Reference number
  • RPT
  • 1963-1997
  • Collection
  • Photographers who worked for the Bureau included Alan Vines, Romano Cagnoni, Patrick Eagar, Carlos Augusto, Stefano Cagnoni, Chris Davies, Mary Elgin, Bente Fasmer, Peter Harrap, John Harris, Tessa Howland, Alex Low, Rick Matthews, Nick Oakes, Angela Phillips, Mark Rusher, John Smith, Laurie Sparham, Derek Speirs, John Sturrock. Andrew Wiard

    The archive consists mainly of 'proof copies' of trade union journals, socialist newspapers and journals, feminist, Republican and third world pamphlets, posters and publications. Includes: Socialist Worker, Socialist Challenge, Socialist Organiser, Socialist Press, Labour Weekly, Red Weekly, Big Flame, Militant, The Worker, The Worker's Voice, Left, Tribune.... Republican News, The Starry Plough, journals of the Rank and File movement including Socialist Teacher..., Women's Voice, Spare Rib and others.
    The photographic images published are usually credited but many isues contain photographs which are not identified.
  • 453 items
Admin history
  • The Report/IFL (International Freelance Library) archive exists primarily due to one man: Simon Guttmann. Having fled to the UK as a radical, Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany just prior to the end of WWII, Simon established Report in London around 1946 continuing his work of training photo-journalists, on similar lines to his established group “Dephot” in Berlin, which used the 35mm Leica camera to tell picture stories with photos and captions for a then newly burgeoning print market in Weimar Germany.

    In the many years that followed the establishment of Report in London after 1946, Simon worked with numerous photographers, initially including some of those who had also fled Nazi Germany, to create picture stories for sale in magazines and newspapers in the UK. Copyright was shared between Report and the individual photographer and in the earlier years prints were almost entirely made at professional darkrooms in central London. Helen Warby became Simon’s Assistant in 1963 and administered and ran the Report/IFL picture library for the next 27 years. In 1964 Simon worked from his new business and living premises at 411 Oxford Street, and mainly due to media deadline changes, a darkroom was installed in the early 1970’s which was used by photographers for developing and printing.
    Simons entire life's work in the UK was devoted to building a photographic resource that would detail ‘social changes in British Society’, the historical value of which he always maintained would only become evident after a period of 50 or more years.
    Simon, as “Secretary” of Report, which was his preferred title, would think up ideas based around developing events within Britain and abroad and then send his photographers to cover them, sometimes having first gained commissions from newspapers and magazines to help offset any expenses.
    In the earlier years – 1946 until 1970 – these picture stories would be based more on cultural, theatrical and progressive elements mainly within British society generally, covered by photographers such as Felix Mann, Kurt Hutton, Grace Robertson, Elisabeth Chat and Alan Vines.
    Growth in photojournalistic stories in an emerging magazine and colour supplement market in the 1960’s was evidenced by two Report photographers: Patrick Eagar’s strong, humanistic photos of South Vietnam and Romano Cagnoni’s exclusive photo report from North Vietnam, where he, renowned journalist James Cameron and cameraman, Malcolm Aird, were the only western eyewitnesses allowed onto Vietnamese soil during the US war against Ho Chi Minh’s people. Cagnoni later covered the Nigerian Civil War, reporting from the Biafran side for Report, from 1967-1970.
    Then from about 1970 onwards there was a shift at Report and its newly established sister organisation, IFL Ltd, towards supplying the growing market of Left and trade union publications, all of whom needed good quality photographs to illustrate news stories during a period of huge social change in UK society, when trade union membership was at its peak.
    Over the years, many photographers were trained by Simon Guttmann and worked with Report/IFL, which was effective as a working picture library up until 1988. Scattered amongst the pages of these publications donated to the Modern Records Centre at Warwick, and amongst many other publications already archived at the MRC, are picture credits alongside photos taken by John Sturrock, Angela Phillips, Chris Davies, Laurie Sparham, Mark Rusher, Tessa Howland, Andrew Wiard, John Smith, Rick Matthews, Jez Coulson, Stefano Cagnoni and John Harris as well as many other Report & IFL photographers whose sense of commitment to the cause of the Labour and trade union movement was reflected in the photographs that they created in these years.

    By the time of Simon Guttmann’s death, in January 1990, the Report/IFL picture library consisted of tens of thousands of prints, more than 1 million negatives and countless proof copies of magazines, newspapers, books and posters in which Report/IFL photos had been published.
Access status
  • Open