The Samuel Butler Project (2011-2013) is a Heritage Lottery Funded initiative at St John's College, Cambridge, to catalogue and open up the Library's extensive collection of material relating to the Victorian polymath Samuel Butler (1835-1902).
Butler was a prolific photographer, who travelled extensively in Europe (especially Italy) in the 1880s and 1890s, as well as in southern England, where he lived. His 'snap-shots' (as he referred to them) of the places he visited and the people he met are charming, humorous, poignant, and very accomplished for an amateur. He also drew and painted scenes from his travels, and many of his artworks capture the strong affection he felt for the places he loved to visit.
The Library holds five albums of Butler's photographic prints and about 1600 of his original glass plate negatives. The titles of the photographs are all taken from Butler's own labels.
Before the Samuel Butler Project ends in June 2013, we aim to upload a selection of images from the collection, to share Butler's unique view and to promote his status as one of Europe's pioneer photographers.
Find out more at: www.joh.cam.ac.uk/samuel-butler-project