About Us

RPS Historical Group AGM, Bradford, March 2015The Royal Photographic Society's Historical Group was founded in 1972 to promote knowledge of the history of photography in all its aspects, and to encourage the preservation of photographs, photographic equipment and documents relating to the history of photography. 

Members of the Group (some of whom are shown, left) are able to use their expertise on the care of the RPS Collection, archive and library which is now held at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

The Group acts as a forum for all members and non-members world-wide who have an interest in photographic history, from the early-nineteenth century to the present day. Membership of the Historical Group is diverse, including historians, academics, museum professionals, auction specialists, collectors, dealers, and general enthusiasts. Their interests range from particular photographers, aesthetic movements, cameras, processes and photographic technology. Articles on these and other topics are published in The PhotoHistorian, the illustrated journal of the Group.

A programme of events for members, involving visits to view collections, talks and meetings, runs each year, with the Annual General Meeting normally being held in April. These events are held in London, Birmingham and Bradford, as well as in other areas of the UK.

The Group also represents an expert body of knowledge on historical photographic matters, and is willing whenever possible to  assist members and others with their research.

Membership of the Historical Group is available to members of The Royal Photographic Society at a cost of £20 per annum which includes The PhotoHistorian three times each year, email newsletters and free admission to Group events.

To join the Historical Group:

You will need to join The Society to be a member of the Historical Group. You can join a Group for FREE in your first year of membership - see the 'New Members' section below for details.

New members
You can join a Group FREE in your first year by:

1) Choosing the Historical Group at the point of joining on the website.


2) Contacting membership@rps.org


3) Filling out & returning the form included in your welcome pack.

Current RPS Members:

1) Login to the website
2) Click on 'My RPS' at the top right of the screen
3) Click on the blue 'My Account' tab
4) Click on the 'Join a Special Interest Group' link in the right hand column.
5) Select the Historical Group and you will then be asked to make a pro-rata card payment.