Imogen Lyons

Imogen Lyons

Photographs Cataloguer

Job description

My role as Photographs Cataloguer is to identify, research and catalogue the most important subjects in the Photographs Collection. Predominantly focusing on the twentieth century collection, I have worked extensively on cataloguing negatives from the Bassano and Elliott & Fry studios, prints by Hay Wrightson Ltd and 880 portraits of Anglican Bishops. My role also involves responding to enquiries from the public and the Picture Library regarding works in our collection and requests to view prints and albums.

Alongside my cataloguing work I have worked on a number of displays and Photographs of the Month. Subjects include the work of photographer Bob Collins, the mathematician Alan Turing, Mercedes Gleitze (the first Englishwoman to swim the Channel) and the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.


I studied History of Art at the University of Warwick and went on to attain a Post Graduate degree in British Art History. I started at the National Portrait Gallery as an intern in the Photographs Department whilst studying for my Post Graduate degree and was subsequently asked to work on cataloguing the Bassano collection. I took up the position of Photographs Cataloguer in March 2011.

Research interests

My areas of interest have been greatly widened since working with the Gallery. My academic interest concentrated on social art history, looking particularly at architects in post-war Britain and what the public perceived to be their role. I have combined this with my work in the Photographs Department by researching portraits of nineteenth and twentieth century architects and others who were key players in the planning and design of important British buildings. Whilst cataloguing various collections I have also discovered new areas of interest, often focusing on pioneering twentieth century women.