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Rothschild Archive, The

Contact Details

New Court
St. Swithin's Lane

Fax: +44 (0)20 7280 5657

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7280 5874

Primary Email:

Primary Website: Click here

Primary Contact: Melanie Aspey, Director

Secondary Contact: Justin Cavernelis-Frost, Archivist

Conditions of Access

The Archive is open Monday to Friday 10am to 4.15pm.

An appointment is necessary, so please contact the Archivist, this can be arranged by visiting the Rothschild Archive website and completing the relevant form with your details and research interest. All researchers must provide two written references in support of their application in advance of their first visit. Researchers are also required to sign a copy of the Archives standard agreement on their first visit.

Finding Aids
For information on the collections please contact the Archivist, alternatively go to the Rothschild Archive website and consult the Guide to records – this will give information on the scope and content of the archive holdings in London.

The scope of the archive collections can be seen on A2A.

Also of value in looking for photographs are publications based either in part or wholly on the collection:

The Colours of Another Age, exhibition catalogue of autochromes by  Lionel de Rothschild.
Summary of Holdings
The photograph collections have been formed from the personal collections of various members of the Rothschild family, and reflect their family and business interests from the 19th to the 21st century.

Since the Rothschild family has business interests in this and other countries there are a number of photographs of the Royal Mint Refinery, London 1938; the Rothschild business in the City at New Court, which includes an album of photographs taken by a member of staff in 1937 of his colleagues in the office; the building of New Court during the 1960s; a number of b/w contact sheets of the Rothschild family for a story on the family for Queen magazine by John Chillingworth in 1960.

As with any family, photography was used to record family events such as holidays in this country and abroad, winter sports, portraits of family and friends, members of the family at the time of the 1st World War, point to point meetings, children at play, cricket, family gatherings, etc.

There are a considerable number of albums dating from the 1860s onwards which include portraits not just of the Rothschild family and their friends and associates but also members of British and European royalty, most of these are studio portraits by photographers such as Alice Hughes, Desderi, Etienne Carjat, Hills and Saunders, Camille Silvy, etc. There are also bound volumes and albums of photographs which show exterior and interior views of Mentmore, anon; the estate and house at Exbury, anon; Pregeny (Switzerland) by George; and Leighton Buzzard Corn Exchange by W. & J. Piggott.

The collection also includes a small series of photographs of the Countess Di Castiglione by Pierre-Louis Pierson; an album Sur Grinnerung an den19./20. December 1871 by E. Rabending; an album of the Sassoon family in Scotland c. 1890s and a small collection of photographs taken in Palestine during 1914-1918 showing the presence of the British Army by A. Reid (Central News).

Of significance is the Lionel de Rothschild Photographs Collection. This contains 28 albums, a number of loose prints, 733 autochromes (single and stereoscopic plate) by Lionel de Rothschild, the collection also includes albums of photographs by other photographers, Halton Park by John Thomson; Halton by Sam Glen Payne and Tring Park by H. Bedford Lemere. Lionel De Rothschild’s own photographs show countries he visited while on holiday, such as Denmark, Egypt, Italy, Netherlands, Scotland, Spain, Switzerland, Tunisia. The subjects of his photography include his yacht the Rhodora, views of gardens showing plants and flowers, views of towns and buildings, landscapes, bird nests, a bull fight, portraits of family and friends, and so on. The camera equipment he used has survived and includes three cameras made by Newman Guardia Ltd with their respective holders and cases.
Size of Collection

There are approximately 5000 photographs.