Don’t lose sight of the bigger picture

One of my main concerns with your Photolibraries supplement (DW 27 November) was the emphasis on “photolibraries” as though no other existed.

You write “Once upon a time there were picture libraries” – there are three companies in your advertisers list which are proud to call themselves “picture libraries” and which are still thriving in the picture industry despite this.

The British Association of Picture Libraries and Agencies has not changed its name to the British Association of Photo Libraries and Agencies and welcomes picture libraries as its members.

Picture libraries and photographic agencies are absolutely not “essentially the same beast” – photographic agencies and photo libraries are generally agencies which represent other peoples’ photographs; picture libraries may also have photographs, but can also be important collections which contain original manuscripts, engravings, mezzotints, fine art paintings and lithographs.

I defy anyone to label Corbis and the V&A Picture Library the same beast.

Valentine Evans

Mary Evans Picture Library

London SE3

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