Women Photographers in the Historic England Archive

Discover the women photographers whose work enriches the collections of the Historic England Archive.

Inspired by the centenary of women first getting the vote in 1918, we want to make the women photographers who have recorded our historic environment more well-known, and their photography more widely accessible. Featured here is a selection from our collections.

  • Introduction to Women Photographers in the Historic England Archive

    The Historic England Archive collections include work produced by a wide variety of women who pursued photography for diverse motivations.

  • The Archive’s Earliest Photo Taken by a Woman

    The Historic England Archive’s earliest known photograph by a woman was taken in 1864.

  • Emilie Montgomery Gardner (1882-1959)

    Record photography of rural and urban buildings, created by Ministry investigator and former women’s suffrage campaigner Emilie Montgomery Gardner.

  • Alice Marcon

    Alice’s photographs are an excellent record of rural and village life in the last years of the 19th century.

  • Margaret Harker

    Margaret achieved a number of milestones for women in the field of photography.

  • Eileen ‘Dusty’ Deste

    Eileen documented disappearing industries and threatened architecture in the 1960s and 1970s.

  • Margaret Tomlinson

    Margaret documented buildings threatened by destruction during the Second World War.

  • Ethel Booty

    Ethel’s photographs from the 1940s to the 1960s record church architecture and picturesque villages.

  • Ursula Clark

    Ursula’s high-quality photographs were used to illustrate a number of books on architecture.

  • Marjory L Wight

    Marjory’s photographs from the 1920s to the 1950s focus on church architecture and ruined monasteries.

  • Katherine J Macfee

    Katherine’s photographs record life in London in the early 20th century, and rural pastimes and crafts.

  • Mary Theodora Pollit

    Mary’s small collection records historic buildings, monuments and picturesque villages.

  • Patricia Payne

    Pat has worked for the Historic England Archive for nearly 40 years shooting a wide variety of buildings across the Midlands and southern counties.