Bourne, Samuel, 1834-1912

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Samuel Bourne (1834-1912) was born in Shropshire, England, and began taking photographs around 1855. He joined the photography firm Howard & Shepherd around 1864, which eventually became Bourne & Shepherd and had offices in Calcutta, Simla, and Bombay. Bourne sailed for India in 1863, the first of three lengthy trips he took between 1863 and 1869. During these trips he photographed in all regions in India, Nepal, the Tibet Region, and Burma. One of his trips was devoted to finding and photographing the source of the Ganges in the Himalayas. In 1870 Bourne returned permanently to England, and Charles Shepherd also left India in 1878. Following Bourne's departure from the firm, Colin Murray was hired as chief photographer and then became manager of the firm. Reportedly, it is likely that some of the unsigned Indian images and most of the Burmese images included in this collection are his work. Back in England, Bourne became a businessman and magistrate. He died in 1912. Colin Murray died in Calcutta in 1884. The firm Bourne & Shepherd is still in business as of 2012, one of the oldest photography firms in continuous operation. The over 2,000 glass plate negatives Bourne left with Bourne & Shepherd were destroyed in a fire in 1991.

From the guide to the Samuel Bourne photographs, circa 1863-1875, (David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University)

B. in Great Britain in 1834; d. in April 24, 1912.

From the description of Samuel Bourne : Artist File. (International Center of Photography). WorldCat record id: 680692806

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn History of photography collection, 1840-1986 (inclusive). Harvard University Art Museum
creatorOf Bourne, Samuel, 1834-1912. Artist file : miscellaneous uncataloged material. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas J. Watson Library
creatorOf Notman, William. Photograph albums of Mrs. Lewis Percival. Getty Research Library
creatorOf Andrieu, J., 1816-after 1876. Stereograph Collection. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Bourne, Samuel : [miscellaneous ephemeral material]. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas J. Watson Library
creatorOf Bourne, Samuel, 1834-1912. Samuel Bourne : Artist File. International Center of Photography
referencedIn Fogg Art Museum 19th-century history of photography collection, 1844-1900 (inclusive). Harvard University Art Museum
creatorOf Samuel Bourne photographs, circa 1863-1875 David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology photographic archives, 1845-1985 (inclusive). Harvard University, Tozzer Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
Place Name Admin Code Country
Himalaya Mountains
Travel photography


Birth 1834-10-30

Death 1912-04-27




Ark ID: w69w1jsw

SNAC ID: 27998013