Blueprint 2013

Blueprint was a collaboration between a number of Glasgow galleries, archives and museums which took place in February 2013. The event explored the links between alternative photographic processes and fine art photographic printmaking (printing with ink) and technical drawings.

Special Collections in the University of Glasgow Library were pleased to participate in the Heritage Trail on the afternoon of Tuesday 19th February. It provided us with an opportunity to make connections between our outstanding collections illustrating the development of photography from the 1840s onwards, and plans and drawings from the University and business collections held by our colleagues in Archive Services, exploring the use of photography in art, design, engineering and architecture.

Early photography

The University of Glasgow’s Dougan Collection is of international importance containing almost a thousand original images by the pioneering Scottish partnership of David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson. We will have on display an example of an early calotype negative and a salt print, together with early publications of their work. R O Dougan (1904-1999) was a significant collector of early photography who also acquired fine images by 19th century professional photographers working in Britain and abroad, including Samuel Bourne's stunning pictures of the Himalayas. Dougan's collection, purchased by the University in 1953, also contains interesting examples of amateur work including an album attributed to Fanny Pickard (b 1847) which contains comparisons of different processes and exposure times.

Photography as illustration and documentation

We also had on display groundbreaking works including The Pencil of Nature (1844) and The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals by Charles Darwin, one of the earliest scientific books to use photographic illustrations. Thomas Annan's Old Closes and Streets of Glasgow and an album documenting railway building in 1870s Australia demonstrate the use of photography in recording civic building and engineering projects.

You can see a selection of these images in our Blueprint flickr set.

Please see our Photography subject page for more information about our collections and access arrangements.