Horrockses workers leaving the factory

The Harris' photography collections include an historic photograph collection of portrait photographs and images of Preston and the surrounding area dating from 1850, a set of Roger Fenton’s Crimean War photographs, and our nationally renowned collection of contemporary art photography.

Local photography

This collection consists of at least 20,000 items and includes black and white photographic prints, photograph albums and glass negatives (5,000) dating from 1840s. It includes views of Preston and the surrounding area from 1850 documenting the changing architecture and buildings in the town, photographs relating to specific trades and industries such as the cotton industry and Preston Dock and events held in the town including the Preston Guild (from 1862).

It also contains a large collection of portrait photographs of local people in both carte de visite and cabinet format.

Notable photographic collections include a collection of portraits by British and European photographers collected by the Preston photographer James Monk and his family and bequeathed to the museum in 1939, and a collection of photographs by Preston photographers collected by Dr Taylor. These collections have been added to by additional donations and purchases.

The collection now features important work by 19th and 20th century professional and amateur photographers such as Charles Wilson, Thomas Ogle, Robert Pateson, George Devey, Arthur Winter, Beattie, Monk, Douglas Cochrane, Jack Wilson and Wareing.

The Harris Museum and Art Gallery is very fortunate in holding a collection of 91 salted paper prints of the Crimean War by Roger Fenton that were produced as part of a series published by Askews of Manchester, in 1855. The prints are mostly from the camp life series showing portraits of officers and soldiers.

Contemporary art

Photography, film and video are being used increasingly in contemporary art practice. The Harris Museum & Art Gallery has been acquiring work over the past twenty years largely through participation in the Contemporary Art Society’s Special Collection Scheme, and includes major works by Keith Arnatt, Helen Chadwick, Calum Colvin, Ron O’Donnell and Boyd Webb, amongst others. In 2000, Lucy Gunning’s 1993 video, Climbing Round My Room, became the first video installation to be acquired for the collection.

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Harris Museum and Art Gallery

Market Square,
PR1 2PP 

T 01772 258248 (office 10am-4pm)
T 01772 905414 (event bookings)
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Museum, Art Gallery, Library & Makerspace

Mon 10am-7pm
(Museum/Art Gallery 11am-5pm)

Tue 10am-5pm

Wed 10am-8pm
(Library 10am-7pm)

Thur 10am-5pm

Fri 10am-5pm

Sat 10am-5pm

Sun 11am-4pm

IT Centre Computers open 9am daily, except Sundays 11am

Café and Shop
Daily 10am-4pm, except Sundays 11am-3.30pm


Sunday 27 and Monday 28 August:

The Harris Museum & Art Gallery will be open on Sunday 11am-4pm and Monday 11am-5pm.
The Harris Library and Learning Centre will be open on Sunday 11am-4pm. Bank Holiday Monday opening to be confirmed.


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