Portrait of a Living Archive.

Portrait of a living archive is an excellent exhibition by Photographers Jamie Robinson and Gwen Jones…… if your in Manchester make sure you go and see it.

“This exhibition is a photo-story that brings us face to face with some of the people who inhabit the collections of the John Rylands Library, and gives us their viewpoint from inside the archive.

When people think about libraries they tend to think of them as the ancestral home of written rather than visual culture. Many people, therefore, are surprised to discover that the John Rylands Library houses a significant visual collection. They are often astonished to learn that this collection is of international scope, importance and interest, containing paintings, drawings, sculptures, textiles, ceramics, prints, and engraved, as well as etched and painted books. What is perhaps even less well known is that the Rylands collection of photography is especially rich containing a comprehensive range of formats, processes, subjects, and genres including portraits.


Likewise when people think about specialist libraries, like the Rylands, they don’t necessarily realise that our collections are constantly growing and teem with the life of the living alongside the venerably dead. Many contemporary poets, novelists, artists, photographers, printers, and editors (to name but a few) are present in its collections”


From the Redeye website:

“Redeye is very pleased to have started to build a partnership with The John Rylands Library, with the aim of spotlighting their comprehensive but little-known historic photography collections, one of the hidden photographic gems of the North of England. The first fruit of this relationship is their new series of events exploring aspects of the collection and historical photography, the work of visual artist Li Yuan-chia, and how to navigate the analogue/digital age in archives.”

Please contact the library for more details about this event and the associated exhibition, ‘Portrait of a Living Archive’.

Also as part of the Portrait of a Living Archive exhibition/Event, I’ll be shooting wet plate portraits at the Historic Entrance of the John Rylands Library, Deansgate, Manchester. Saturday 28th September 9am – 5pm. Come along if your in the area.