|Heinz Library and Archive Reading Room|
All papers and photographs are kept onsite, and there are around 250,000 photos, comprising loose prints, albums, and negatives. Because of their relationship with the NPG, photographs in the collection were centered around the subject of the portraiture, rather than the photographer. In recent years, interest and research has shifted to include the photographer. The photo collections are exclusively portraits and serve to demonstrate the history of portraiture. However, the collections can also be helpful to genealogists, and those looking for portraits of their relatives. A collection of albums from a commercial photographer, for example, includes prominent Hyde Park families sitting for portraits in the 19th century.
|List of 'rats trapped and killed in the Gallery'|
Other gems include postcards, the first commercial attempts of the Gallery, which were commissioned to contemporary writers and written about famous figures. Some of the resulting postcards were a bit rude, wordy, or impersonal, and were more telling of the writer than the figure in question.
Finally, the archive digitizes on demand and by need, or with an external funding project. Their online catalog and digitized collections can be found at the link below.
Although this was an optional visit, I enjoyed it immensely. The archivist, Bryony, spoke about what it means to be an archivist, and her own career. As a student about to embark on similar career, I found it helpful and interesting to hear her explain things in her own terms.
I would suggest this as a must visit!
Check out the Heinz Archive online!