Luke Gartlan (University of St Andrews) discusses Victorian arctic photography in The Arctic Regions (1873) and an unpublished album.
William Bradford's The Arctic Regions has often been cited as an exemplar of the Victorianera photobook. Published in 1873 by the renowned firm of Sampson Low, Marston, Low, and Searle, this imposing volume marked a new phase in private efforts to profit from the trans-Atlantic interest in Arctic subjects. Yet the systematic first-person narrative and captioned prints of this photobook belie the shifting contexts, applications, and private debates that had accrued to these photographs in the intervening years between the voyages and the publication. This paper aims to contrast selections from The Arctic Regions with an unpublished, privately compiled photographic album in the National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh.