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Victorian Photography

Course Times & Enrolment

Fridays from 10th May 2024 (Code AA224-301) Add to Basket Fridays from
10th May 2024 11:00am - 1:30pm • (2 classes)
LG47 Paterson's Land, Holyrood Campus • Tutor: Roddy Simpson MA MPhil FSA Scot
£45.00 Concessions and discounts

Course Summary

From its invention in 1839, photography had a huge impact on Victorian society. This course will explore the art, science, products and popularity associated with photography in the Victorian era. 

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment


Content of Course

1. The Invention and the Early Years of Photography: Daguerreotype and Calotype.

2. The Popularity of Photography from 1851: Wet Collodion, Products, Manufacture and Mania.

3. Examples and discussion.

Teaching method(s)

Each session will consist of an introductory lecture followed by open discussion.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course students should be able to:

  • Assess the development of Victorian photography and understand its technological, social, cultural and economic context;

  • Think critically about the construction of historical narratives.


Core Readings


  • Simpson, Roddy, 2012. The Photography of Victorian Scotland. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

  • Watson, Roger, and Rappaport, Helen, 2014. Capturing the Light. London: Pan Books.

  • Exhibition Catalogue. Edinburgh: National Museums Scotland.


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.