Friday, 29 April 2011

Harrow School Glass Plate Collection

A unique collection believed to be the biggest collection of its kind in private ownership the Harrow Photos collection spans a period from the 1860s to the 1970s Hills & Saunders were photographers to the elite of society of their day - based in Harrow / Eton / Oxford / Cambridge / Aldershot / Sandhurst and of course with a couple of branches in London they focused on the top schools / top universities / the military / the cream of society. Yet of all those studios, it is believed that the negatives have all been destroyed - except for the Harrow Photos collection - the single remaining social collection from that 100 year period.

The collection has been through a number of stages in its life eventually being left stacked in industrial shelving for nearly 30 years. It was rescued in 2009 by its current owner and the last year has been a time looking at the options. It had been hoped to find a means of preserving the photos as a whole, putting them into proper archive conditions and finding a way to scan and share the images.

However, as with all things this costs a lot of money and it has not proven possible to find a way of doing that. As a result and with the advice of a number of the world's leading experts in this type of material the collection is being split and sold off. It is believed that by selling it those buying the individual photos will preserve them and therefore history will be retained.

The alternative (at the time when the collection was rescued) was the skip which was their destiny and it is believed that preserving the images, even across many new owners, will be a better way of dealing with these historic images.

Harrow Photos:


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