Fixed in Time : a new and helpful guide to dating daguerreotypes

The first paragraph on dating images in this useful guide begins like this:

There exist Facebook groups My Daguerreotype Girlfriend and My Daguerreotype Boyfriend. That’s not the kind of dating I’m talking about.

This gentle humor is a good introduction to Sean William Nolan’s work; what he calls his “labor of love.”  His hard work and his scholarship are impressive. In Fixed in Time, available for all through a free download, he methodically lays out the process for making a best guess as to the age of cased daguerreotypes. He has spent years on this and it shows. Copiously illustrated, clear and not fussy or stilted in tone, this is very useable and comprehensive guide. If you have ever wondered about how you might go about figuring out the age of that antique object someone told you was a daguerreotype, or if you are a seasoned collector of these wonderful images, you will find that this is a helpful file to have on your computer.

There is a Facebook page for the guide, and a promise that, for the bother of simply sending Mr Nolan your contact information, you can have updates and access to even more information. Seems a small price to pay for such generosity.


Haunting images of the great cities and historic sites of the Near East from a bygone era through the eyes of an English photographer in royal company.

Cities, Citadels, and Sights of the Near East-Review Kit-1

The American University in Cairo Press has just released a book that looks to be quite interesting. They have sent PHSNE a press kit. Here is the blurb on the content and some of the images.

An update on this: I have now gotten a chance to see and read this book and it is indeed quite wonderful. 

About the Book

In 1862, the Prince of Wales, eldest son of Britain’s Queen Victoria, embarked on a grand tour of the Middle East, for his education and enlightenment. Accompanying the royal party was Francis Bedford, an accomplished practitioner of the still young art of photography, charged with taking views of the cities and historic places visited on the tour for the royal album. The result is an extraordinary collection of some of the best early photographs of Cairo and the temples of Upper Egypt, Jerusalem and the Holy Land, Lebanon and Damascus, Izmir and Constantinople. From timeless views of the Pyramids, the Dome of the Rock, Baalbek, and Hagia Sophia to scenes from another age of the streets of Cairo or tall ships on the Bosphorus, 120 of Bedford’s most outstanding photographs are showcased here in this fascinating visual tour of ancient lands in royal company.

Dome Fountain mosque temple