Godfrey Bingley Photographic Archive

Scope and Content

The collection comprises black and white images from the glass plate and cellulose nitrate negatives produced by the photographer, Godfrey Bingley. Spanning the years 1884-1913 the images cover a wide range of subjects. There are many Yorkshire scenes including places such as Kirkstall Abbey, Fountains Abbey, Headingley, Bolton Abbey and Scarborough. However, the collection also covers locations in the UK, Europe and South America.

A particularly noteworthy feature of the collection is the inclusion of Bingley's notebooks in which he detailed the place and date of each shot.

The original slides have been digitised and the images can be seen in the Leeds Special Collections' Godfrey Bingley catalogue record .

Professor P. F. Kendall, accepting the gift from Bingley, described the archive as 'probably the most magnificent collection ever made of lantern slides, illustrating architecture, archaeology, geology and scenery in all parts of England, but especially Yorkshire...'

Administrative / Biographical History

Godfrey Bingley was born in Skinner Lane, Leeds, on 3 July 1842. His father was Godfrey Martin Bingley and his mother, Mary Walker. Bingley senior was a newspaper reporter and shorthand writer. By 1849 the family were living at 4 Cowper Street, Chapeltown. In April 1854, the family moved to Grove Mill, Headingley, the home of Bingley's maternal grandfather, Thomas Walker. Bingley senior went into business with Walker as a carpet yarn spinner.

Bingley became an apprentice engineer to his Uncle John Bingley on 14 April 1858 at Harper Street Foundry, Leeds. He went on to become an engineer and iron founder. In 1878 Bingley married Elizabeth Huckvale in Chipping Sodbury, Oxfordshire. The couple lived in Headlingley and had two daughters.

Bingley was able to retire at the age of 42. By 1887 he had become deeply interested in photography. Over the next 26 years he traveled widely taking photographs, many in Yorkshire. Bingley also went abroad to to destinations which included Norway, France and Mexico. His interests in geology, history and travel are reflected in his photographs. Bingley lectured on photography primarily about technical matters.

Bingley was elected to the Yorkshire Geological Society in 1895. In 1913 he was forced to give up photography because of his failing eyesight. He died in 1927. The society's obituary for Bingley paid tribute to his 'unrivaled knowledge of the technique of photography'.

Access Information

This part of the collection is fully accessible and not subject to restrictions under the Data Protection Act.

Conditions Governing Use

This material is out of copyright and can be reproduced with the permission of the Library.

Custodial History

The collection was donated to the University in 1913 by Godfrey Bingley. Professor P. F. Kendall, of the Geology Department accepted the gift on behalf of the department.