Talk by Pr Larry J. Schaaf "Out of the Shadows: Henry Talbot, Invention and Historiography", MNHN, Monday, September 26th 2016 at 4:00 pm

You are warmly invited by the Centre de Recherche sur la Conservation (CRC-USR3224) as part of the International Research Group on Photography, to a Talk by Professor Larry J. Schaaf

Out of the Shadows: Henry Talbot, Invention and Historiography

on Monday, September 26th 2016 at 4 PM, at the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France 

abstract : William Henry Fox Talbot first conceived of the art of photography in 1833 and achieved results by 1834. However, it was not until Daguerre announced his process in January 1839 that Talbot was prompted to make his method public.  The two approaches were radically different.  Daguerre produced beautifully detailed unique images on silvered sheets of copper.  Talbot’s photographs were technically inferior, but he conceived of the idea of a negative that could produce multiple prints on paper.  In the end, Talbot’s more versatile approach was to define the mainstream of photography right down to the digital age.  The resources available to the historian for these two men are also radically different.  Only a handful of Daguerre images and Daguerre letters survive and no research notebooks.  For Talbot, there are more than 10,000 letters, hundreds of notebooks and more than 25,000 negatives and prints surviving worldwide.  Around fifteen years ago Prof Schaaf made full transcriptions of the 10,000 letters available online.  However, to have put 25,000 images in a research structure with 1990s technology would have ‘broken the web’.  Today, with advanced technology, the online Catalogue Raisonné of Talbot’s photographs is being prepared for the Bodleian Library in Oxford.  Both the letters and the photographs have implications for the history of photography, conservation, and for historians in many fields.

venue : Muséum national d'histoire naturelle, auditorium de la Grande galerie de l'évolution. 36 rue Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire à Paris (5ème).

registration at