Panoramas and Portraits:
1860’s China

The University library has recently carried out an extensive digitisation project of a superb volume of photographs many of which are from Lord Elgin’s 1860’s military campaign in China.  The majority of these images were taken by Felice Beato, the famous war photographer.


The album from which these images are taken is a large, fairly ornate embossed and gilt-tooled leather bound volume measuring 69cm. It contains 59 images mounted on 56 leaves.

For an introduction to the album, please see the blog written by University volunteer Caitlin Holton. The complete set of digitised images can be seen on the University’s LUNA website at this link.                     

Some photos are captioned.  You can check by viewing a full page image and zoom in by hovering your mouse over the image to bring up the zoom tool then check if there is a caption underneath.

More info

0066527cAs well as images recording Lord Elgin’s 1860 military campaign in the Second Opium War, there are landscape views of Honk Kong, Shanghai and Macao.The subject matter also includes studio portraits of Chinese people.

For a fuller annotated description of this album held in the University of Edinburgh and referenced as “China”: RECA.MS.8. please download the album description china_reca-ms-8

There is a list of contents for the album which can be obtained by emailing If you have any contributions or information on specific images these would be most welcome.

womenattableAdditional websites which may be of interest can be found at the links below.

Historical Photographs of China

Sydney D. Gamble Photographs

For further information on these images please email