University of Leeds Logo

Imagery and Medicine: Representation, Science and Art

The Centre for Heritage Research

University of Leeds Centre for Heritage Research in Collaboration with the Creative Collaboration in Arts, Science and Engineering Network (CCASE-NET) , National Media Museum (NMeM), Bradford 23rd November 2006


  • Graeme Gooday, University of Leeds


  • Colin Harding, Curator Photographic Technology, NMeM
  • Paula Summerly, NHS Glasgow
  • Annie Jamieson, University of Leeds
  • Tim Vernon FBIPP, MIMI, Photographer at St. James' Hospital, Leeds

Commentary and Perspectives:

  • Fiona Elliott, Thackray Museum
  • Jane Fletcher, NMeM
  • Tobie Kerridge, Goldsmiths College
  • Simon Popple, Director Louis Le Prince Centre

"The NMeM Collection", Colin Harding Curator of Photographic Technology, NMeM

As curator of Photographic Technology at the NMeM Colin Harding will discuss aspects of the Museum’s photographic collection relating to medical matters. He has written numerous books and articles on the history of photography, and in 2004 he received the prestigious John Dudley Johnson award from the Royal Photographic Society for his contributions to photography history.

'Fear', 1872 (Heliotype)Plate 7 from Charles Darwin's book 'The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals', published in London in 1872. Courtesy of NMeM / SSPL’

"A History of Clinical Photography", Paula Summerly NHS Glasgow (Survey of historical artefacts in hospitals)

Paula's doctoral thesis entitled A Case Study in the History of Nineteenth Century Clinical Photography was funded by a Wellcome Trust Scholarship and undertaken at the Centre for the History of Medicine, University of Glasgow (2000-2003). She was a researcher on the Forensic Medicine Archives Project hosted by Glasgow University Archive Services (2004)

Paula was the researcher and curator (2004-2006) for a permanent exhibition entitled A Healing Passion: Medicine in Glasgow Past and Present at the Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow. She is currently undertaking a historical survey for NHS Glasgow & Clyde.

Hydrocephalic skull
Hydrocephalic skull filled with ice, Sir William Macewen’sCollection, Courtesy of Greater Glasgow Health Board Archive

Her paper is entitled Late Nineteenth Century Clinical Photography: A Contextual Approach. The presentation will begin with a brief historiography, and outline the variety of sources available. Using a collection of clinical photographs from Glasgow, Paula will describe the local contexts in which they were produced, circulated and used.

Annie Jamieson Third Year PhD Student, University of Leeds

This presentation will address the debate surrounding the most appropriate terminology for X-ray imaging in the months immediately following the discovery of the rays and their ability to penetrate solid objects, producing images on photographic plates. While the term “New Photography” was used in a wide variety of publications such as newspapers, popular periodicals, scientific, medical and photographic journals, its suitability as a description of the process was hotly disputed, on a number of grounds. The paper will look at a number of opinions as to the appropriateness of the term, and suggested alternatives.

X-Ray photograph of a foot in a shoe, c.1896 by Ernest Payne, (Silver Gelatin Print). Courtesy of the RPS / NMeM / SSPL

Annie Jamieson is a third year PhD researcher in the Division of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Leeds. Her thesis, covering the period 1896-1910, examines the ways in which the perceived relationship between the newly discovered X-rays and other kinds of rays might have affected their acceptance in a medical context. Studies of local hospitals in the Bradford/Leeds area, and of the use of the rays in dermatology, are used to illustrate the issues raised.

"A History of Clinical Photography", Tim Vernon Chief Medical Photographer, Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust

Tim Vernon works as Chief Medical Photographer for the Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust. He has a special interest in the use of photomontage and 3D imagery to illustrate scientific concepts. Tim is a Fellow of the British Institute of Professional Photograph (BIPP). He has won the title of "BIPP National Photographer of the Year" 3 times and has been the winner of the Scientific Category of the BIPP's Annual Print Competition 6 times.

Photograph by Tim Vernon



Copyright and Legal | Accessibility | Privacy | Freedom of information
Copyright © 2006 University of Leeds