Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Francis Frith Collection images join Ancestry

Ancestry has added a new database entitled UK, City, Town and Village Photos, 1857-2005, containing images from the Francis Frith Collection. Despite the title, the collection includes images from across Britain and Ireland, not just the UK.

From the site:

The Francis Frith Collection contains photographs of almost every city, town and village in Great Britain, with some coverage of other countries including Ireland. The photos are primarily topographical - of towns, landmarks and landscapes. These include thousands of individual streets, churches, castles, landscapes, businesses, bridges, municipal buildings and locations that have been important in individuals' lives.

Founded by Francis Frith in 1860, the company published over 300,000 photographs which were sold to tourists as souvenirs, and later as postcards. Frith is recognised as one of the great pioneers of photography, having undertaken three expeditions up the Nile to record the pyramids and antiquities of the Middle East between 1857 and 1859. He is best known today for the amazing archive his company created. Today the Collection is famous as an outstanding record of British towns and villages over 110 years and provides a lot of information about everyday life over that period. The company continues to add to the archive and publish in the Frith tradition.

The collection is accessible at and can be searched by keyword or browsed by locality.


For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit

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