For half a century Bedford Lemere & Co was the leading architectural photography company in England. Based in London, the firm's clients included many of the leading architects, designers, industrialists and retailers of the day. The wealth of late Victorian and Edwardian Liverpool often brought Bedford Lemere & Co to Merseyside - after London it was the firm's second-most photographed location.
Their photography captures an age of confidence when national prosperity and civic pride gave rise to a wave of new buildings across Merseyside and throughout England.
The majority of Bedford Lemere & Co's surviving photographs are cared for by English Heritage in its public archive. The collection comprises over 21,800 glass negatives and around 3,000 unique prints, principally dating from the 1880s to the 1930s. English Heritage is undertaking a major project to conserve, catalogue and scan the Bedford Lemere & Co collection with the aim of making the images accessible online. Over 8,000 can already be seen, free of charge, at: www.englishheritagearchives.org.uk.
English Heritage has also recently published The Photography of Bedford Lemere & Co by Nicholas Cooper. This fascinating book showcases the wide range of the firm's subjects and perfectly illustrates the technical skill and level of detail evident in their work.