After two years of fundraising, Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries have finally secured the £2.25 million (approx. $3.6 million) necessary to buy the personal archive of early photography pioneer William Henry Fox Talbot. Although Daguerre is often credited with the invention of photography, Fox Talbot’s book “Pencil of Nature” was an early development for paper-based processes and the first photographically-illustrated book. The archive includes objects photographed in the book, documents relating to both his work and his personal life, and many other items. The Bodleian Libraries have several plans in the works for the archive including a 2017 exhibition, a catalogue raisonné of his work, and an online archive for scholarly research.
“We are so pleased to have reached our fundraising target and are at last able to secure the Fox Talbot archive,” Richard Ovenden, Bodleian’s Librarian, said in a statement. “We are extremely grateful for all the donations we received, from the grants awarded by the Art Fund and the NHMF to all the individual donations and for the unwavering support we’ve had in our campaign. We look forward to making this fascinating and important resource available to scholars, students and the photographic community.”
— Ashton Cooper (ashton_cooper)