Rural Images Discovered Project

The Rural Images Discovered project will catalogue and digitise 15 000 images from two significant photographer collections and photographic press archives from the Museum of English Rural Life. For the first time an accessible online resource will be available for a photographic record covering more than 70 years of change in English farming and the countryside.  P_FW_rabbits

The images will be catalogued and digitised and made be available via the Museum of English Rural Life's online database

Photographic press archives

Selected images will be digitised from the photographic press collections of the

Photographer collections

The project has focused on two collections of leading agricultural photo journalists: John Tarlton and Peter Adams. Their photographs were published in the farming press throughout their careers which span the period 1940-2002. An additional collection of negatives and prints by photographer Colin Shaw has also been catalogued and prints digitised.


  • John Tarlton photographed many aspects of the countryside including hunting, shooting, fishing and the landscape 1940-1980. His work appeared in leading countryside magazines, including the Field, Shooting Times, Farmers Weekly and Country Life. You can see a selection of photographs from the collection in the John Tarlton gallery








  • Peter Adams worked at Farmers Weekly 1960-1980. He won IPC Business Press Photo of the Year in 1978 and voted the runner up in 1979. He worked for Farming News 1982-1993 with black and white photography, 1993-2002 he was a freelance photographer and his colour photographs featured in agricultural publications including Farmers Weekly, Big Farm Weekly, Crops, British Dairying, Grower and the National Farmers Union. You can see a selection of photographs from the collection in the Peter Adams gallery 








  • Colin Shaw completed a Masters degree in Graphic Design and Communication in 1984 which looked at the way in which which looked at the way in which photographs are used to communicate. In the same year he started the 'Farmwork' project of black and white photographs, documenting the everyday life and work of people employed on farms and culminating in three touring exhibitions. In 1988 Shaw undertook the 'M40 Warwickshire' project which documented life before and during the construction of the Warwickshire stretch of the M40. The negatives and prints from both these projects have been catalogued and a selection of photographs from 'Farnwork' can be seen in the Colin Shaw gallery
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The project has generously been funded by the Foyle Foundation

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John Tarlton: countryside photographer, 4 May to 8 Sept 2013 Click here for details of the exhibition of Tarlton's work at MERL...


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