One of the largest collections of its kind in the UK One of the largest collections of its kind in the UK

Housed in the Sainsbury Centre, the UEA's Art History Photographic Collection contains approximately 150,000 prints and 500,000+ negatives and positives, making it one of the largest of its type in the UK. Designed by Sir Norman Foster, is also home to many other collections including rare books, manuscripts, post cards, posters and many other types of art related documents and ephemera from around the world.

Photographic Archive

For more information contact Dr Nick Warr, Curator of Photographic Collections


Construction of the SCVA in 1977A Photographic History of the UEA & SCVA

A key component of the collection is the photographic record of the construction and development of the UEA campus, in particular the SCVA. As well as documenting the UEA's unique architectural heritage the photographic collection also chronicles various important events in the university's history including the many ground breaking exhibitions organised by the gallery.

Image: Construction of the SCVA. Brandon-Jones. 1977.


Images of East Anglia

Since its foundation, photographers based at the university have recorded many aspects of East Anglian life and culture. Their photographs represent a unique record of the art and architecture in the region. Images, such as those made of Norwich's many medieval churches, have proved invaluable to local and international researchers.

Image: St Clement-at-Fyebridge, Norwich. c. 1976



The Medieval Churches of Norwich Project         

Norwich Historic Churches Trust


Image: St Barbara, Barton Turf, Norfolk c.1440Painted Panels and Screens

Part of our record of East Anglian churches includes a photographic survey of their painted panels and screens. Produced in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries these intricately decorated screens represent not just the most extensive example of panel painting of their period in England but an aesthetic highpoint in late medieval European craftsmanship.

Image: St Barbara, Barton Turf, Norfolk c.1440


WG Sebald in the Sainsbury Centre UEA

W.G. Sebald Photographic Collection

A significant element of the collection consists of the photographic work produced by Michael Brandon-Jones for the internationally renowned author W.G. Sebald  (1944 –2001). Sebald wrote all of his fictional narratives whilst working at the UEA and most of the images that appear in his work were created in collaboration with Brandon-Jones in the SCVA. The Sebald photographic collection includes negatives, prints and associated written documentation.

Image:  W.G. Sebald in the SCVA, Brandon-Jones, 1993.

Access to this material is restricted until 2019.


Image: A volume and index from the Todhunter bequest.Individually Named Archives in the Collection

The collection also stores a selection of manuscripts by Historians and Art Historians associated with the University. These include papers and photographs from the collection of George Zarnecki (Courtauld Institute), J.L.B. Todhunter's (Ministry of Education) comprehensive architectural survey of English parish churches complied between 1927 and 1977, manuscripts by Andrew Martindale (UEA, Courtauld Institute) and the photographic and postcard collection of Dame Joan Evans (The Society of Antiquaries). 


Image: A volume and index from the Todhunter bequest.


Image: De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, 1976Photographic Prints

Developed from 35mm and medium format negatives, our collection of prints created in our purpose built facilities in the SCVA provides a high quality visual resource for students and faculty. The subjects of the photographs reflect our interdisciplinary approach to teaching since our foundation in 1965. Covering a period from the Ancient through to the 20th Century, the collection primarily focuses on European architecture, fine art and the applied arts.

Image: De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, 1976

Slide from the Photographic ArchiveThe Slide Collection

A substantial part of our collection consists of 500,000+ 35mm positives (slides). Initially conceived as a teaching facility these slides continue to play an invaluable role in research today. As well as providing a useful reference source for local historians and researchers it is also a unique repository of images that are no longer available elsewhere. Key components of the collection include an extensive visual record of European Renaissance architecture, a record of the construction of the UEA and the SCVA, and facsimiles of various medieval illuminated manuscripts


Image: The Sherborne Missal, p.169 detailManuscript Facsimiles

The Sherborne Missal is a Fifteenth century English illuminated manuscript missal now held in British Library. Commissioned by Abbott Robert Bruyning for use at Sherborne Abbey it is one of the finest English examples of International Gothic painting. In 1972, whilst it was owned by the Duke of Northumberland, we arranged for a complete photographic record to be made of the manuscript.


Image: The Sherborne Missal, p.169 detail