Anna Atkins, botanist and photographer, applied the process of cyanotype to record specimens of algae found in the british isles. She began to self publish these images in 1843, producing what is now considered the first book illustrated with photographic images.
Les herbiers en cyanotypes d'Anna Atkins
National Women’s History Month-We honor Anna Atkins (1799-1871), the “Mother of Cyanotype” English photographer and botanist, Atkins used cyanotype to record botanical specimens. Her earliest work is entitled British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions (1843). She was a scientist with an artist’s flare!
Book by Anna Atkins, Photographs of British Algae is a landmark in the histories both of photography and of publishing: the first photographic work by a woman, and the first book produced entirely by photographic means.
In 1843, Atkins started work producing the cyanotypes that would make up Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions. As the volumes were self-published, and the plates each made by hand, each version (and there aren't many left) is slightly different. Ours has a total of 457 plates bound in four books which were originally owned by Frederick Horniman.