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Australian Photo Review

Australian Photo Review Journal Covers

Australian Photo Review Journal Covers, State Library of New South Wales, 2017

The first edition of the Australasian supplement to the British ‘Photographic Review of Reviews’ was published in January 1894 by the Australian subsidiary of the photographic company Baker and Rouse.  

While the English segment of the magazine continued to be published by Walter D. Welford the Australian Supplement content was submitted in Australia and handled by the firm of Baker and Rouse, primarily through their offices at 375 George Street, Sydney.   The supplement’s editor, Edwin J. Welch, made it clear that the magazine would do its best to adapt to the Australian character whose;  

Bluntness is also one of his strong points, combined with a fluent facility of expression when he gets badly aggravated; he likewise abhors humbug and discerns it from afar. 1 

Given Welch’s comments it is not surprising to find the magazine mainly contained practical advice on technical processes, descriptions from the latest meetings of the Australian photographic societies and examples of contemporary work.   

In February 1896, the British company changed the name of the journal to the Photographic Review and with this came a new cover layout for the Australian supplement. For the editors in the colonies however there were ongoing printing and content management problems. In particular they complained about preparing their supplement to be ready to be added to the rest of the journal as it had to be shipped all the way from Britain.  

This was one of the main reasons cited by the editor Edwin J. Welch for introducing the first issue of the Australian Photographic Review as an entirely Australian production. This first issue appeared on 23 January 1897. Published by Baker and Rouse it was sold at ‘four shillings’ for a year’s subscription and it welcomed, … photographs and literary contributions or correspondence on all matters of interest to photographers.2   

This new format obviously found its audience and the Australian Photographic Review, or A.P.R. as it later branded itself, was published monthly for the next 59 years. The longevity of this journal marks it as the most significant in terms of insights into the development of photography in Australia 1894 through to the last issue which appeared in December 1956.  

This title has been digitised and made fully searchable online as part of the State Library's Digital Excellence Program, a major initiative supported by the NSW Government. View the digitised collection on Trove

1 Edwin Welch, “An Australian P.R.R.”, Australasian Photographic Review of Reviews, No.1, Baker and Rouse, January, 1894, p. 4 
2 Edwin Welch, “A New Issue.”, Australasian Photographic Review of Reviews, No.1, Vol. 4, Baker and Rouse, January, 1897, p. 1

Australian Photo Review Online 
Australasian Photographic Review of Reviews, No.1, Vol. 4, Baker and Rouse, January, 1897 
Photographic Review of Reviews. (1894), State Library of New South Wales, 
Burke, K., & Burke, Walter. (n.d.). Australasian Photo-review. State Library of New South Wales, 

Geoff Barker, Senior Curator, State Library of New South Wales, 2017