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Catalogue Entry 1989

[] Cyanotype herbarium by Anna Atkins, October 1843, the first section of her part-work Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions (1843-53). It is the first book to have been produced or illustrated photographically, each page being a unique contact negative. Items of text are reproduced from Atkins's own handwriting, including the title page (exhibited in the form of a modern copy). An amateur botanist seeking to contribute to a long tradition of botanical illustration, Atkins learned of the cyanotype from the inventor himself and immediately saw its usefulness for direct copying, many years before 'blueprint' became a household word.

[From the exhibition booklet Photography 150: Images from the First Generation (Oxford: Museum of the History of Science, 1989)]

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