TLF Library of Classics

(Forever in Progress)

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Reading classic (a.k.a. "old") photographic books is invaluable to learning to how make and use emulsions. I promise! Let the cadence of the language flow through you like poetry and the philosophy of diligent and persistent work inspire you.

Photographic Emulsion Chemistry, Part 1 pdf : Chapters I-VI .,
by G. F. Duffin

Photographic Emulsion Chemistry, Part 2 pdf : Chapters VII-XI


Photographic Emulsion Technique, Part 1 pdf : Chapters I-VI. .,
by T. Thorne Baker

Photographic Emulsion Technique, Part 2 pdf : Chapters VII-XIV.


The Photography of Colored Objects .,
by Eastman Kodak Company



Photographic Filters,
by B. T. J. Glover & G. L. Wakefield, Fountain Press



Successful Negative Making,
by T. Thorne Baker, Focus Photographic Manuals



The Photographic Emulsion,
by Carroll, Hubbard, and Kretschman, The Focal Press

A searchable .PDF version
(Note: It is over 50 MB, and download time may be long-ish for you.)


All of the books on this list are excellent.  Any and all would be valuable additions to an emulsion maker's library.  Most of these books come available more or less regularly on either Amazon or Abebooks, or my favorite go-to place for photography books: Unfortunately, original editions can be very expensive.  Fortunately, interlibrary loan programs will be able to find most of the titles.  Many titles are available for free reading from Google books.  If I'm aware of this, it's noted.  Many are available as affordable reprints — also noted.  The symbol * indicates a book that is very hard to find, but that I feel is too valuable to be unavailable.  If I can't find a downloadable version, or a reprint, I will be scanning my volume, or limited applicable sections, for posting on TLF.

  1. The Negative, by Ansel Adams, New York Graphic Society, 1948.  The 1st Edition is an invaluable classic.

  2. Photography with Emulsions, by William De W. Abney, 1885.  Google Book: here.  REPRINT: here.

  3. The Darkroom Cookbook, 3rd Ed, by Stephen G. Anchell.  The chapters on handling chemicals are a must-read.

  4. Photographic Emulsion Technique, 1st Ed (1941) or 2nd Ed (1948), by T. Thorne Baker.  Highly recommended.  A TLF library book.

  5. Successful Negative Making, 2nd Edition, by T. Thorne Baker, Focus Photographic Manuals No.1, 1905.  This booklet doesn't have any emulsion recipes, but rather speaks to the best ways to handle the commercial plates of the (1905) day, and is therefore a gold mine of practical information for working with our own plates.   A TLF library book.

  6. Dye Transfer Materials, by James Browning.  pdf File

  7. The Photographic Emulsion , by B. H. Carroll, Hubbard, and Kretschman , The Focal Press.   A TLF library book.

  8. Introduction to Photographic Theory — The Silver Halide Process, by B. H. Carroll, Higgins and James, Wiley and Sons, 1980.

  9. Photographic Facts and Formulas, by John S. Carroll, Wall and Jordan, Prentice-Hall, 1975.

  10. Photographic Emulsion Chemistry , by G. F. Duffin, The Focal Press, 1966. A TLF library book.

  11. Photographie mit Bromsiber-Gelatine, by Josef M. Eder, 1890. (in German)

  12. Modern Dry Plates, by J. M. Eder, 1881.  Google Book: here.  REPRINT: here.

  13. The Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911, Vol. XXI, PAYN to POLKA (i.e. Photography). *

  14. The Focal Encyclopedia of Photography, McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1969.

  15. History of Color Photography, by Joseph. S. Friedman, American Photographic Publishing Company, 1947.

  16. Photographic Chemistry, Vol. One, by Pierre Glafkides, 1958. * (selected sections)

  17. The Theory of the Photographic Process, 3rd Edition, by T. H. James, editor, The Macmillan Company, 1966.

  18. Fundamentals of PhotographicTheory, by T. H. James and George C. Higgins, John Wiley & Sons, 1948.

  19. Fundamentals of PhotographicTheory, 2nd Edition, by T. H. James and George C. Higgins, Morgan & Morgan, 1960.

  20. Fundamentals of Photographic Theory, 2nd Edition, 2nd Printing, by T. H. James and George C. Higgins, Morgan & Morgan, 1968.

