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National Photographic Record


5679 Portraits in set

The National Photographic Record began in 1917, during the First World War, at the instigation of Walter Stoneman, the chief photographer for the long established firm of Russell & Sons. A selected range of eminent people of the day were invited to make an appointment to sit at Stoneman's studio and from each sitting a mounted print was added to the NPR. Reproduction fees from the publication of any of these photographs were shared between the photographer and the National Portrait Gallery. The collection was made for record purposes only, with no intention of the results being exhibited. Despite controversy caused by working exclusively with one selected photographer, the collection of postcard-sized prints of eminent people of the day grew over the years to an archive of over 10,000 subjects. Each year approximately 200 new subjects were added to an alphabetical sequence now housed in 436 boxes and viewable by appointment. Stoneman was succeeded, on his retirement and death, by Walter Bird (active 1958-1967), and then by Godfrey Argent (active 1967-1970). In addition, the Gallery also holds approximately 10,000 NPR whole- and half-plate glass negatives taken between 1917 and 1958, arranged chronologically, which consist of up to five alternative poses taken at the NPR sitting.

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Sir John Hannah Gordon, by William Hammer & Co - NPG x16469

Sir John Hannah Gordon

by William Hammer & Co
bromide print, 1910s
NPG x16469

Edward George Villiers Stanley, 17th Earl of Derby, by James Russell & Sons - NPG x167103

Edward George Villiers Stanley, 17th Earl of Derby

by James Russell & Sons
bromide print, circa 1910s
NPG x167103

Patrick M'Mahon Glynn, by William Hammer & Co - NPG x167836

Patrick M'Mahon Glynn

by William Hammer & Co
bromide print, 1910s
NPG x167836

Sir John Hannah Gordon, by William Hammer & Co - NPG x167876

Sir John Hannah Gordon

by William Hammer & Co
bromide print, 1910s
NPG x167876

Sir Walter Hartwell James, possibly by Walter Stoneman - NPG x168584

Sir Walter Hartwell James

possibly by Walter Stoneman
bromide print, 1910s
NPG x168584

James Bryce, 1st Viscount Bryce, by Walter Stoneman - NPG x166190

James Bryce, 1st Viscount Bryce

by Walter Stoneman
bromide print, circa 1916
NPG x166190

Sir Willoughby Robert Dottin Maycock, by Walter Stoneman - NPG x186569

Sir Willoughby Robert Dottin Maycock

by Walter Stoneman
bromide print, circa 1916
NPG x186569

Thomas Lough, by Walter Stoneman - NPG x166900

Thomas Lough

by Walter Stoneman
bromide print, 1917
NPG x166900

Francis Seymour Inglefield, by Walter Stoneman - NPG x169345

Francis Seymour Inglefield

by Walter Stoneman
bromide print, 1917
NPG x169345

Sir Godfrey Marshall Paine, by Walter Stoneman - NPG x169561

Sir Godfrey Marshall Paine

by Walter Stoneman
bromide print, 1917
NPG x169561

Sir Archibald Paris, by Walter Stoneman - NPG x169809

Sir Archibald Paris

by Walter Stoneman
bromide print, 1917
NPG x169809

William Huskisson, by Walter Stoneman - NPG x190998

William Huskisson

by Walter Stoneman
bromide print, 1917
NPG x190998

Herbert Hensley Henson, by Walter Stoneman - NPG x88136

Herbert Hensley Henson

by Walter Stoneman
bromide print, 1918
NPG x88136

Sir Alfred Thomas Davies, by Walter Stoneman - NPG x167025

Sir Alfred Thomas Davies

by Walter Stoneman
bromide print, 1918
NPG x167025

Oldfield Thomas, by Walter Stoneman - NPG x186925

Oldfield Thomas

by Walter Stoneman
bromide print, 1918
NPG x186925

Sir Aylmer Gould Hunter-Weston, by Walter Stoneman - NPG x186970

Sir Aylmer Gould Hunter-Weston

by Walter Stoneman
bromide print, 1918
NPG x186970

Beauchamp John Colclough Doran, by Walter Stoneman - NPG x167624

Beauchamp John Colclough Doran

by Walter Stoneman
bromide print, 1919
NPG x167624