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Overview

The Sir Benjamin Stone Collection, housed in the Archives and Heritage collection, was presented by Stone's trustees to the Library in 1921. It comprises some 22,000 mounted prints together with 17,000 surviving glass negatives for the photographs Stone took himself. There are over 600 stereoscopic prints, and more than a hundred albums of commercial prints and cuttings relating to Stone and his interests.

Travel and photography were two of the many passions which Sir Benjamin Stone packed into a rich and varied life. Very much the embodiment of Victorian England, Stone was active in politics, business and the arts. He travelled from an early age and personal wealth enabled him to make regular trips to a variety of countries, such as China, South Africa and Brazil.

A keen collector, Stone acquired pictures taken by commercial photographers throughout his life. This interest led him to start taking his own photographs and by the late 19th Century he was known nationally as an enthusiastic amateur photographer. A consistent feature of Stone's work is his portrayal of customs and festivals and this can be seen in his depictions of global cultures, English folk traditions and the pomp and ceremony of Parliament.