World Photobook Day — #AnnaGoesGreen

OCT 14/2018

Anna Atkins — Photographs of British Algae, 1843

Back in 1843, someone wrote a date on a book at the British Museum Library: October 14th, 1843. This book is titled Photographs of British algae. Cyanotype impressions, by Anna Atkins. And six years ago we transformed this simple gesture into a global event — the World Photobook Day.

On the 175th anniversary of the acquisition by the British Museum of the first ever published photobook, we’d like you to join and celebrate with us. You can just share the #photobookday hashtag or you can organize anything you like in your city, with your Photobook Club, publishing company, with your just released self-published photobook, your photography school mates, friends, etc.

This year we’d like to focus your energy into a global concern and ask you to remember global warming, the environmental impact of our lives, books on plants and nature, links to earth and of course, the first book on seaweed!!! As with every year, we know there is not much time to organize large events. We can propose some easy activities you can undertake to celebrate locally this global event:

  •    Post a #PhotoBookDay Selfie or a Shelfie on social media: an image with you and your current favourite photobook.
  •    Ask your local library to buy local self-published photobooks and photozines, we are sure you can give them some ideas.
  •    Buy a photobook. Many bookshops and publishers will make special discounts for the day. Follow your favourite bookshops on social media or search for #PhotoBookDay for offers and discounts.
  •    If you make or sell books, offer your customers discounts or some special goodies. If you run a bookshop a special 5% discount, or free shipping costs, will make your clients happy. Don’t forget to announce it with #PhotoBookDay on your usual social media channels.
  •    Search for a PhotoBook Club in your city to meet with like other people and share photobooks. If there is no one, PhotoBookDay can be a good day to start one. We’ll make a list with activities organized by clubs all around the globe.
  •    Discuss your love of photobooks via the twitter hashtag #PhotoBookDay. Or on instagram, too.

We have some visuals you can use to add to your posters and social network communications that you will find on this site. And please, tell us what you did for World PhotoBook Day 2018. We hope we all have fun this day with photobooks.

Organise! Participate! Celebrate! World Photobook Day has been set up as a collaboration between the organizers of Photobook Club Madrid, Doug Spowart and Matt Johnston. Celebrating the photobook, born in 1843.


Juan Barte
Juan Cires
Bonifacio Barrio Hijosa
Matt Johnston
Doug Spowart


This seems like a great time to share How We See: Photobooks by Women produced by 10×10 photobooks. It’s kinda pricey but maybe one to suggest for your local/institutions library as it is probably the most important book on photobooks for some time. 



The Making of the #PhotobookDay Posters

Once again for World Photobook Day Bonifacio Barrio Hijosa has created some fantastic artwork which celebrates and reimagines Anna Atkins cyanotypes. Here Boni describes the process and asks anyone who downloads the zine or poster to share what they make (#PhotobookDay).

Download the zine here (now with instructions on folding also)
Download the poster here 

Sin tÌtulo-2

Anna Atkins’ cyanotypes are so powerful images, it seemed clear from the very first moment we should do something with them to catch the attention of anyone, to celebrate this day with us. It had to be an homage to her work.

And now it’s impossible to avoid them. So it get hader and harder to think on a poster to announce this DIY world wide event. As I was stuck with the impossibility of doing something new (well, in that moment I thought that), I started to play with the last thing I made last year. I was asked to vectorize some of the seaweed to make the poster for our local activity in the Library of Fine Arts Faculty, and I vectorized forty three seaweed. They only used a dozen or so.

I gathered them altogether and as I pass the cursor over, the outlines started sparkling. There you have this black gif.

After this childish exercise, with the outlined seaweed on the screen, it came to me the idea of putting them altogether in a way someone could cut them to, I don’t know, decorate their room. And old Burda magazines came to mind very fast. Burda is still a magazine you can buy for making your clothes through patterns. And old DIY way to dress yourself and your kids.

