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Victorians: East Lothian Images

On this page we’ve presented a selection of photographs taken in East Lothian during the time Queen Victoria was on the throne. When she was crowned, in 1838, photography was still an experimental art. But advances came rapidly and by the middle of her reign technically minded East Lothian residents were building their own cameras. Some went into business – adverts appear in the Courier in the early 1860s.

By the end of her reign photography was becoming a popular hobby with a wider range of Victorians. Scenic photographs went hand in hand with the rise of East Lothian as a holiday destination (Dunbar and North Berwick are particularly well represented in the collection) and the popularity of picture postcards, which were permitted by the Post Office in 1894, massively increased the range of images that were made.

Few of the photographs on this page are earlier than the 1880s or 1890s. All have been selected as representative – but if you’d like to see more visit us or contact us to see what we have. The photographs are low resolution, suitable for viewing on the web or whiteboard, but high resolution images can generally be provided for classroom or other educational use. We’ve not captioned the images – but we can, of course, provide more information about any of these pictures or any others in our collection if you contact us.

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