Photographic History Research Centre (PHRC)

Since 2012, the Photographic History Research Centre (PHRC) has been committed to international and interdisciplinary research on photography and its theories and practices from the nineteenth century to the present day. Research staff at the Centre explore the multiple strands of photography’s history 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
  • Art and heritage
  • Evidential and informational values
  • 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, science and technology 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.

PHRC supervises doctoral studies in the social, cultural and technological histories of photography. Supervision is available from PHRC’s internationally recognised team of research staff.

We are currently interested in supervising doctoral students working on: 

  • Photography in cultural/digital heritage
  • Family photography
  • Photography in Jewish cultures
  • Socio-political photographic cultures of Eastern Europe and the Middle East
  • Photography and the emotions
  • Scientific, commercial and technological practices of photography
  • Social, cultural and institutional practices of/in photographic archives
  • Contemporary Chinese visual culture and photographic practices
  • Conflict photography

PHRC Members

Dr Jenifer Chao, VC2020 lecturer in Journalism
T: 7322

Prof Gil Pasternak, Professor of Photographic Cultures and Heritage
Clephan 1.01c
T: 3951

Dr Beatriz Pichel, VC2020 Lecturer in Photographic History
Clephan 1.01d
T: 6427

Dr Kelley Wilder, Director of the Photographic History Research Centre
Clephan 1.01b
T: +44 (0)116 207 8865

Emeritus professors

Professor Emeritus Stephen Brown
Professor Emeritus Elizabeth Edwards FBA
Professor Emeritus Roger Taylor


The Correspondence of William Henry Fox Talbot Project
Roger Fenton’s Crimean letterbooks
Photographic Exhibitions in Britain, 1839-1865
Exhibitions of the Royal Photographic Society, 1870-1915
Members of the Royal Photographic Society, 1853–1901
The journal of Amélina Petit de Billier

Contact PHRC

De Montfort University
Clephan 1.01b
The Gateway

T: +44 (0)116 207 8865
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