Call for Applications: The History of the German-Language Photo Book

We’re glad to share the following announcement on behalf of the German Photographic Association (DGPh):

In 2015, for the second time, the History and Archives department of the German Photographic Association (DGPh) is awarding a grant concerning the history of the German-language photo book. This grant, which, initially, is going to be advertised over a ten-year period at two-yearly intervals, is intended specifically to promote historical research into all aspects of photojournalism as a part of general photography history. The grant owes its existence to the initiative and legacy of the internationally renowned designer, curator, collector and photography promoter Manfred Heiting (DGPh).

Right after the invention of photography, attempts were made to reproduce its images in the press so that they could be kept permanently and made accessible to broad sections of the population at the same time. In around 1895, the combination of photography and printing press was finally achieved, which had far-reaching consequences not only for the production of photographically illustrated books, but also for photographic practice itself. However, notwithstanding the close association of the history of photography with that of its printing, intensified dealing with various facets of the photographically illustrated book began only in recent years.

Through the now advertised DGPh grant concerning the history of the German-language photobook, the German Photographic Association wishes to link with newer approaches to the reappraisal – focused on photography history, technology history, culture history and/or science history, respectively media science and book science – of the full spectrum of the production, distribution and reception of the photographically illustrated book and in particular to motivate, support and publicly open up research in this field. Researchers from all scientific disciplines are called on to this end.

Treatment of the following, related topical fields is conceivable, for instance:

  • History of photomechanical printing methods as well as of the associated industries (printers/graphic arts institutions/block factories, paper makers, press builders) in the late 19th and 20th century
  • History of photographic publishers
  • The photographer and “his” book – On the relationship of photographers and publishers as image suppliers and image exploiters
  • Topics from photobooks, picture book series / topical analyses
  • Influence of (printed) photography on scientific method in humanities and sciences
  • The author’s image archive / Publishers’ image archive as universal store of photographs for publications
  • Bibliographic surveys.

Research should be focused on the history of photographically illustrated books in Germany in the 20th century, commencing in about 1895 with the establishment of autotypy. Germany’s special position in the development of photographic technology, film and photo chemistry, printing technology, printing papers, publishing and book trade, press agencies, photo aesthetics and professional organisations would need to be brought out on the basis of exemplary image details, in order to make it more strongly visible in international discourse.

Conditions of the Grant

The grant consists of a sponsorship endowed with 7500 Euro, which is to be used to support the elaboration of a concrete, precisely sketched topic which can be worked on within an appropriate time frame on the history of the German-language, photographically illustrated book. A further 5000 Euro will be used to promote the publication of the research findings in a series to be newly founded and published by the German Photographic Association; publication of the research results can also take place in the form of an exhibition, a database or similar. Though the processing of international sources is explicitly encouraged, the research findings should generally be presented in German.

Applicants are expected to submit a precise project description of 3-5 pages, which – in addition to a description of the research goal – is to contain a nuanced work schedule with itemisation of the sources to be researched (collections, archives etc.) and a timetable. A further requirement is proof of relevant research experience (curriculum vitae, list of publications). The grant holder will be selected by an expert jury made up of members of the board of the History and Archives department of the DGPh and external experts. A binding agreement will be made concerning the project; during the processing period, the board of the History and Archives department will be available to provide professional support.

Payment of the grant will be made, as the project progresses, in three stages: On commencement of the work the grant holder will receive 2500 Euro, following completion of the research another 2500 Euro, on presentation of the finished manuscript, 2500 Euro again. Provable expenses (excluding travel expenses) will additionally be reimbursed up to 500 Euro. A further 5000 Euro are available for the funding of a German-language publication. With the appropriate relevance an English-language edition is likewise possible.

To apply, the following application documents must be submitted online at

  • a PDF document containing the exact project description, scope 3-5 pages
  • a PDF document containing curriculum vitae (resumé) and list of publications so far

Submission deadline is 30 September 2015.


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