Benefits / Resources / Articles
September 14, 2021

Over 100 Years of History: Professional Photographer Magazine Archives Now Available

Archives of PPA’s very own Professional Photographer magazine are now available to all members. Our dedicated IT and publications teams have worked hard to organize and digitize these past issues of the award-winning magazine, and we’re thrilled to announce the archives are now live!

First published in 1907 as Abel’s Photographic Weekly, the magazine has undergone several name changes throughout the years, but the focus remains the same: helping photographers stay up to date on the latest products and trends while offering business tips and inspiration from fellow photographers. And now, all that information and guidance are available at your fingertips as PDF files.

“Several years ago we realized we were sitting on a treasure trove that, until now, has never been available to members,” PPA Director of Publications Jane Gaboury said. “We have copies of PPA’s member magazine stretching back 100 years. Just think of that. All these issues have been preserved for over a century, through a dozen relocations of association headquarters in various cities, passing through the hands of what was sometimes a tiny association staff.”

PPA was founded in 1868 as the National Photographic Association of the United States. In 1921, the organization opened the doors of its Winona International School of Professional Photography in Illinois before relocating to Mount Prospect outside of Chicago. In 1993, PPA moved its headquarters to Atlanta, Georgia, where it is still based today.

“It’s remarkable that so much care was taken to preserve PPA history over such a long period of time by so many individuals,” Jane said. “Technology made it possible to give new life to these gems.”

In what turned out to be a multi-year project, each year’s worth of bound issues was carefully disassembled by hand, each page scanned while keeping the issues intact, and the magazines were then rebound in their original historic covers. And now they’re available digitally on the PPA website as PDF files.

We couldn’t be more excited to share PPA’s history—and the history of photography itself—through these magazines. Check it out!