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


Photographic History Research Centre

Influential writers

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

Professor Elizabeth Edwards features in a new book listing the most influential writers on the subject of photography both living and historical.    
Diverse Migrations: Photography out of Bounds

19-20 June 2017


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)

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Research Projects

PHRC Projects include:



2019 Conference: The Business of Photography

Call for papers coming soon.  

Summer Conference 2017

Diverse Migrations: Photography out of Bounds

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

AHRC funding for UK/EU arts and humanities research students

The Midlands4Cities 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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Mission and vision

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