The Photobook Club Madrid (Juan Barte, Juan Cires and Bonifacio Barrio Hijosa) in association with Matt Johnson sent us an interesting message today: The first photographically illustrated book dates back to 1843 and was done by a female botanist/artist, Anna Atkins. Her Wikipedia entry itself is fascinating; it informs us of her background as well as her technique in producing photogram cyanotypes to illustrate a variety of algae. So since 2013, every October 14th, photobook enthusiasts are celebrating World #PhotoBookDay, the anniversary of the purchase by the British Museum of the first known photobook: Photographs of British algae. Cyanotype impressions, by Anna Atkins. This first copy is now in the British Library, and as far as is known, only 16 other copies, some partial, survive.
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
This year October 14 will be a Saturday again, as it was in 1843, so 174 years later we can celebrate photobooks in view of all this and toast the creator of this wonderful publication: Anna Atkins. Our motto for this year’s World PhotoBookDay will be: #AToastToAnna.
As the originators of this idea say:
We celebrate our passion for photobooks, we rejoice that Anna Atkins bound some cyanotypes, we commemorate every book we have on our shelves, we applaud all the libraries buying photobooks and photozines, we love every person who loves photobooks!
And we’d love you to join us to celebrate this global event by organizing an action related to photobooks in your own city. Spread your love for photobooks around your community. Please share your activities on social media using the hashtag #PhotoBookDay, it will be the best way for everyone in your local community to reach your activity.
Some ideas proposed for October 14 are the following (to which we would add: help spread the word about blogs that discuss and promote photobooks, such as this one, our beloved The Photobook Journal):
Spread the love by sharing something you think someone will like, not something you think they should like.
Post a #PhotoBookDay Selfie or a Shelfie on social media: an image with you and your current favourite photobook.
Ask your local library to buy local self-published photobooks and photozines, we are sure you can give them some ideas.
If you are in charge of a library, consider purchasing and supporting self-pulished photobooks and photozines on this special day, and mark your book record with a special note to PhotoBookDay.
Buy a photobook. Many bookshops and publishers will make special discounts for the day. Follow your favourite bookshops on social media or search for #PhotoBookDay for offers and discounts.
If you make or sell books, offer your customers discounts or some special goodies. If you run a bookshop a special 5% discount, or free shipping costs, will make your clients happy. Don’t forget to announce it with #PhotoBookDay on your usual social media channels.
Search for a PhotoBook Club in your city to meet with like minded people and share photobooks. If there is no one, PhotoBookDay can be a good day to start one. We’ll make a list with activities organized by clubs all around the globe.
Discuss your love of photobooks via the twitter hashtag #PhotoBookDay. Or on instagram, too.
You may use the image of the 5th anniversary as shown above to add to your visuals. And please, tell the organizers what you did for World PhotoBook Day 2017. We hope we all have fun with photobooks on October 14, and the rest of the year too.