Finding Photographers


All URLs functional on 2021 May

Global - Indexes

The quarterly journal History of Photography started in 1977 and is still going. You can see the table of contents for every issue and an abstract of every article here , but you will need a good library - or a lot of money - to read the articles.

Luminous-Lint is used by professional curators etc "to better understand the many histories of photography". It requires a modest subscription.

[Book] Palmquist, Peter E (ed) - Photographers, A Sourcebook for Historical Research - Carl Mautz Publishing.  This book is intended for photograph collectors, but it contains a huge bibliography of directories of photographers.  Carl Mautz Publishing.  This is a publisher of photography books and histories and so is well worth checking out.

There are many sites describing the early history of photography, for example the Wikipedia entry.

The site Photographers of Note lists many photographers, both early and current.

[Book] Sennett, Robert S - Photography and Photographers to 1900: An Annotated Bibliography - Garland (1985)  ISBN 0-8240-8728-3  References articles on several hundred photographers.

[Book] Johnson, William S - 19th Century Photography: An Annotated Bibliography 1838-1879 - G K Hall & Co (1990)  ISBN 0-8161-7958-1  Includes thousands of photographers.

[Book] Roosens, Laurent & Salu, Luc - History of Photography: A Bibliography of Books - Mansell (1989)  ISBN 0-7201-2008-X  Three volumes here, so worth a try.

[Book] Browne, Turner and Partnow, Elaine - Macmillan Biographical Encyclopedia of Photographic Artists and Innovators - New York: Macmillan Publishing Company (1983)

[Book] Edwards, Gary - International Guide to Nineteenth-Century Photographers and Their Works - Boston: G.K. Hall and Company (1988)

[Book] Mathews, Oliver - Early Photographs and Photographers: A Survey in Dictionary Form - London: Reedminister Publications (1973)

[Book] Willis-Thomas, Deborah - An Illustrated Bio-Bibliography of Black Photographers, 1940-1988 - New York: Garland Publishing (1989)

Global - Current Photographers

[Book] Marix-Evans, M (ed) - Contemporary Photographers 3rd ed - New York: St. Martin's Press (1982)

These references may help:
World Elite Photographers
Photographer's Index


The Cuarterolo Collection contains information on Argentinean and Latin American photographers 1840 - 1920, including brief biographies (in Spanish).  Click on "Textos" on the main page. This is an archived site so will be slow.


[Book] Barrie, Sandy - Australians Behind the Camera: Directory of Australian Photographers 1842-1945 - ISBN O 9587883 8 3.  Sandy can be reached at: Box 425, Booval, Queensland 4304, Australia, or e-mail at

Australia - Victoria

Geelong and District Photographers.


[Book] Joseph, Steven F - Directory of Photographers in Belgium, 1839-1905 - Antwerpen: C. de Vries-Brouwers (1997)


Daniel Buck's "Pioneer Photography in Bolivia 1840's to 1930's" contains an extensive list of Bolivian photographers.


Professional Photographers of Canada

[Book]Diane Gagel - Directory of Photographers in the US 1888 & 1889, and Canada 1889 - Heritage Books (2003) ISBN: 0-7884-2263-4    The information is taken from the First and Second Annual Editions of the Lithographers and Photographers Directory: A Directory for Lithographers, Photographers, and for all Allied Arts and Trades in the US and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America.

