Denis Thorpe Photographic Collection

Scope and Content

Photographic prints of Denis Thorpe's work from 1950 including work produced for the Daily Mail (1957-74) and the Guardian (1974-96) and examples of Denis's freelance work for the Guardian, 1996-2000.

Administrative / Biographical History

Denis Thorpe initially aspired to become a reporter having been praised for some of his writing whilst at school. He joined the Mansfield Reporter as junior journalist in 1948, his job responsibilities mostly assisting the photographer. After National Service he rejoined the Mansfield Reporter as photographer. He then worked for the Northampton Chronicle & Echo (1954-55), the Lincolnshire Echo (1955), Birmingham Gazette & Dispatch (1955-57) before joining the Daily Mail in 1957. He joined the Guardian on the 12 August 1974, where he stayed for over 22 years. The Guardian encouraged his work and allowed him to explore new methods and to become adept in all genres of photography. Thorpe retired in April 1996 but continues to take photographs and give talks. An exhibition of photographs from his book 'Photographs 1950-2000' was displayed in the Guardian Newsroom from the 7 May-25 June 2004.


The photographs have been divided into sections for Thorpe's pre-Guardian and Guardian careers.

Access Information

Open. Records may be viewed in our reading room by appointment only, see our website for more information.

Acquisition Information

The majority of this collection was received from the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in 2002. It had been loaned by Denis Thorpe for a touring exhibition in north west England. Other parts of the collection were assembled in the run up to an exhibition of his work held at the Newsroom in 2004 and the accompanying book, Photographs, 1950-2000.

Other Finding Aids

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


The Shepherd's Year (1979), Pictorial Group Monograph (1994), Denis Thorpe on Home Ground (2001), Denis Thorpe Photographs 1950-2000 (2004).