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HomeContents > People > Photographers > William Thomas Collings

Dates:  1823 - 1882
Active:  UK

Preparing biographies

Approved biography for William Thomas Collings
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, USA)

Rev. Collings came from a wealthy and extended Guernsey family. His marriage to the daughter of a famous Guernsey archaeologist made him a relative of Dr. Thomas Lukis Mansell. He briefly served as a curate at Wells Cathedral, and it is from this period that his known waxed-paper photography dates. In the 1854 exhibition of the Photographic Society in London, Collings showed numerous views from Wells, submitting many of them again to the Royal Infirmary Fund exhibition in Dundee the same year. His waxed-paper negatives, which he sensitized in the morning before setting out to photograph, were an impressive 24 x 18 inches. Nothing more is known of his photography, but he spent his considerable inheritance wisely for the defense and improvement of Guernsey. When the island’s silver mines failed, Collings became quite active in promoting the new industry of tourism, undoubtedly relying on photography to present Guernsey’s glories. 
Roger Taylor & Larry J. Schaaf Impressed by Light: British Photographs from Paper Negatives, 1840-1860 (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2007) 
This biography is courtesy and copyright of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and is included here with permission. 
Date last updated: 4 Nov 2012. 
We welcome institutions and scholars willing to test the sharing of biographies for the benefit of the photo-history community. The biography above is a part of this trial.
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