Acquisition of archive by University of St Andrews

The work of internationally recognised Scottish photographer Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert has been acquired by the University of St Andrews.  

The collection of around one million images, dating from 1988-2021, will double the University’s photography archive and create significant opportunities for research and teaching at the University. The images are available for the public to view online and there are plans to display parts of the collection in future.

Mr Sutton-Hibbert’s work has appeared in publications including Time, National Geographic, Italian Geo, Le Figaro, The Guardian and The Sunday Times. For over two decades he has been a contributing photographer for Greenpeace International.

It is the wish of Mr Sutton-Hibbert that his work, spanning 30 years of his career to date, be held by a Scottish institution, ensuring its accessibility to researchers, historians and the wider public.  

Mr Sutton-Hibbert said: “I’m immensely proud that the work from my career will now reside at the University of St Andrews, amongst a highly regarded collection built since the beginning of photography. It is important that photography collections can be utilised by others and safeguarded for the future. 

“It is a thank you to all those people whose lives I have encountered with my camera, and pleasing to know that their stories, those stories that I was fortunate enough to photograph, will be part of the grander story of our nation, and contribute to the continued appreciation of photography in Scotland.” 

Mr Sutton-Hibbert’s work covers a wide range of styles and subjects, from photojournalism to personal documentary projects. He has worked extensively across the world and covered many news stories and features including the aftermath of 9/11 in New York, the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan and whaling in the Southern Ocean.

He has also covered environmental issues including the Braer oil disaster, deforestation in Papua New Guinea and environmental protest, and has documented Scottish industries such as North Sea fishing, coal mining and shipbuilding on the River Clyde. 

Mr Sutton-Hibbert co-founded the Document Scotland photography collective and has exhibited his photography widely, including at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh.  

The University of St Andrews has been collecting photography since 1844 and today seeks to collect work by Scottish photographers as a visual document of Scottish culture. The University already held one of the largest and most important collections in the world. This new acquisition of the work of a notable contemporary photographer doubles the size of the collection, increasing the photography collections at the University of St Andrews to over two million items. Almost 800,000 of the photographs in this new acquisition are born-digital, which also represents a step change in collecting, cataloguing and preserving digital photography at St Andrews. 

Rachel Nordstrom, Photographic Collections Manager in the University’s Libraries and Museums, said: “It is with great pleasure that we can announce the important acquisition of Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert’s archive into the Photographic Collections at The University of St Andrews. This acquisition illustrates the social value of Jeremy’s work and the invaluable research potential within. Jeremy’s is a vast archive and it contains endless potential for current and future generations of students and researchers.” 

The collection consists of approximately 210,000 negatives, 8,000 mounted and unmounted transparencies, 800,000 born-digital photographic files, 2,000 contact sheets and 1,000 finished and working prints. It is available online now.

The lift of the 100-tonne bow, to be connected onto Hull 802, in the Ferguson Marine shipyard, in Port Glasgow, Scotland, 26 April 2022. ©Jeremy Sutton-HIbbert 2022

First Glimpse – The archive

Comprising of nearly one million images and spanning a remarkable 30-year career to date, Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert’s work continues a long tradition of documentary photographer as critical observer. The depth and breadth of this extraordinary archive covers a vast spectrum of subjects – from world leaders to marginalised communities, from historic events in countries all around the globe to the local football match, just down the road. It also reflects some of the huge cultural shifts of our times, whether a growing awareness of ecological disaster or the swirl of political discourse around Scottish independence.

It is a vital historical document, it is an extraordinary artistic achievement, and it is now publicly available for research, teaching, and exhibition through the University of St Andrews.

For more information visit the University Collections website at

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