I was used to see them at home, as my mother was very fond of them. If you ever see the central posters spread with all those different lines shaped with circles, triangles, etc, you will understand they are an image you are not going to forget so easily.

So I had the idea, spread all these forty three seaweed outlines on a big paper and make a zine with it. It will be one for anyone to download and print it, if you are able to find the place to plot an A1. Well, that was not the problem at that moment, but to find a burda magazine to copy all these different line shapes, as my mother didn’t keep them. Finally I dismiss this possibilty (I’m still can’t understand how they drew all those lines), and concentrate on making the poster to announce the day.

I don’t know how many of you will download it and try to print it, and how many of those will be able to trace any individual seaweed and what they could do with them… still wondering, so if any of you finish yourself drowned in paper seaweed, could be nice someone make a picture of it and share it on social media 🙂

– boni


‘My favourite Photobook’ exhibiiton

As part of the festivities Doug Spowart and Victoria Cooper are organising for World Photobook day in Brisbane, they are asking for participation from photobook lovers the world over. Here is how you can get involved…

Throughout the day at MAUD CREATIVE we will present an exhibition featuring the covers of the favourite photobooks selected by photographers from all over the country. Alongside the print of the photobook cover will be a ‘Why I like this book’ statement and a portrait of the photographer reading the book in their favourite place.

To participate in this exhibition all you need to do is contribute by sending to us the following:

  • A photo of your favourite photobook’s cover
  • A photo of you reading the book in a place special to you – in bed, a comfy chair, in the backyard under a tree, at work or in a bath!! (A photobook selfie)
  • A few words, a paragraph (or two) maybe, as to why you like this book

You can use any technology to make the photos and any style or no-style – keep it as simple or as complex as you like.

We will print out these photos and your statement and Blu-tacked to the gallery wall for the duration of the World Photobook Day’s activities. This material may also be formed into a print-on-demand photobook as a record of the event. The book cover images may be selected for inclusion in a photobook-making project that will take place on the day. Some images and texts may be used on social media to celebrate the event.

Should you accept our invitation we will need:

  • Your book cover and portrait photos
  • JPEGS @ 300ppi, compression ‘8’
  • Image size around 13x18cm
  • The text file can be a Microsoft Word or a text file written into the email

Email images and text to <> by Sunday, October 11, 2015.  

Cheers , Doug


World Photobook Day 2015

The day is almost upon us – October 14th, World Photobook Day. For the past few years all sorts of events have taken place to mark the anniversary of Anna Atkins ‘Photographs of British Algae’ and the birth of the photobook. This year is no exception, already Doug Spowart and Victoria Cooper have organised a great day at Maud Creative in Brisbane as well as encouraging all to share photobook selfies (#PhotobookDay). Bonifacio Barrio Hijosa has created the most awesome gif for the day…

…and I will be running an event in Coventry which is open to as many as can fit in the room (email ). There will be other events popping up all over the shop but right now there is something you can do.

I saw this and thought of you” – Share your books

It is easy to excite fellow photobook nerds with the contents of my bookshelf. Much harder to interest my colleagues, family and friends who have little interest in the medium itself – though I try, often. Many times my waxing lyrical about design and production falls on deaf ears – not that this suggests a need for further discussion and education – a more powerful force is at work here. The books that resonate are those that the reader likes – straight up – likes. It might be the project, it might be the book, it might be the photographs or the cover – who cares.

When I manage to excite someone with a photobook, someone for whom the photobook is not the perfect medium of artistic expression, I have achieved something. Not only in extending the reach of the photobook, bringing work to a new audience, but also in overcoming my own photobook snobbery. I still get something from this encounter too – the book in question might have fallen out favour and found itself relegated to the edges of the shelf, but hearing someone speaking about it passionately, and unfettered by judgement helps remind me why I bought it in the first place.

So, this photobook day, spread the love by sharing something you think someone will like, not something you think they should like. Oh, and if you get a chance, let us know the book you chose and what the reaction was #PhotobookDay.


