Over 11,000 photographs and negatives from GB Shaw’s photographic collection are now browsable online, SHAW PHOTOGRAPHS catalogue. They include images of Shaw with people as varied as Sir Edward Elgar and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, portraits of Shaw, self-portraits, portraits by Shaw of friends and associates, press photographs (such as a group portrait of him with the cast of Major Barbara), production images, Shaw’s Corner and Ayot St Lawrence and holiday pictures from trips to places such as Continental Europe, Algeria, Ireland and the UK. Of these there are over 1,700 of his negatives available, these have not been seen since he put them away in drawers at Shaw’s Corner after processing them. To celebrate Through the lens: the photographic world of GB Shaw features highlights of the collection.
All images appear as close to the original as possible to allow an authentic viewing experience and thus have not been cleaned up. Each description contains details such as date, location, how the image was photographically processed, measurements and photographer where all this is known or has been found out]. The loose prints, SHAW PHOTOGRAPHS/1 are still being scanned and so not all catalogue entries have images but these are being updated on a weekly basis.
Searching the catalogue
The catalogue has had a revamp and now features a gallery and collection highlight section as well as new ways of searching. If you want to view the entire of Shaw’s photographic collection click here.
Using the ‘Quick Catalogue Search’ box at the top right you can search phrases, names, places etc. Please note you will get results from all LSE collections and not just Shaw’s photographs.
Use the ‘Advanced Search’ tab on the horizontal menu bar to search by ‘Persons’ [names, including organisations], ‘Places’ or ‘Catalogue’. The latter allows for more focused searching than the quick search box as you can narrow the search to SHAW PHOTOGRAPHS and enter search words into a variety of fields, ‘any text’ being the most flexible.
Please keep in mind that stage names/alternative names will not be found by searching under ‘Persons’ (as people are indexed by authorised/formal names) for these use ‘Catalogue’. The main example is Mrs Patrick Campbell, use ‘Catalogue’ then ‘Any Text’ (her authorised/formal name was Beatrice Stella Cornwallis-West, this would be found using ‘Persons’).
LSE also holds Shaw’s business papers, search SHAW, and diaries, search SHAW DIARIES.
If you spot a place or person you recognise you can e-mail me email@example.com: please include the reference number of the image for example, SHAW PHOTOGRAPHS/1/1345. If you have any questions please look below at ‘Frequently asked questions’. If you can’t find the answer you need email firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope you enjoy browsing the images online.
Frequently asked questions
What does the reference number SHAW PHOTOGRAPHS/1 mean? That the item is a loose print/photograph/positive.
What does the reference number SHAW PHOTOGRAPHS/2 mean? That the item is a photographic album/in a photographic album.
What does the reference number SHAW PHOTOGRAPHS/3 mean? That the item is a negative.
What does the reference number SHAW PHOTOGRAPHS/4 mean? That the item is a paper based, mainly annotated envelopes.
Why do some appear wonky? Many of the images have been hand cut by Shaw or have had borders added that are not straight at the time of processing. A small number have curved over time and these naturally spring creating the appearance of wonky edges: if you see a print with a cream support along the bottom this is why.
Why can’t I find a person/place I know Shaw was friends with/visited? There are still some items to be catalogued the person/place may yet appear. There do seem to be some gaps (a photograph of TE Lawrence on one of his visits to Shaw’s Corner remains elusive and is a good case in point) and sadly it seems he simply didn’t always get his camera out. Some people and places are unidentified, for unidentified people type ‘unidentified man’, ‘woman’, ‘group’ or ‘child’ into the ‘Any Text’ field and SHAW PHOTOGRAPHS into the ‘Ref No’ field under ‘advanced search/catalogue’, for unidentified places type ‘unidentified location/place’ [or 'unidentified man etc in the 'Title' field]. Also, cataloguing is not infallible, it may be a lake has been identified as Ireland but is in fact Scotland (even many of Charlotte Shaw’s inscriptions have a question mark after names etc and GB Shaw is quite good at contradicting himself marking two copies of the same prints as different places!). That is why we are happy for people to comment [see above].
Why do some records not have images? The most likely reason is because they are still in copyright. The exception is TE Lawrence. There are so many prints by him that not all have been scanned because the project is concerned with Shaw as a photographer however, a selection has been scanned and if time allows more will follow. To find photographs by TE Lawrence search ‘TE Lawrence print’ in the ‘Title’ field under ‘advanced search/catalogue’.
Can the prints be seen off line? Yes, these can be seen at LSE Archives
Can the negatives and albums be seen off line? The negatives have been catalogued as they are returned from specialist scanning and so are not fully available until digitisation and cataloguing is complete. Over 1,700 are already available. Due to the nature of negatives they can not be viewed at LSE and are due to be frozen to halt their deterioration. The albums are due to be photographed and the catalogue entries will then have images, we are also developing a browse tool for you to look through the albums, clicking on images as you like to see them full size. These can be seen at LSE Archives [check before visiting that they are not away for photography].
I wish to publish one of the images and need a high resolution copy, what should I do? In the first instance e-mail the request to email@example.com. Please note, responsibility to clear copyright rests with you and not LSE (although we will give you advise where we can). We will tell you if the image is copyrighted.
Is the catalogue covered by copyright? Yes, the text and digital images are copyrighted to LSE. E-mail requests for use of either should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Images may also be copyrighted to the photographer, in the case of GB Shaw the Society of Authors manage his copyright. WATCH is a useful resource for checking individual copyrights.
How do I find out more? Visit our blog and click ‘Bernard Shaw’ (under the heading tags on the right) for posts about the project and photographs or visit our project page where you will find information about the project or our Facebook page. Lastly, we have two online exhibitions, Snapshots from Man & Cameraman and Through the lens: the photographic world of GB Shaw
Man & Cameraman
Copyright: LSE, George Bernard Shaw Estate (Society of Authors) no part of this post may be used without permission. LSE is not responsible for content on externally linked sites.