  21. Manual of Photography, by M. Carey Lea, Benerman and Wilson, 1868.  REPRINT: here.

  22. Photographic Processing Chemistry, L. F. A. Mason, The Focal Press, 1966.

  23. From Dry Plates to Ektachrome Film, A Story of Photographic Research, C. E. Kenneth Mees, Ziff-Davis Publishing Company, 1961.

  24. The Theory of the Photographic Process, by C. E. Kenneth Mees,  The Macmillan Company, 1945, and the 2nd Edition in 1954. * (selected sections)

  25. The Theory of the Photographic Process, 3rd Edition, by C.E. Kenneth Mees and T.H. James, 1966.

  26. Photographic Science, by Earl N. Mitchell, 1984.

  27. Fundamental Mechanisms of Photographic Sensitivity, Proceeding of a Symposium held at the University of Bristol in March 1950, N. F. Mott (Chairman), Butterworth's Scientific Publications.

  28. Silver Gelatin, by Martin Reed and Sarah Jones, Amphoto Books, 1996.   This is really about using Liquid Light or the other prepared emulsions, but there is a bunch of solid information for the person who may not have an extensive darkroom background.  In addition, there are a number of emulsion recipes from original publications, primarily Baker and Wall.  Used books are currently very expensive, but there is a reprint offered directly from Martin Reed and Silverprint: here

  29. Gelatin in Photography, Volume I, Monographs on the Theory of Photography, from the Research Laboratory of the Eastman Kodak Company, No. 3,  by S. E. Sheppard, D. Van Nostrand Company, 1923.

  30. Investigations on the Theory of the Photographic Process, by S.E. Sheppard, The Focal Press, 1969.

  31. Dry Plate Making for Amateurs: A Series of Articles First Published in The Photographic Times, by George Law Sinclair, Scovill Manufacturing Company, 1886.  REPRINT: here.

  32. SPSE Handbook of Photographic Science and Engineering, Edited by Woodlief Thomas, Jr., 1973.

  33. The Silver Bromide Grain of Photographic Emulsions, Monographs on the Theory of Photography, from the Research Laboratory of the Eastman Kodak Company, No. 1, by A. P. H. Trivelli and S. E. Sheppard, D. Van Nostrand Company, 1921.  Google Book: here REPRINT: here.

  34. Three-Colour Photography: Three-Colour Printing and the Production of Photographic Pigment Pictures in Natural Colours, by Arthur Freiherrn Von Hübl, 1904.  Google Book: here REPRINT: here.

  35. The Dictionary of Photography, by E. J. Wall, 1912.  Google Book: here.

  36. Photographic Emulsions: Their Preparation and Coating on Glass, Celluloid and Paper, Experimentally, and on a Large Scale, by E. J. Wall, 1929.  Kirk Keyes has posted a very readable copy on his website here.

  37. Practical Color Photography, by E. J. Wall, 1928.  Google Book: here.  REPRINT: here.

  38. The History of Three-Color Photography, by E. J. Wall, American Photographic Publishing Company, 1925.

  39. Photographic Facts and Formulas, by E. J. Wall, American Photographic Publishing Company, 1924.  Read: here.

  40. Photographic Facts and Formulas, by E. J. Wall and Franklin I. Jordan, American Photographic Publishing Company, 1940.

  41. Memoirs of a Photochemist, by Dr. Fritz Wentzel, published by the American Museum of Photography, 1960.  Although this doesn't have recipes, per se, it is one of my favorite 'good reads' — a delight and nearly as good as time travel.

  42. Making and Coating Photographic Emulsions, by V. L. Zelikman and S. M. Levi, 1964. 



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