Bodleian Opening times: Mon - Sat 10:00 - 17:00, Sun 11:00 - 16:00 

Bodleian Weston Library, Broad Street, OX1 3BG

Wheelchair accessible, large print captions & audio guide available

A New Power:
Photography in Britain 1800 - 1850

1 Feb - 7 May 2023
Weston Library, Bodleian Libraries

Can you imagine a world without photography? Explore how the world changed forever in the early days of this incredible invention.

Natural Magic: Experiments in Photography

17 March – 4 June 2023

Transept, Weston Library, Bodleian Libraries

Discover the processes of the chemical experimenters responsible for the invention of photography. Using everything from gold and iron to ground-up vegetables, explore how artists have experimented with a surprising array of things to create a photograph.

Bright Sparks: Photography and the Talbot Archive

17 March – 18th June 2023

Treasury Gallery, Weston Library, Bodleian Libraries

Explore the legacy of the British inventor of photography, William Henry Fox Talbot, and how his images still influence photographers today. This exhibition puts this 180-year-old archive in conversation with contemporary artists from around the world.

Listen again
Modern Times: Photography in Britain 1800–1850
17 March 2023, Weston Library

Geoffrey Batchen explores the first fifty years of photography in Britain.

The announcement of photography’s invention in January 1839, first in Paris and then in London, introduced a new power into British life. This new power—derived from photography’s capacity to automatically capture the images created in a camera—was soon being used for every conceivable purpose. The two exhibitions curated by Geoffrey Batchen for the Bodleian Libraries focus on those uses by tracing the development and dissemination of photographic images within Britain during the medium’s first fifty years. By identifying the key themes addressed in the exhibitions, Batchen shows how photography intersected with all aspects of a nascent modernity, helping to make Britain the society it is today.