University acquires archive of renowned Scottish photographer

Monday 30 May 2022

Three Scottish miners sit round a pub table drinking and smoking, light filters in the window. Image is black and white.

The work of internationally recognised Scottish photographer Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert has been acquired by the University of St Andrews.

The collection of around one million images, dating from 1988-2021, will double the University’s photography archive and create significant opportunities for research and teaching at the University. The images are available for the public to view online and there are plans to display parts of the collection in future.

 Mr Sutton-Hibbert’s work has appeared in publications including Time, National Geographic, Italian Geo, Le Figaro, The Guardian and The Sunday Times. For over two decades he has been a contributing photographer for Greenpeace International.

 It is the wish of Mr Sutton-Hibbert that his work, spanning 30 years of his career to date, be held by a Scottish institution, ensuring its accessibility to researchers, historians and the wider public.  

Mr Sutton-Hibbert said: “I’m immensely proud that the work from my career will now reside at the University of St Andrews, amongst a highly regarded collection built since the beginning of photography. It is important that photography collections can be utilised by others and safeguarded for the future.

 “It is a thank you to all those people whose lives I have encountered with my camera, and pleasing to know that their stories, those stories that I was fortunate enough to photograph, will be part of the grander story of our nation, and contribute to the continued appreciation of photography in Scotland.” 

Mr Sutton-Hibbert’s work covers a wide range of styles and subjects, from photojournalism to personal documentary projects. He has worked extensively across the world and covered many news stories and features including the aftermath of 9/11 in New York, the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan and whaling in the Southern Ocean.

He has also covered environmental issues including the Braer oil disaster, deforestation in Papua New Guinea and environmental protest, and has documented Scottish industries such as North Sea fishing, coal mining and shipbuilding on the River Clyde. 

Mr Sutton-Hibbert co-founded the Document Scotland photography collective and has exhibited his photography widely, including at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh.  

The University of St Andrews has been collecting photography since 1844 and today seeks to collect work by Scottish photographers as a visual document of Scottish culture. The University already held one of the largest and most important collections in the world. This new acquisition of the work of a notable contemporary photographer doubles the size of the collection, increasing the photography collections at the University of St Andrews to over two million items. Almost 800,000 of the photographs in this new acquisition are born-digital, which also represents a step change in collecting, cataloguing and preserving digital photography at St Andrews.

Rachel Nordstrom, Photographic Collections Manager in the University’s Libraries and Museums, said: “It is with great pleasure that we can announce the important acquisition of Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert’s archive into the Photographic Collections at The University of St Andrews. This acquisition illustrates the social value of Jeremy’s work and the invaluable research potential within. Jeremy’s is a vast archive and it contains endless potential for current and future generations of students and researchers.” 

 The collection consists of approximately 210,000 negatives, 8,000 mounted and unmounted transparencies, 800,000 born-digital photographic files, 2,000 contact sheets and 1,000 finished and working prints. It is available online now.

Photograph captions and credit lines: 

Top: Longannet Colliery, three generations of miners - George Lang (centre) with grandfather Jock Lang (left) and father Bert Lang (right), all have been miners in their lives. Having a beer in the Mansfield Arms, Sauchie, Scotland, April 2001.  © Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert/ Courtesy of University of St Andrews. 

Middle left: A New York policeman stands on Broadway beside flowers, a Scottish saltire flag, and cards of condolences to the victims of the September 11th 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre buildings in Lower Manhattan by Al-Qaeda terrorists, in New York, America, October 2001. © Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert/ Courtesy of University of St Andrews. 

Middle right: North Sea Fishing - Bill Smith secures the nets aboard the seine netter Argosy, on the North Sea, Scotland, February 1995. © Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert/ Courtesy of University of St Andrews. 

Bottom: Glasgow - Burning scrap wire to retrieve the copper within, with ‘Glasgow's  Miles Better’ iconic logo on the wall behind, in the Gorbals, Glasgow, Scotland, November 1993. © Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert/ Courtesy of University of St Andrews. 

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office. 

Category University news

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