Photographs of Walter Doughty

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Series of glass plate negatives taken by Walter Doughty for the Manchester Guardian/Manchester Evening News during the Irish Civil War (1920-22).

Administrative / Biographical History

Walter Doughty was born on the 22 August 1876 in Stalybridge. Doughty joined the Manchester Guardian in 1908 as the paper's first staff photographer and continued to work occasionally for the paper and the Manchester Evening News after his retirement in 1949. He was an innovative photojournalist; he was the first newspaperman to photograph the city of Manchester from the air in 1919 when the Manchester Corporation opened its first municipal aerodrome. It is also believed he covered the civil war in Ireland for the paper in 1922 with a camera he either made himself, or had custom built for his use. Part of his obituary from The Guardian, 29 May 1958, reads 'In the files of the office his pictures throughout the Edwardian and Georgian eras would make a fine illustrated history of the North of England from the last 50 years', making him the first in a strong line of Manchester-based Guardian photographers who would continue in this tradition, amongst them Tom Stuttard, Robert Smithies, Don McPhee and Denis Thorpe. He died at his Alderley Edge home on 27 March 1958.

Conditions Governing Access

Open(part). Access to glass plate negatives is restricted due to their fragile nature. Contact the Archive for further information.

Acquisition Information

Prior to the closing of the Manchester Guardian darkroom, the late staff photographer Don McPhee discovered a series of 3.5 x 4.5" and 4 x 5" glass plate negatives believed to be by Doughty. This included a series taken for the paper's centenary celebration in 1921 (See GUA/6/9/1/11/1) as well as the Irish conflict images.

Other Finding Aids

A full catalogue description for this collection can be found on the GNM Archive catalogue.

Geographical Names