Collections is a specialist picture library devoted to all things British. The geography, history, architecture, crafts and customs of the UK and Ireland
We can take you to see the astoundingly varied landscapes, cities, towns, villages and buildings of the British Isles from pre-historic times to this very day, the people, the industries, events, customs and traditions - and almost everything else to be found in these unusually interesting islands.
You can search the site using the search box that appears at the bottom of eack page or the “Extended search” above. Clicking on any image on the results page gives you a decent sized preview along with a list of fully cross linked keywords relevant to the picture so, if you feel so inclined you can go for a walk through the pictures, however the fancy takes you.
To order pictures, or simply make further enquiries about them, add the picture to the lightbox then view your lightbox and click the Order button. You can also save any lightbox for later reference. The default lightbox will be emptied after 14 days if it is not updated, saved lightboxes last a year. [note]
The whole point of Collections is to have as near to everything on the British Isles as we can reasonably manage but it is impossible to include every tiny village, every obscure event or every small architectural detail. If you don't find what you are after on the site then please get in touch with us and we will do our best to satisfy your requirements.
Copyright: All pictures on this site are the copyright of the photographers who took them. You are not to reuse any image from the site without first obtaining permission to do so and paying an appropriate fee.
Collections was set up by Brian and Sal Shuel in 1990. Brian had been a professional photographer for thirty years working for newspapers, magazines, corporate clients and the government as well as building up a vast personal collection of pictures and information on the customs of Britain and an equally vast coverage on bridges. Already a member of the British Association of Picture Libraries & Agencies (BAPLA) with his own pictures since 1977 the plan was, and still is, to amass similar collections from like-minded photographers - many of them old friends - which will add up to a comprehensive coverage of the British Isles. We now have around 300 contributors, but we admit there are still a couple of places we haven't covered!
Simon Shuel has been our IT expert since Collections began and now owns the library. A trained graphic designer he still works in this field when he has the time - indeed he designed and produced this web-site and is responsible for everything that goes onto it.
Sal Shuel is really an illustrator whose work has appeared in many publications. Inevitably she became involved in the picture agency business, culminating in eight years as administrator of BAPLA until 1995 when she ‘retired’ - to an even more hectic life as chief editor of Collections!
This web-site is produced entirely by us at Collections. The photographers have had absolutely nothing to do with it (except for providing the pictures, of course!). By doing it ourselves we hope to be able to add and update the content on a fairly regular basis should the need arise.
Finally, we must thank all our contributors who have good humouredly put up with us over the years while we harassed them unmercifully to fill gaps in our files.
We can be found at:
Telephone: 020 8883 9476
For the time being we are not accepting new contributors.
However, if you have a collection on a very specific subject that would fit in well with what we do then we would very much like to see it. I am thinking perhaps of some aspect of British folklore or a particular craft, but it could be anything.
Sample submissions should ideally be supplied on disc at the resolution the final pictures are to be sent. A web gallery would do (though not if it is on another picture library’s web site!), but I don't want to waste time having to navigate through heaps of irrelevant material to find the few you want me to see. We would need some indication of how big the files are and how well captioned and keyworded they are.
We are a digital library, but scans from transparencies or negatives (including black and white) are perfectly acceptable provided they are done on equipment of decent quality. See the Submission guidelines.
If accepted submissions can be supplied on disc or by FTP. All submissions are edited and we will exclude multiple pictures of the same view and any pictures that are not good enough so it is in your interests to do a thorough edit. We may also fix basic errors with pictures, such as over saturation, poor exposure, straightness and colour cast, if we think it is worthwhile.
Existing contributors are still welcome to send their material in as they always have.
Periodically (if we have important news or can find the time!) we send out an email newsletter. If you would be interested in receiving it then drop us a line, you can use the contact form below. Below are some of the choicest items from the past few issues.