Hill and Adamson Collection



The Scott Monument, Edinburgh, under construction. Late 1844, HA0469Although the process of photography was only announced to the public in 1839, by 1843 Robert Adamson and David Octavius Hill were producing some of the most sophisticated and intriguing works to date. From their Edinburgh workshop, the two created a record of Victorian Scotland, documenting many of the important figures and buildings of the day, and scenes of everyday life. This partnership only lasted four years, but the body of work Hill and Adamson created remains important to both historians and photographers alike.

Glasgow University Library's Collection of Hill and Adamson's work is second only to that of the Scottish National Portait Gallery. Comprising of many original calotype negatives, salted paper prints, later carbon prints, glass copy negatives, equipment and manuscripts, the collection holds many unique objects representing a significant portion of the total body of work known to have been produced.

These photographic images are very fragile, but through the use of information technology it becomes possible to search and display the collection without damaging the originals. Many prints from the collection's negatives are now lost, but for the first time these prints can be viewed by means of digitally created 'virtual' positives. In the creation of this package, which aims to present the Glasgow University collection of Hill and Adamson's work to a wider audience, each original was re-photographed and professionally digitised.

The image shown here is The Scott Monument, Edinburgh, under construction. Late 1844, HA0469.

    David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson
An Interactive Catalogue of the Collection at Glasgow University

GUL 2002