Booklet of cyanotype impressions, 'Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions' by Anna Atkins (1799-1871) Part 1 of Fox Talbot's own copy, sewn in original blue wrapper.
Atkins published a collection of cyanotype photograms of algae, in installments over ten years from 1843, to provide images to accompany contemporary books on algae. This first instalment is credited as the first photographically illustrated book. Atkins used the new process of cyanotype, in which paper brushed with photosensitive chemicals turned a vivid blue when exposed to light. Any specimen laid directly onto the paper left its impression as a white shadow. Atkins had unusual access to scientific knowledge for women of the time, attending lectures by pioneering photographers John Herschel and William Henry Fox Talbot. She presented this copy of her book to Talbot.
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