Bustin image collection

These are some of the 7,000 or so images produced by the noted Hereford photographers WH Bustin and Son during a business lifetime of over a century. The fragile glass plate negatives, comprising by some estimates only a tenth of the original output, are safely housed in the Herefordshire Record Office.

Thanks to the efforts of the Record Office’s Friends organisation, this wonderful source of social and local history is available to be explored. Over a number of years, the negatives were carefully processed into photographic prints that gradually revealed a literal snapshot of life in Herefordshire in the early 20th century. Scanning of these prints by Herefordshire History volunteers began in October 2014, to making this selection available online for the first time.

It seems that the negatives had been stored in some disarray before their transfer to the Record Office in 1967. There was no indexing or referencing system: no means of identification or dating. As each plate was developed, so a fresh and surprising glimpse into the lives of our forebears was revealed. The reputation of the Bustins as photographers of the highest order was well known. Few, though, could have anticipated the significance of their legacy. Trapped in glass for generations, the Bustin collection began to tell the story of an amazing range of people and their world.

Some records may appear incomplete as we are constantly adding information to these images.

Individuals are permitted to use, download, transmit, or print images for private, research, or educational purposes, but not for any commercial purpose without further permission from Herefordshire History and/or the original copyright holder/s. For reproduction queries please use our contact form.