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The Photographic Collection

An important element of the Armitt is its photographic collection which includes approximately 23,000 photographic albums, prints, portfolio work and glass plate negatives. Predominant is the Herbert Bell collection (c.1880–1930). Bell was the Armitt librarian and a noted photographer. His collection comprises several thousand images including early landscape photography and images of local working people. Bell also made a key study entitled ‘Domestic and Military Architecture’ which documents important local buildings, some of which have since been demolished. The J. W. Brunskill Collection includes some 17,000 glass plate negatives, the life’s work of Windermere photographer James Brunskill. These are largely portraits of exceptional quality, nearly all of which are named and date from the 1860s to 1900. Clearly these are of great value to anyone interested in local family history.