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Photographs taken by T E Lawrence

Reference code
Photographs taken by T E Lawrence
Level of description
Extent and format
1 box
Scope and content
On T.E. Lawrence’s first tour of castles in France in 1906, aged 18, he was buying postcards but did not have a camera. His father, however, had taught him photography at an early age and, on his 1907 and 1908 tours of France, he travelled with his father’s Beck Field Camera (now preserved in the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford). It was a plate camera, in which he might have been using sheet film. The film sheets appear to have sometimes been reversed when printing, as several of our images are the wrong way round. These images are marked Reversed print.

The numbers in this series refer to a number that has been pencilled on the back of most of the photographs.
‘A’ numbers refer to one envelope, ‘B’ numbers came from a second envelope; these had been printed for T.E.’s mother after his death. They were numbered and marked “Mrs Lawrence”, and the envelope, posted in December 1936, was addressed to M.R. Lawrence, T.E.’s elder brother, who, in 1954, published 'The Home Letters of T.E. Lawrence and his Brothers', using many of these photographs.

Sometimes there are duplicates made from the same plate but printed on a different type of paper. Duplicates of the ‘A’ list are marked with a + sign in the number.

Missing numbers are: A.1, A.4, A.7, A. 8, A.27, A.29. Photos A.36 and A.37 were in a different AWL package. Numbers from A.52 onwards were added during cataloguing (nos. 54 and 56 now omitted).
Lawrence, Thomas Edward (1888-1935), archaeologist, army officer, diplomat and writer
Archival history
These photographs were in two envelopes given to the Society of Antiquaries by Professor A.W. Lawrence, FSA, who was T.E. Lawrence’s younger brother. With them were some postcards that had been collected by T.E.L. A.W.L. also gave the society an extensive collection of his own photographs, postcards and cuttings (see LAW/01).

The collection was catalogued by Bill Woodburn FSA in 2019 with assistance from Prof Denys Pringle, Dr Robert Higham, Dr Pamela Marshall and Dr John Kenyon. Revised 2022 with assistance from Dr Nick Lynch.

More detail about the photographs, including Lawrence's tour itineraries and his descriptions of some locations, is available at the archive.
System of arrangement
The photographs are arranged in alphabetical order by location.