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About the Photographic Collection

Motorcycle workshop at the Isle of Man TT in the 1920s.

1920s workshop at the Isle of Man TT.

The Photographic Collection at the National Motor Museum contains over one million images. It illustrates the history of motoring from the earliest steam cars of the 19th century to new models being launched today. Coverage includes cars, motorcycles and commercial vehicles, the motor industry, motor sport, the social history of motoring, pioneers and a wide range of motoring and motor sport personalities. This Collection is currently being catalogued and preserved by a team of volunteers led by the Curator of Photography.

How this Collection Developed 

The roots of the Photographic Collection can be traced back to 1962, when Lord Montagu of Beaulieu originally set it up. From 1972 the National Motor Museum Trust continued to expand this remarkable resource, and it continues to grow. The Collection develops through enthusiastic collecting by staff, donations from the public and contemporary images produced by the Trust’s own photographer. It comprises photographic prints, photograph albums, glass and film negatives, lantern slides and transparencies, which are cared for by the Curator of Photography assisted by a team of highly trained volunteers. The original images were created by motor manufacturing companies and private enthusiasts, and include work by both amateur and professional photographers. If you would like to visit the Photographic Collection for research purposes, an appointment can be made through our Motoring Research Service.

Motoring Picture Library

Images from the National Motor Museum Trust Photographic Collection are available for purchase on-line through the Motoring Picture Library (MPL).

MPL is one of the largest motoring picture collections in the world, with close to 100,000 colour transparencies and nearly one million black and white photographs filed and catalogued with thousands of digital originals. Its subject matter includes cars, motorcycles and commercial vehicles; the motor industry, motor sport, the social history of motoring, and a huge range of motoring and motor sport personalities. It also includes spectacular motoring art in the form of sales brochures, posters and paintings. For more information contact the Motoring Picture Library Manager Jon Day or visit the MPL website.

 

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