Mary Evans Picture Library covers a broad range of topics and subject areas which, although coming under the umbrella classification of history, in fact extend far beyond most people's perception of historical pictures.
Our material has traditionally been used in an editorial context to illustrate news stories, magazine articles and the like, but today it is increasingly sought by creatives looking for different and stimulating imagery around which to base advertising campaigns or commercial design projects.
Mary Evans Picture Library began life in 1964, and its core philosophy has remained unchanged for over 40 years: to make available and accessible all the wonderful images created for people to enjoy over the centuries which were originally published in books, on posters, in advertisements, or as prints.
In 2014, we are celebrating 50 years as an independent family-owned historical picture library. While our core values have not changed, our methods of putting them into effect are almost unrecognisable today.
The library grew rapidly throughout the 1960s and 1970s. 1975 was a key year when Hilary and Mary were founder members of both the British Association of Picture Libraries and Agencies (BAPLA), the industry's trade organisation, and the Picture Research Association. In the same year they published the first edition of The Picture Researcher's Handbook, which ran to eight editions.
In 2013, we were pleased to welcome Ardea Picture Library to the Mary Evans stable. Ardea staff now share our building in Blackheath, which has also, since 2010, been the home of BAPLA. Space remains at a premium, however, as we continue to add new pictures to our collection