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Photographic History Research Centre (PHRC), De Montfort University (DMU), Leicester, UK


Photographic History Research Centre


Professor Elizabeth Edwards features in a new book listing the most influential writers on the subject of photography both living and historical.

Photographic History Research Centre

The Photographic History Research Centre (PHRC) has a unique approach to photography and its social and cultural manifestations. It undertakes innovative research on photography and its practices from the early nineteenth century to the present day. It is committed to moving beyond disciplinary boundaries to explore the multiple strands of photography’s history, approaching it as an interconnected set of social and cultural processes, and as a visual economy which embraces the photographic industry, networks of photographic knowledge, science and technology, aesthetic, evidential and informational values and institutional practices.

The Centre is especially focused on extending both the theoretical and historiographical base of photographic history and access to its primary sources. It forms a centre for international scholarship, drawing in scholars  with interests in a wide range of different but interrelated fields, including history of science, geography, anthropology, art history, cultural studies, museology, material culture studies, digital media and three-dimensional imaging. It also provides an important base for the development of digital technologies for resource preservation, publication, discovery and access. Learn more about PHRC resources.

Postgraduate teaching is a core activity of the PHRC. Teaching and supervision is available from PHRC’s internationally recognized team of research staff. It offers a unique and innovative MA in Photographic History and Practice and a PhD programme which reflects its range and diversity of interests.


What your family photo collection says about you

Contact information

Photographic History Research Centre (PHRC)

Research Projects

Current PHRC projects include:


Summer Conference 2016

June 20-21
Photography: Between Anthropology and History
20-21 June 2016

Register now and get the provisional programme

Call for papers open until January 20 2016, further information.


Radio 3 Essay series - 'The Five Photographs that (You Didn't Know) Changed Everything

16 February 2015, 10.45pm on Radio 3

PHRC has put together a series of Essays for BBC Radio Three examining photographs which are historically important yet little-known.

The Essay

DMU's acclaimed photographic historians to take over national airwaves for BBC series - news article

The Five Photographs That (You Didn't Know) Changed Everything - news article  

Available on BBC iPlayer

Spring seminars

Cultures of Photography Seminars

Personal wartime photography in Egypt

Travelling Memories: the Boissonnas photo-albums Salonique et ses basiliques (1913) and Smyrne (1919)


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AHRC funding for UK/EU arts and humanities research students

The Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership will be awarding 410 PhD studentships over a five year period to excellent research students in the arts and humanities, find out more .

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