Art Fund grant helps bring Talbot archive to Bodleian

The Art Fund has given £200,000 towards the purchase of the personal archive of William Henry Fox Talbot, a Victorian polymath who invented pioneering photographic techniques.

Among the items included in the archive are early photographs (including one made by Talbot's wife Constance, which may be the earliest image made by a woman), original manuscripts by Talbot, family diaries and correspondence.

The Bodleian Libraries launched a fundraising appeal for the £2.2 million needed to purchase the archive in December 2012. The campaign is now within sight of its goal thanks to a £200,000 Art Fund grant, £1.2 million from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, and donations from numerous private individuals and charitable trusts.

Stephen Deuchar, Director of the Art Fund, said: 'We are delighted to be supporting the Bodleian Library’s aim to acquire a major archive of works by British inventor and photographer William Henry Fox Talbot. This collection of material is of unparalleled importance in shedding light on both his life and his pioneering work. I urge everyone to support the final stage of the Bodleian's appeal.'

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