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EPS Group History

Groups and Sections have played an important part in the history of Edinburgh Photographic Society.  Their activities, including the subjects of their lectures are summarised below. 

EPS Lectures

·      Throughout its history, Wednesday has been the evening on which EPS has held its main lecture each week. 


·      Particularly in the early days of the Society, some meetings were directed at an audience  beyond the membership of EPS.  For the first forty years (1861-1901) a series of Popular Meetings was held.  There were typically between two and five meetings spread over the winter months.  Attendance at these could be as high as 1,000. 
Popular Meetings for further details.


·      Annual Photographic Exhibitions have been held throughout the Society’s history.  Two Major Exhibitions were held in the 19th Century (1876 and 1890).  At the second of these, a tradition of providing Exhibition Entertainment for visitors was started.  This tradition continued until 1937.  The entertainment varied from year to year and included concerts, music, educational lectures, travelogues and displays of lantern slides. 
See notes titled: Exhibitions for further details including titles of the lectures.


·      Another  Group within EPS was the Edinburgh Photographic Club.  This was, in effect, a club within a club, open by invitation to 30 or 40 of the more senior members of EPS.  The Edinburgh Photographic Club operated from 1881 to 1948, though it was more active and influential in the early years of this period.
See notes titled Edinburgh Photographic Club for further details of the Club’s activities, including titles of its lectures.


·      There were other Groups within the Society which did not hold lectures. Some of these groups were thrived for only a couple of years.  In particular, the EPS Cycling Camera Corps (1898-99), and the EPS Golf Club (1903-05).


EPS Groups

Groups were first established over 100 years ago:

·      In 1892, the year that EPS first acquired its own premises there were established:

-  The Lantern Slide group
-  The Elementary group, to later become the ...
-  The Popular Photography group (1897-1916).

·      Group activity came to a halt during the First World War;  then started again with the creation of:

-  The Practical Group     (1919)
-  The Beginners’ Group  (1920)
-  The Pictorial Group      (1923).  

·      These were followed by
-  The Portfolio Group (1929) and
-  The Technical Group (1936).

But it was the 2nd World War that again brought a halt to almost all group activities , only the Portfolio Group continuing.

·      Within a couple of years of  EPS moving into its own premises in Great King Street in 1955 there was a wide range of activities to choose from.  By 1957, there were meetings at the new promises on:

-  Mondays:      Colour Group
-  Thursdays:    Beginners’ Group
-  Fridays:         Studio Group
-  Fridays:         Pictorial Group
-  Fridays:         Record Group

·      Instructional courses continued under various titles:

Beginners’ Courses
Refresher Courses
Instructional Courses [1 and 2]
Improvers’ Courses
New Members’ Courses

·      Further Sections and groups have since established:

Colour Printing Group (1967)
Practical Section            (1968)
Advanced Section          (1969)
Natural History Group (1975).  In some years this was known as the ...
Nature Group
Audio-Visual Group      (1988)
Digital Imaging Group  (1998).


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