The Ricketts Collection

Ricketts, Jane
Ricketts, Howard

This photographic archive is comprised of works that were privately collected by Howard and Jane Ricketts, acquired by the National Science and Media Museum in 1990. The collection concentrates on British nineteenth century photography, particularly in the first fifty years after its invention in 1839 and includes work by Jabez Hogg, the Baigent family, Francis Frith, Hill & Adamson, Roger Fenton and Herbert Ponting. Types of photography in the collection range from ethnographic and topographic to portraiture.

The Ricketts Collection contains ambrotypes and daguerreotypes, stereo daguerreotypes, photographic prints, albums of photographs and photographically illustrated books. The collection also includes some objects including a stereoscope, a magic lantern, and an enlarger.

The Ricketts Collection also includes other distinct collections. These include The Herbert G Stewart Archive, The Francis Bedford Collection and the Ham House Collection. The Francis Bedford Collection is of 19th century topographic photography. The Ham House Collection is a collection of photographic prints that were exchanged between members of a photographic society in Twickenham and includes works by Howlett, Cressley, and Fenton. The Herbert G Stewart Archive consists of 22 albums of members of the Russian royal family taken between 1908 and The Russian Revolution. These are complemented by an 1894 album by the Dowager Empress of Russia.

The printed books in this collection include “The Expression of the Emotions” by Darwin, “The Stereoscope” by Brewster and “Egypt, Nubia and Ethiopia” by Frith. There are photographic albums from Russia, Europe, Africa, India, Singapore, Brazil, Manilla, Japan, New Zealand, the United States of America and Central America.

A detailed listing of this collection is available.


approximately 13,000 items in total (approximately 11,000 in the Bedford Collection)
Photography, Ethnography, Topography, Stereoscopy, Daguerreotype. and Ambrotype
Access is given in accordance with the NMeM access policy. Material from this collection is available to researchers through the museum’s Insight facility
System of Arrangement: