“This is a fascinating and unique camera collection that needs to be kept together, developed as a resource, and made accessible to the public.Wendy Chamberlain MP
“It’s great that a group has been formed to secure the collection and to take it forward as a charitable trust.”
“To have a collection as distinguished and extraordinary as this in a village as picturesque as St Monans seems appropriate. I was swept back in time to my first Instamatic, and later, my trusty Olympus Trip. Anyone who’s ever handled a camera will find memories galore in here. And for the generation who barely know what a camera is, there is plenty to astonish them!”Val McDermid
“World Photography Day commemorates the day in 1839 when the French government made the early photographic process, the daguerreotype, ‘free to the world’. So what better day could there be to launch our bid to make a world-leading private collection into a public one?”Mike Child and Gordon Bell
“And what better place could there be for such a collection than St Monans? The village has historic links with early photography, and is so amazingly popular with modern photographers that it has taken on the title of the Photography Village, with a village website dedicated to photography.”
World Photography Day launch for World-Class Camera Collection
New charity being officially launched on 19th August, World Photography Day.
The cameras, many of which are over a hundred years old, were collected by the late Jim Matthews and housed in the village of St Monans in the picturesque East Neuk of Fife. His family are keen to keep the collection together, and have offered it to the Trust, which has been set up to take over ownership and maintain the collection. The Trustees include five local residents and two enthusiasts from elsewhere who got in touch with the family and the other trustees because they were keen to help save the collection.
Donations can be made online at
Based in St Monans, the Trust will purchase and provide public access to over 3000 cameras.
At the heart of the collection is an amazing array of Kodak Brownie cameras – almost every model that was ever produced is there, making it one of the world’s most complete collections. The Brownie was the first affordable camera, and could be bought for just one dollar when the first model was sold in 1900. More than any other, it is the camera that popularised photography, making it accessible to ordinary working people; and together with the other cameras in the collection, it highlights how photography has become central to the modern world.
The Jim Matthew Camera Collection Trust is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation, SC050024