Canada - British Columbia

[Book] Mattison, David - Camera Workers: The British Columbia Photographers' Directory 1858-1900 - Camera Workers Press (1985)  ISBN 0-9692029-0-3  An exhaustive alphabetical list.  CWP, Box 684, Stn E, Victoria, BC, Canada, V8W 2P3

Canada - Ontario

[Book] Phillips, Glen C - The Ontario Photographers List 1851-1900 - Iron Gate Publishing (1990).  ISBN 0-921818-04-1<
[Book] Phillips, Glen C - The Ontario Photographers List 1901-1925 - Iron Gate Publishing (1997).  ISBN 0-921818-14-9
The above two books contain an exhaustive extraction from city directories across Ontario.  They are not complete, but they are about as close to complete that a project of this size can hope for.  Mr Phillips is working on the next block beyond 1925.  Iron Gate Publishing is at 1110 - 95 Fiddler's Green Rd, London, Ont, Canada N6H 4T1  Phone 519-472-5572

[Book] Norrie, Leonard, et al - Who Wouldn't Have a Photograph? - Norfolk Historical Society (1976).  The early photographers of Norfolk Co, Ontario, with biographies of many of them.

[Book] Wohler, Patrick and Judy – The Early Commercial Photographers of Lanark and Renfrew Counties, Ontario 1850-1925 (ISBN: 0-9730349-4-7) Arnprior & District Archives, 21B Madawaska St, Arnprior ON K7S 1R6

England - General

Rosemary and Stan Rodliffe have a site for Victorian, Edwardian, and early 20th century UK photographers.

Roger Vaughan has created a remarkable site with thousands of Victorian and Edwardian photographs.  It seems to be mostly UK photographers although there are other countries in the index.  The site is huge, even the index takes a long time to sort through.  This is a archived site so be prepared for links that don't work

The Royal Photographic Society Historical Group.

Photographers of Great Britain and Ireland 1840-1940. A list of names with little information.

England - Lancashire

[Book] Jones, Gillian - Lancashire Professional Photographers 1840-1940 - PhotoResearch, 2004, ISBN 0 9523011 5 6

England - London (City)

PhotoLondon has a directory of photographers who worked in London between 1841 and 1908. The site is now archived by the Museum of London.  There is apparently over 2 500 photographers listed.  PhotoLondon is (was?) a consortium of libraries, archives, and museums.  The directory itself was compiled by Michael Pritchard.  The whole site is worth exploring.

[Book] Michael Pritchard also has a book "A Directory of London Photographers 1841-1908"

England - Manchester (City)

[Book] Linkman, Audrey - Professional Photographers in Manchester 1901 - 1939, D.P.A. (1988).

The Documentary Photography Archive, housed at the Greater Manchester County Record Office does not seem to be online beyond cataloging entries.

England - Wiltshire

[Book] Norgate, M - Photographers in Wiltshire - (1982), ISBN 0 8608012 7 6


This may not produce the taker of your family's German photos, but then again it might.  It is a listing of photographers attached to SS units of the German army during the Second World War.  There are over 50 photographers mentioned.

Latin America

Miguel Angel Cuarterolo was a major researcher and wrote a number of books:
Los Anos Del Daguerrotipo: Primeras Fotografias Argentinas 1843-1870
El Poder de La Imagen. Apuntes sobre fotografía periodística
and I expect more. He had a huge photo collection now held inside Luminous-Lint (see at the top of this list).

New Zealand

The 2006 Feb issue of Family Tree Magazine has an article by Keith Giles "Finding Photographers in 19th Century New Zealand" (Vol 22, No 4, p48-50).

The Aukland City Library maintains the New Zealand Photographers' Database.  This once was a wonderfully designed site but seems almost impossible to work now. Click on the Browse button, work through the miniscule pages past the dates, then plod through the alphabetical names. Enter a name of interest in the search page to get a short description of that photographer. The site works best if you go in already knowing the name of the photographer you want.


An article about pre-1948 photographters. No list, no pics.


A remarkable index to the photographers of Edinburgh 1840 to 1940.  It gives name, address, and dates for hundreds of photographers.  The site is colorful (!) and rather clunky.  Click on "Photographers" and "Early Photography" in the top block.  If you think nothing happened, check the lower block which may be just off your screen.  The rest of the site is worth looking at too.

United States

Professional Photographers of America. Current photographers.

