On This Day

Anna Atkins

Botanist and Photographer Anna Atkins

Profession: Botanist and Photographer


Biography: Considered the first person to publish a book illustrated with photographic images in October 1843 with her first instalment of "Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions."

Atkins was known to have had access to a camera by 1841 leading some sources to claim that Atkins was the first female photographer.

Other sources though name Constance Talbot, the wife of William Henry Fox Talbot, as the first female photographer.

Unfortunately, as no camera-based photographs by Anna Atkins or any photographs by Constance Talbot survive, the issue may never be resolved.

Born: March 16, 1799
Birthplace: Tonbridge, Kent, England
Star Sign: Pisces

Died: June 9, 1871 (aged 72)
Cause of Death: Paralysis, rheumatism, and exhaustion

Historical Events

  • 2015-03-16 Google¬†commemorate Anna Atkins's 216th birthday with a Google Doodle image representing her cyanoprint work