The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

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The name ferrotyping comes from smooth ferrotype tins used in the print-glazing process. Today this process can mean the print-glazing process with chromium plated steel tins, plastic, glass or any other smooth hard surface. All old photographic papers had a special glossy emulsion and by pressing into firm contact with a smooth surface when drying, the fibres of the gelatin became compressed and formed a smooth glossy print surface.

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John Murray with six others
by Unknown photographer
NPG x126861

Frank Pick
by Howard Coster
NPG x22842

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Scientific techniques

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Black History Month

Take a tour exploring our Collection created by Alayo Akinkugbe for Black History Month in 2020.

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A Picture of Health

Learn about pioneers in medicine, health and social reform from 1840 to 1920.

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