четверг, 24 сентября 2009 г.

Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Photography

by John Hannavy

Supported by an international board of advisors and contributors, editor Hannavy has produced an impressive and authoritative, albeit somewhat expensive, resource encompassing the photographers, techniques, equipment, theories, literature, exhibitions, history, and organizations involved in photography during its early development. There are also regional and country overviews. Along with the alphabetical list of entries, entries are grouped into 12 thematic areas: “Companies,” “Formats,” etc. Entry length ranges “from shorter 200 word entries that provide snapshots of photographic figures and other key elements of nineteenth century photography to large, 5,000 word entries that provide detailed, analytical scholarship.” Some 850 of the approximately 1,200 signed entries treat people—photographers, inventors, patrons, and critics. Many entries have see also and further-reading references. Both volumes contain the detailed 64-page index. Illustrations are few and far between but do include unique, seldom-seen images. They are not always next to an appropriate entry. The list of contributors does not include their affiliations. This is wonderful set to browse as well as to search for information on the obscure as well as the famous photographers of the period. Information sometimes refers back to photography’s predecessors and forward to lives that extended into the twentieth century. As with any large, comprehensive work, there is missing information, which some readers will notice. When comparing the finished work with the planned list of entries published in 2005, it is apparent that some did not attract contributors, others were added, and editorial decisions were made, as the planned one volume grew to two substantial ones. However, the wealth of information found here, and in no comparable work, will be used by photographers (including instructors, experimenters, and students); historians of art, science, and technology; genealogists studying old family images; and interested general readers for many years to come. This a fine reference work deserving inclusion in all libraries having large art/photography collections. --Linda Loos Scarth

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