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UAL Research Online

The Correspondence of William Henry Fox Talbot

Schaaf, Larry (2003) The Correspondence of William Henry Fox Talbot. [Art/Design Item]

Type of Research: Art/Design Item
Creators: Schaaf, Larry

The Correspondence of William Henry Fox Talbot project has published online full transcriptions of all the known letters to and from this important 19th century figure. The transcriptions are annotated and searchable in a flexible, freeform manner that has proved intuitive for a wide range of users.

Talbot (1800-1877) is best known for his invention of photography, a pervasive art/science that changed the way that we see and record the world. However, Talbot was an important figure in many spheres. A member of an influential and widely-connected family, he was an MP in the first Reform Parliament, a pioneering mathematician, a serious botanist, an author, the holder of patents on railway propulsion, twice the recipient of Royal Society medals for his work on light and crystallography and a pioneer in the field of Assyriology. His diverse correspondence with more than a thousand figures ranges over all these fields. The first recorded letter is from him as an eight year old and the letters continue uninterrupted until just days before his death. As such, they provide a sweeping panorama of the social, political, technical and scientific changes through a good part of the 19th century.

This project had its roots in Schaaf’s research from two decades ago. From 1999 till September 2003, it was hosted at Glasgow University. Schaaf continued to answer enquiries from his office in Baltimore, Maryland, where he has extensive research resources and files on Talbot and his period. In 2005, a British Academy grant allowed the creation of a remote editor, enabling Schaaf to add newly discovered letters (about fifty to date) and to revise and update the existing transcriptions (about 600 have been updated). Enquiries come daily from all over the world, from academics and interested parties, ranging over subject areas as diverse as Talbot’s interests.

Official Website: http://foxtalbot.dmu.ac.uk
Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: RAE2008 UoA63
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Communication
Date: 1 September 2003
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2009 00:02
Last Modified: 03 May 2011 13:30
Item ID: 1399
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1399

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