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These two albums of the Edinburgh Calotype Club, the first photographic club in the world, are among the earliest photograph albums in the world ever assembled. They contain over 300 images by a group of pioneering Scottish photographers working in Edinburgh and St. Andrews.
The Edinburgh Calotype Club was formed in the early 1840s (possibly 1843) after a group of Edinburgh gentlemen were introduced to the calotype process by Sir David Brewster (1781-1868). He was the Principal of the United Colleges of St. Salvator and St. Leonard at St. Andrews and a close friend and associate of William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877), who had discovered the process in 1839. As early as Decemmber 1839, the citizens of Edinburgh had been able to view Talbot’s ‘photogenic drawings’at the Exhibition of Arts, Manufactures and Practical Science at the Assembly Rooms on George Street.