We provide a copyright search service connecting image license requests with image owners through our network of contacts at newspaper archives and commercial photo libraries.
We are mapping the lives and whereabouts of press photo agencies and newspaper photographers based in and around Fleet Street and the UK from 1904 - 1995, with a long term plan to map all press photo agencies throughout the world.
Why is it important?
At the turn of the 20th century, there was vast growth in press agencies and photographers due to the massive thirst for images in newspapers. Many are still in existence but others have been sold, absorbed or simply disappeared, effectively leaving gaps in the history of this industry… many agency offices were bombed during the WWII London Blitz resulting negative and print files being water damage from the hoses quenching the fires …most archives were in the building basements.
The Press Photo History Project is building a ‘family tree’, which is helping to find the original owners of content. Eventually this would also provide an educational resource centred on the history of press photography. Starting with the Mapping of Fleet Street, this aims to include an index to photo agencies working in and around the ‘street’ and photographers memories of working lives.