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John Forbes White Collection


John Forbes White moved to Edinburgh to study medicine and by 1853 was an active photographer, working closely with Thomas Keith. There are some 25 photographs in our collection which date from around 1857. The field of photography was still in its infancy at this time and the negatives and prints we hold are fine examples of an early photographic technique.

Our collection of waxed paper negatives and prints includes images of:

- King’s College, Aberdeen

- Saint Machar’s Cathedral, Aberdeen

- Brig O’Balgownie, Aberdeen

- Holyrood Abbey, Edinburgh

- Saint Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall

White gave up his career in medicine to run the family mill in Aberdeen and did not exhibit any of his photographs after 1859. He died in 1904. This collection was initially given to the Edinburgh Photographic Society by Lady Fyfe, the daughter of John Forbes White. The Society, with the approval of Lady Fyfe, deposited the collection with RCAHMS in order to ensure its long-term preservation.