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Introduction to the History of Photography

This workshop introduces participants to the history of photography.

Introduction to the History of Photography

The development of photography had a profound impact on documentary heritage as well as creative practice. This workshop explores the role of photographs as historical documents using rare materials from Special Collections and University Archives. A small number of photographs and photograph albums have been digitized and are available online here.

This workshop introduces participants to the history of photography and methods for interpreting photographs. Participants will gain hands-on experience with different photographic processes and prints, including daguerrotypes, tin types, ambrotypes, stereograms, and collotype prints. Shifting from considering different types of photographs the workshop then asks participants to develop deeper visual literacy skills through working closely with photograph albums from the collection.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this workshop participants will:

  • Know how to handle photographs as cultural heritage objects
  • Have an understanding of different photographic process and how to identify prints
  • Have visual literacy skills needed to analyze photographs as historical objects
  • Understand how and why a photograph and other visual materials can be used as a historical source

Pre-class videos, readings and exercises

Please consult the following handout prior to visiting Special Collections and University Archives.

In class activities and instruction

Each workshop is designed in collaboration with faculty so as to meet the specific needs of the course. In general participants will be introduced to:

References/ additional readings

Collections-based learning, which incorporates rare and unique materials into the curriculum, provides an opportunity for participants to develop primary source literacy. For more information on primary source literacy, see the Guidelines for Primary Source Literacy.

Creative Commons License
This work by The University of Victoria Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License unless otherwise indicated when material has been used from other sources.