This class of photographs numbers nearly 2,500 pieces and contains images spanning virtually the whole of RD's life and career. It includes family snapshots (of RD's boyhood, his family in America, and his own wives and children), portrait photographs of RD, stills and publicity photographs for most of his plays and films, and photographs of other individuals acquired by RD. They provide valuable information about RD's family life and his career on stage and screen (including most of the major characters he played), the manipulation of the visual image for publicity purposes, other actors of the day, and the process of film-making. The Cure for Love (1949), the film which RD produced, directed and starred in, is particularly well-documented visually: the photographs illustrate the entire process of film creation including the search for suitable locations, construction of studio sets, auditions and make-up tests, the development of glossy publicity photographs from rough proofs, behind-the-scenes shots of cast, crew and filming in action, and numerous stills from the film itself.
The photographs are also a useful resource for those interested in the work of various established photographers who took publicity and portrait photographs of RD. These include Burrell and Hardman of Liverpool, F.W. Schmidt of Manchester, and Douglas Glass, Angus McBean and Tunbridge of London.
All the photographs are black and white prints.