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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Bourne & Shepherd

Other: Bourne and Shepherd 
Includes: Charles Shepherd 
Includes: Samuel Bourne 
Active:  India
Partnership of Samuel Bourne (1834-1912) and Charles Shepherd. The exact date the partnership started is not clear but it seems to have been in the late 1860s. By 1870 Bourne & Shepherd were operating from Simla and Calcutta and a Bombay branch was opened about 1876.
The Bourne & Shepherd Company was purchased by Colin Murray sometime in the early 1870s. Murray added much of his own work to the existing B& S catalog and continued the company well into the 20th century. Bourne & Shepherd photographers visited Ceylon ca. 1872 and added a series of views to their catalogue.
The studio on SN Bannerjee Road on the Esplanade (now Dharmatala) area of Calcutta (Kolkata) continued despite a fire in 1991 that destroyed much of the historic legacy of the company. On 15 May 2016 the studio finally closed after being in business for 176 years. 
Stereographs project 
Business locations 
Bombay, India 
Calcutta, India 
[Prob. J.E. Bourne; also worked alone in Bombay & Calcutta, 60s-80s; Shepherd worked alone in India, 60s-70s] Issued rare area views, scy., animals, people.
(Alan Griffiths, 23 February 2021) Partnership of Samuel Bourne (1834-1912) and Charles Shepherd. 
T.K. Treadwell & William C. Darrah (Compiled by), Wolfgang, Sell (Updated by), 11/28/2003, Photographers of the World (Non-USA), (National Stereoscopic Association)
Credit: National Stereoscopic Association with corrections and additions by Alan Griffiths and others.
NOTE: You are probably here because you have a stereograph to identify. Please email good quality copies of the front and back to so we can create reference collections for all.

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Further research

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Family history 
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John Falconer, British Library 
A Biographical Dictionary of 19th Century Photographers in South and South-East Asia

Commercial, India
Charles Shepherd was responsible for the photographs in Henry Hardy Cole, The architecture of ancient Delhi, especially the buildings round the Kutb Minar (Arundel Society, London, 1872): ‘By a previous arrangement Mr Shepherd, of the firm of Messrs. Shepherd and Bourne [sic], came to the Kutb to take a set of photographs of the most interesting buildings, and these are here published by order of the Lords of the Committee of Council on Education, to form a collateral series of illustrations to the casts exhibited at the South Kensington Museum. Mr Shepherd’s renown as a skilful photographer is almost as widely spread in England as in India. The large sized views of the beautiful Himalayan Hills [ie Bourne’s photographs] and of a great number of well-known buildings at Agra, Delhi, Amritsar, Benares, and other cities, have earned for the firm a well-deserved and high reputation. I feel I ought to express my sense of Mr Shepherd’s invariable attention and courtesy whilst carrying out my suggestions in regard to the photographs. In producing illustrations of architectural subjects, illustrations which in truth are merely intended to be faithful diagrammatic records, the clear reproduction of structural and ornamental details ranks higher in importance than the production of a picturesque scene, or view of the country. 

Exhibitions on this website

19th century regional studies
ThumbnailSamuel Bourne 
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Visual indexes

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Internet biographies

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Getty Research, Los Angeles, USA has an ULAN (Union List of Artists Names Online) entry for this photographer. This is useful for checking names and they frequently provide a brief biography. Go to website

Internet resources

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Images of Ceylon 
A wonderful resource for showing the range of 19th and early 20th century photographs of Ceylon. 

Printed biographies

The following books are useful starting points to obtain brief biographies but they are not substitutes for the monographs on individual photographers.

• Lenman, Robin (ed.) 2005 The Oxford Companion to the Photograph (Oxford: Oxford University Press)  [Includes a short biography on Bourne & Shepherd.] 
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