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MACKEY COLLECTION (1890-1910) [ppm]

Father Peter Paul Mackey (1851-1935)

Father Peter Paul MackeyBiography

Little is known of the life and personality of the English Dominican Father, Peter Paul Mackey. He was born in Erdington, near Birmingham in 1851, studied law at Oscott College and completed his theological studies in Louvain. He arrived in Rome in 1881 to work on the Leonine edition of the works of St. Thomas Aquinas and remained in the city until his death in 1935. Elected an Associate of the British School at Rome in 1906, he presented a set of over 2,000 prints and negatives (now lost) of his photographs to the BSR, accompanied by a detailed hand-written catalogue.

Rome, Forum and Capitol from the Palatine c.1895Photographs

1838 photographic prints, 1838 new negatives.
Photographs of Italy, particularly Rome and surroundings, Sardinia, Sicily and Malta.


In 2002 The Getty Foundation funded a project to catalogue and digitize three unique 19th century collections in the BSR Photographic Archive which included the Ashby collection. From April 2011 the whole collection is available on this website.
An exhibition of his photographs of Sardinia was shown in Sassari, Cagliari and Nuoro in 2000 and accompanied by the catalogue, Images from the past. The archaeology of Sardinina at the end of the 19th century in the unpublished photographs of the Dominican Father Peter Paul Mackey, Sassari 2000. In 2005 an exhibition was held at the BSR of his photographs of Rome which travelled to London in 2009 and was shown at Sir John Soane's Museum. A catalogue by Robert Coates-Stephens, Immagini e memoria. Rome in the photographs of Father Peter Paul Mackey 1890-1901 was published by the BSR, London 2009.