latest University press releases at http://www.st- andrews.ac.uk

 

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