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This online exhibition presents an introduction to the Society’s collection of over 500,000 historic images, featuring works by Gertrude Bell, Frank Hurley, Carleton Watkins, Isabella Bird, Sarat Chandra Das and Eric Newby. From an early original daguerreotype of Arctic explorer Joseph René Bellot to a remarkable aerial image of 1960s Abu Dhabi and iconic photographic ‘firsts’, the exhibition spans over a century of documentary photography, with contemporary relevance for research and enquiry. 


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Explore the exhibition on a map

Please note that approximate locations have been used to indicate where the photographs were taken as the images are not geo-referenced.



RGS Print Store

All images featured in this online exhibition can be purchased from the RGS Print Store.

Visit RGS Print Store