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Cyanotype Herbarium, the First Fascicule of 'Photographs of British Algae', by Anna Atkins, 1843

Inventory Number: 11887
Object Type:
Persons: Anna Atkins (Photographer)
Date Created: 1843
Accession Number:
Brief Description: Pamphlet consisting of 12 sheets of cyanotypes, bound together in a blue (not cyanotype) wrapper. The first 4 sheets constitute title page, dedication, introduction signed A.A., and contents list, each reproduced from the author's handwriting; the other 8 are contact photographs of specimens of seaweed, with captions or labels written on slips of paper or card and included in the image. This first fascicule presents selected samples; the rest of the work (not present) went on to form a systematic catalogue of algae, and was completed in 1853. The cyanotypes are made on Whatman Turkey Mill watermarked paper, the title page watermark dated 1842, the several other watermarked pages 1843. All are strong blue, though with variations; most have plain backs but some are pale blue on the back. The closed size is approximately 10 x 8 inches, vertical format; the cyanotye sheets mostly vary slightly, the smallest being the title page (247mm high) and the largest folio 6 (260 mm). The thinner paper covers are a little fragile, but the cyanotype sheets are all in good condition; folio 7 has a nick in the outer edge, but it is original. This pamphlet was issued in October 1843, and is the first photographically illustrated or photographically produced book.
For fuller descriptive and historical commentary, and transcription of preliminaries and introduction, see narratives.
Primary Inscriptions: Title page reads: 'Photographs | of | British Algae. | Cyanotype Impressions.'.
Provenance: Lent by Oriel College in or about 1931.
Collection Group: Oriel College Collection
Material(s): Paper