World Photobook Day – October 14th

This coming October 14th World #PhotoBookDay will be celebrated! This date is a direct homage to the first known photobook: Photographs of British algae. Cyanotype impressions, by Anna Atkins. As the exact publishing date is unknown, we have taken the date that appears in the registry of the copy in British Library records.


Feel free to organise other activities for this day. We’d love you to join us in this celebration and contribute to make this date a global event by organising an action related to photobooks in your own city. As soon as you program your activity, please e-mail it to us, and we’ll post it in this website:

This is the second year of this global event, in 2013 there were a nice collection of activities spread over many different countries, check them out on

We know there is not much time to organise large activities, but we can propose easy actions you can take to celebrate locally this global event:

  • Post a #PhotoBookDaySelfie on social media: an image with you and your current favourite photobook.

  • Donate a self-published photobook or photozine to your nearest public library or school library. Where we can we will publish a list of public libraries accepting donations this day.

  • Buy a photobook. Many bookshops and publishers will make special discounts for the day. We’ll publish a list of them.

  • Check our map and locate your nearest activities and participate!

 Organise! Participate! Celebrate!

The World Photobook Day has been set up as a collaboration between the organizers of Photobook Club Madrid and Matt Johnston.

Celebrating the photobook, born in 1843.


Matt Johnston
Juan Cires
Ricardo Garrido
Bonifacio Barrio Hijosa


World Photobook Day – A quick Roundup

The inaugural World Photobook Day was instigated by the Photobook Club Madrid but quickly became a collaboration between many Photobook Club branches, publishers, bloggers, writers and photographers. The love shown by photobook enthusiasts was quite incredible and bodes well for a bigger and better event next year (mark your calendars).

Toowoomba Celebrates World Photobook Day

To see what went on during the day, head over to or have a look at just a few highlights here:

The Photographers Gallery celebrate with a great interview featuring Aaron Mörel as well as offering money off in the Gallery bookshop.

The Photobook Club Alicante launches during Photobook Day

Thirty attend Photobook Day celebrations in Toowoomba, Australia run by Victoria Cooper and Doug Spowart.

Perhaps the best gauge of discussion on the day is via the twitter hashtag – #PhotobookDay which reached over 65,000 folks in 600+ tweets. A few featured below:


The Photobook Club Alicante launches on World Photobook Day!

The Photobook Club Alicante, founded by Jose Carlos Robles, will launch on the 14th October to coincide with World Photobook Day! The club already has a great website found here and can also be found on facebook here.

Below is a message from Jose for those who are in the area and might be of interest:

Primero fue Niepce, después llegaron Daguerre , Bayard y Henry Fox Talbot. Sin embargo, hay un momento en la historia y una ilustre protagonista que a menudo queda en el olvido. El 14 de octubre de 1843, Anna Atkins, publicó “British Algae”, una publicación que puede ser considerada como el primer fotolibro conocido y al que con frecuencia le disputa el honor “Pencil of Nature” de H. Fox Talbot.

Según el catálogo de la British Library , parece que la duda queda despejada en favor de Atkins.

Hemos elegido la fecha del 170 aniversario para el lanzamiento de PHOTOBOOK CLUB ALICANTE, y para ello rendiremos justo reconocimiento a la autora británica por su pionera aportación. Con ello no hacemos más que adherirnos a otras iniciativas que rememoran el hecho.

¿CUÁNDO?  El día 14 de Octubre a las 19:00 horas

¿DÓNDE? Pendiente de confirmación


No olvides reservar tu plaza por mail a y por supuesto traer tú libro. Y si alguien tiene un ejemplar de la obra de ATKINS (difícil lo veo) sería fabuloso.


Queremos destacar también que el Photobook Club de Madrid  ha sido pionero en su propuesta en este sentido y desde aquí queremos compartirlo y felicitarles por ello. (Photobook Club Madrid – October 14th, #PhotoBookDay)

Más información sobre Atkins:

Anna Atkins – Wikipedia
Getty Museum
Seen is believing