Archive Collection DAG - Daguerreotypes

Identity area

Reference code





  • 1840 (Creation)

Level of description

Archive Collection

Extent and medium

6 daguerreotypes

Context area

Name of creator

(1796 - 1858)

Biographical history

Hugh Lee Pattinson was the great grandfather of Sir Lawrence. Born 25 December 1796, he became an industrial chemist. He is known for patenting the Pattinson process of refining silver, as well as his daguerreotype photographs taken in 1840.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Presented in 1926 to Newcastle University Library by Elsa Bell (the presentation was made at the same time as the Gertrude Bell book collection and photograph albums - there is mention in the records that the deguerreotypes had originally belonged to Gertrude Bell's Grandfather)

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Daguerreotypes were an early form of photography which did not permit reproduction therefore the images on the plates are unique. The daguerreoytypes in Special Collections have particular significance because among them are the first-known photographic images of Niagara Falls and the Clifton Hotel, taken in 1840 by metallurgical chemist and industrialist, Hugh Lee Pattinson (1796-1858) who was Gertrude Bell's great-grandfather.

There are also two daguerreotypes depicting Rome which are signed 'Lerebours'. The daguerreotypes have deteriorated: the plates exhibit signs of spotting, surface scratches, there are cracks in the glass and the plates have oxidised but they have been conserved and digitised.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


No further material is expected to be added to the collection

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Closed for general access due to their extreme fragility. Digital copies are available.

Conditions governing reproduction

UK copyright law applies

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

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Existence and location of originals

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Notes area


Preferred citation: Daguerreotypes, DAG, held at Newcastle University Libraries.

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Description control area

Description identifier


Institution identifier

gb 186

Rules and/or conventions used



Level of detail


Dates of creation revision deletion


  • English



Archivist's note

This EAD description created 10/12/2018.

Accession area

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