Photographers Index
Search Hints

It is possible to simply browse through the entries in the Photographers Index, carry out a simple search using one of a number of different fields, or an advanced search using a combination of several fields.


To browse, simply click on a letter of the alphabet corresponding to one of the following:

  • the first letter of an individual photographer's surname
  • the first letter of a company's name
  • the first letter of the name of a geographical area (e.g. continent, nation, area or inhabited place)
You will then be shown a list of all the corresponding names - simply click on the name of your choice to view the full record.

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The Photographers Index database allows you to perform a search for an individual entry, or set of entries, using a combination of the following fields:

  • name of a photographer
  • gender of a photographer
  • name of a company
  • date - from, or to, a particular year, or between two years
  • geographical area
  • specific photograph or collection
  • a keyword search of all fields

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The Fields

Photographer's name

This refers to individual photographers, both commercial and amateur. You may enter a full name or any combination (truncation) of letters and spaces. The database will be searched for any individual photographer whose name contains that combination of letters in that order. There is no need to use '*' or any such wildcard tool.
e.g. Entering 'John' in this field would bring up entries such as 'John Thomson' and 'Robert Johnson'.
It will only bring up exact matches to the combination entered.


You may limit a search to all female or all male photographers should you wish.

Company Name

This refers to companies and organisations. They need not be commercial photographic enterprises. This field works in exactly the same way as the Photographer's Name field.

Active Dates

It is possible to refine your search by limiting it to the dates during which photographers are active.
e.g. You may search for photographers active after 1900, before 1900 or between 1890 and 1900.

Active Area

This allows you to restrict your search to a particular geographic area. Simply type in the first letter of the area in which you wish to search and then look through the drop-down list for the precise term. Only those areas or places represented in the Index are contained in the list. Where applicable, you may search under former names.
e.g. You may look for photographers active in Myanmar by searching under either 'Myanmar' or 'Burma'.


If there is a particular photograph or collection you are interested in, you may search for details of the photographer (provided they appeared within the Index) by entering all or some of the classmark.


This allows you to search all the fields within all the records. However, this facility is an alternative to the others and so cannot be used in combination with any of them. Be prepared for this search to take longer than the others.

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Further techniques

This section gives more details about improving the efficacy of the literal free-text search in the Name, Date, Photograph and Keyword fields.

It should be borne in mind that whenever searches are carried out using more than one field, the boolean operator will always be 'AND'.
e.g. To search for photographers active in the United Kingdom after 1960 you would enter 'United Kingdom' in the area field and 1960 in the 'from' date field.

In these free-text fields, the search will be carried out for an exact match of everything typed within the field. The only exception to this is that it is NOT case-sensitive. It does not recognise such tools as quotation marks (effectively the field is the quotation marks), boolean operators, or truncation (also referred to as wildcards) such as the asterisk.
e.g. If you were to type 'John Marnham' or 'John AND Marnham' into the keyword field, the searches would return no records even though Marnham's biographical entry begins with 'John Ewart Marnham'. However, entering 'John' in the Photographer's Name field would bring up the entry for 'John Ewart Marnham' as well as 'Robert Johnson' and all others containing those letters in that specific order in any field.

If you cannot find a particular photographer or company, it may be that they did not take any photographs held within the collection. Alternatively, it may be an omission in the Index, which is currently far from exhaustive.

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© Cambridge University Library 2003. Last updated June 2004.
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