Langdon's List of 19th and Early 20th Century Photographers. Hover over "Photographer List" in the navigation bar. This site is huge, it covers all the US. Hover over "More" for information on clothing styles.

[Book] Brown, Robert O - Collector's Guide to 19th Century US Traveling Photographers - ISBN 1-929955-13-8.

A list of all the photographers in the A D White collection at Cornell University which includes 13 000 photos.  To get a list of the photographers, click on "Search?Browse", then on "Agent" in the list on the left, then on "More" at the bottom of that block, then on "A-Z Sort" at the bottom of that block. Phew!

Craig's Daguerreian Registry is a unique compilation and cross-indexed reference to the Practioners of the Art of the Daguerreotype in the United States from 1839 to 1860. Included as well are members of the Allied Professions including casemaking, apparatus and accessory manufacturing and distribution, coloring, die-engraving, &c.

Dead Fred.  This is a site of photographs not photographers, but some of the photographs do have the photographer identified and it is possible to search on the photographer's name.  Go down the first page to "Use Our Detailed Search".  The site is heavily US oriented -- there you can specify the photographer's state in your search -- but there are hundreds of non-US photographs, a few of which have an identified photographer.  Unfortunately the photos do not seem to include the photographer's mark.

Ross Kelbaugh has a series of books on US Civil War photographers which references over 3 000 photographers.
[Book] Kelbaugh, Ross J - Introduction to Civil War Photography - Historic Graphics.    ISBN-0-939631-36-9
[Book] Kelbaugh, Ross J - Directory of Civil War Photographers - Historic Graphics.
    Vol 1 - Maryland, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, and West Virginia.    ISBN-0-914931-02-4
    Vol 2 - Pennsylvania, New Jersey.  ISBN 0-914931-03-02
    Vol 3 - Western States and Territories.  ISBN 0-914931-04-0
    General Index.  ISBN 0-914931-05-9
[Book] Kelbaugh, Ross J - Directory of Maryland Photographers 1839-1900 - (1988)
[Book] Kelbaugh, Ross J - Introduction to African American Pbotographs 1840-1950

[Book]Diane Gagel - Directory of Photographers in the US 1888 & 1889, and Canada 1889 - Heritage Books (2003) ISBN: 0-7884-2263-4    The information is taken from the First and Second Annual Editions of the Lithographers and Photographers Directory: A Directory for Lithographers, Photographers, and for all Allied Arts and Trades in the US and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America.

United States - Alaska

The University of Washington has a database of Pacific Northwest Photographers which includes Alaska and Washington states. You have to be creative to get a list, for example use A* in the Photographer field to get a list of all starting with A.

United States - California

This site lists photographers with more than 50 photos in the Pat Hathaway Collection of Historical Photographs.  Many photographers have more detail, but more on the pictures than on the person. Note way down near the bottom a link "List of Photographers"

United States - Kansas

Kansas photography studios 1900-1930  You will at first think you are in the wrong place (baby names? parenting??) -- scroll down!

United States - Maryland

Baltimore City Nineteenth-Century Photos is more about the photographs but does have some information on the photographers.

United States - Minnesota

The Minnesota Historical Society has an excellent Directory of Minnesota Photographers.

United States - Missouri

Early St Louis Photographers.  A considerable list of name, address, and approximate date.

United States - New England

The Thom Hindle Collection contains the negatives of 30 New England photographers from the early 1900s.

United States - Ohio

[Book] Gagel, Diane - Ohio Photographers 1839-1900. ISBN: 1-887694-07-2

United States - Pennsylvania

[Book] Ries, Linda & Jay W Ruby - Directory of Pennsylvania Photographers 1839 - 1900 - Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.  ISBN 0-89271-084-5.  This book lists over 6 400 photographers.  A review is at this site.

United States - Tennessee

A list of photographers of Giles County, including the city of Pulaski.

United States - Washington State

The University of Washington has a database of Pacific Northwest Photographers which includes Alaska and Washington states.