The 1851 Great Exhibition of the Works of All Nations was the first world’s fair and the
first time that photographs from around the world were exhibited together. To
accompany the exhibition, the Royal Commissioners created a set of volumes that
included an Official Catalogue and Reports by the Juries. These contain information
explaining how the Exhibition was organized, descriptions of content, and annotations
offered by experts in various fields.
This thesis addresses the photographic information contained in the presentation set of
these volumes held at George Eastman House’s Richard and Ronay Menschel Library.
It includes a summary of the information pertaining to photography contained within
these books, formatted into a concise and easily accessible reference source. In
addition, it offers an analysis of some of this information. The topics include the
formation of content, language and classification, photographic processes, and the
controversy regarding the awarding of prize medals.