Dougan Collection

This collection, which documents the development of photography from the 1840s to the early 20th century, was purchased in 1953 from Robert O Dougan, then Deputy Librarian of Trinity College, Dublin.

The collection includes 468 salted paper prints and 490 calotype negatives produced in the 1840s by the pioneering Scottish photographic partnership of David Octavius Hill (1802-1870) and Robert Adamson (1821-1848). This is second in size and significance only to the holdings of their work in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. (There is some overlap but much that is unique in both collections.)

In addition, Dougan acquired over 100 volumes and albums of photographs. These include early illustrated publications on photography and prints by local and international professionals such as Robert Macpherson (1811-1872), Samuel Bourne (1834-1912) and Thomas Annan (1829-1887). There are also interesting and unique examples of amateur work. Some of this material has been digitised and the images are available online.

Subsequent additions made to the collection (over 100 since 1953) are indicated by a Sp Coll Dougan Add shelf mark.

How to find material in the Dougan collection

  • Sp Coll Dougan – this link will take you to item records of all the bound volumes and albums, including Dougan Add items, retrieved via our rare books search
  • Some material can also be found via our manuscripts search. This includes item records containing digital images, where these are available.
  • See the Hill & Adamson webpages for a detailed introduction to this part of the collection including a dedicated Hill and Adamson search of digitised photographs

The following may also be useful:

Digitised material in the Dougan collection available online:

  • Hill and Adamson: 1840s, negatives and salt prints produced by renowned Scottish partnership - image database searchable by keyword, subject and location
  • Dougan 105: 1850s, salt prints and waxed paper negatives of Egypt and France - image linked to each item record
  • Dougan 106: 1852-1899, mainly scenes in Italy, some in France - image linked to each item record
  • Dougan 108: 1856-1875, England (mainly north-east) - image linked to each item record
  • Dougan 96: c 1860-1870, photographs of South Asia - image linked to each item record
  • Dougan 101 and Dougan 102: c 1862–c 1871, mainly Amateur Photographic Association images taken in Britain - image linked to each item record
  • Dougan 103 and Dougan 104: 1870s, mainly Australia (particularly New South Wales) – image linked to each item record
  • Dougan 91: 1880-1890s, mainly Scotland and north-east England - image linked to each item record 
  • Dougan 86: 1890s, East Asia (mainly Japan and China) - image linked to each item record

The following web exhibitions also feature items from the Dougan collection

Access to photographic material

Please note that access to original photographic material is strictly by appointment only and requires advance (a minimum of 24 hours) notice. Please contact the Special Collections Reading Room: 0141 330 6767 or