The Thames & Hudson Dictionary of Photography

Nathalie Herschdorfer

The most comprehensive reference to the art, history, and science of photography worldwide to date, the culmination of nearly ten years of research and development


The Thames & Hudson Dictionary of Photography is a landmark publication that encompasses the history, art, and science of photography in a single volume. At a time when information is instantly accessible on the Internet but is often unreliable or uncited, this ambitious project both reasserts the veracity, reliability, and accuracy of scholarly research in reference publishing and offers an immersive, usable, beautifully designed reading experience.

Compiled under the editorial guidance of curator, writer, and art historian Nathalie Herschdorfer, and in consultation with an international panel of 150 experts, this volume is based on entirely new scholarship by seventy-seven researchers from sixteen countries. Over 1,200 concise yet fully detailed entries describe all aspects of the subject, including photographers, images, agencies, genres, movements, exhibitions, publications, collectors, techniques, and processes. Entries from Ansel Adams, Diane Arbus, and amateur photographers to Emile Zola, Piet Zwart, and the zoom lens are enriched by 300 images showing key works, artist portraits, exhibitions, installations, and publications.


The history and global sweep of photography are well served by this comprehensive, elegant reference book, produced by an impressive international team… A sturdy, tall-format binding, heavy matte paper, and a terrific layout with lots of white space add to the book's functional and aesthetic appeal. Important publications are noted in the entries for further research and will prove helpful for librarians involved in collection building. Highly recommended.

— Choice

An indispensable reference volume for an exquisitely distilled compendium of the most significant contributions to the art…. The Thames & Hudson Dictionary of Photography takes us back to an earlier way of engaging with information, giving us the opportunity to find and discover gems at our fingertips, reminding us that there's nothing quite like the experience of the book itself.

— Crave Online

Boasting 1,200 entries, this sharp volume is proof that while the Internet is a seemingly infinite source of information, there is no substitute for a well-edited (and handsome) dictionary.

— San Francisco Chronicle


Nathalie Herschdorfer

Edited By

Nathalie Herschdorfer is a curator and art historian specializing in the history of photography. She is the director of the Museum of Fine Arts in Le Locle, Switzerland.