Independent image agency TopFoto is known for quality, depth, industry-leading customer service and attention-grabbing narrative image sets from history, with much that is exclusive. The archive supplies key images to groundbreaking projects, such as the recent Chernobyl drama-documentary, and The Crown. Media and art researchers are invited to log in or register for an account today for access to award-winning images including exclusive content.
“I like your curated collections for subjects, not always the most obvious, which is great. The website is beautifully minimalist – I like sites that are well designed and do what you need straightforwardly – and yours does”, writes Steve Bergson, freelance archive researcher, WMR/Renegade, October 2019
“TopFoto’s physical archive is an extraordinary and irreplaceable treasure house of photographic history. There is little I like more than to lose myself while exploring its historic depths”, writes Wolfgang Wild, curator, writer, speaker and creator of the history brand Retronaut, October 2019
Recently uploaded collections include Punch cartoons (exclusive global representation); 225,000 images from German agency Interfoto; rare content from Sweden’s Classic Picture Library and previously unseen 1950s photography by great photojournalists (exclusives) including Roger Bamber, Harold Chapman, George Douglas.
Founded in 1927 by definitive English life photographer John Topham, TopFoto (originally Topham Picture Library) has since been built up by three generations of the Smith family into what it is today: an expanding, independent picture agency and archive of fascinating range and depth, supplying stand-out imagery from world history to current affairs, to global markets.
TopFoto delivers images to a global customer base that includes the BBC, Dior, Tyrrells Crisps, Soap & Glory (UK); Edgenuity (USA), National Museums Doha (Qatar), Burberry, W.W. Norton & Company (USA), Channel 4 Television, Nelson Education (Canada), Kognity (USA), World Media Rights, Editions Robert Laffont (France), IB Publishing (Netherlands), Thames & Hudson, University of Richmond (USA), Cornelsen (Germany), Colombia University (USA), Penguin Random House, Oxford University Press, Chartwell National Trust, Cambridge Assessment International Education, Wall to Wall Media, University of Southern Mississippi (USA), Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Germany), Yale University Press, The Daily Mail, plus many more leading brands, broadcasters, creative agencies, newspapers, publishers, TV production companies and numerous private creative projects in every corner of the globe.
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o Editorial specialists, with a number of major creative accounts.
o The heart of the archive is made up of the John Topham collection plus millions of original negatives and hardcopy prints from a number of thriving 20th Century historic British press agencies from the glory days of Fleet Street (c.1900-1969), collected and acquired by the Smiths during the 1970s and 1980s, together with original engravings from the early 1800s and glass plate negatives from early 1900s.
o The first big win for the firm turned out to be providing a large number of photos of Juan and Eva Peron to a team taking what was viewed as a huge gamble on a musical about the life of Evita. TopFoto’s photographs were incorporated into the set, with a royalty per flash in performance agreed for their anticipated “maximum 2-week run” way back in 1978….
o TopFoto are the sole, official and exclusive representative of the legendary Punch magazine and cartoons.
o TopFoto directly owns uniquely important photographer collections including over 3,000 negatives and prints taken by the late filmmaker Ken Russell (1950s), and the archive of key Illustrated and PicturePost photographer George Douglas known as “Speedy George” (1940s-1950s)
o TopFoto represents over 50 global partners, distributing some of the finest photography collections in the world including Roger Viollet, Alinari, Imagno, ulllstein bild, Granger Collection, TASS, SCRSS.