Historical Heroines

Heroines of the past who were active at some point between the late 18th century and the mid-20th century.

From Alice to Yva, explore the archive of Historical Heroines and learn about the rich lives and careers of pioneering women photographers. As we continue our mission, our online archives will continue grow.

Researched, written and curated by our volunteers. If you would like to contribute to this valuable resource, sign up to volunteer today.

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Alice Austen

Alice Austin (1866-1952) was one of the first women to work outside the photographic studio, documenting New York City as well as intimate relationships between Victorian women...

Ann Cooke

Ann Cooke

Ann Cooke is credited as being the first female photographer in Britain to open a professional photographic portrait studio....

Anna Atkins

Anna Atkins was the first person to create a book made entirely from photographic images and is widely acclaimed for her use of British algae cyanotypes....

Anne Fischer, ca. 1935-36

Anne Fischer

German photographer Anne Fischer (1914 - 1986) left Germany in 1937 to become a fine portrait photographer and to specialise in dance photography....

young woman with camera and cigarette looking straight into camera

Annemarie Schwarzenbach

Recognized as a notable LGBTQ+ fashion icon and an accomplished twentieth-century author, Annemarie Schwarzenbach was also a prolific photographer....

Barbara Pflaum

Barbara Pflaum (1912-2002) was an Austrian photographer and photojournalist, active in the 1950s until her retirement in 1977....

A black and white photograph showing a range of objects - a ruler, nails, wood - shaped into right angles.

Běla Kolářová

Běla Kolářová (1923 – 2010) was a unique and pioneering self-taught artist, a proponent of Czech photography of the Cold War avant garde....

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