From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Anna Atkins (maiden name Anna Children) (16 March 1799 – 9 June 1871) was an English botanist and photographer. She is often considered the first person to publish a book illustrated with photographic images. Some sources claim that she was the first woman to create a photograph.
Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions
Atkins self-published her photograms in the first installment of Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions in October 1843. Eight months later, in June 1844, the first fascicle of William Henry Fox Talbot's The Pencil of Nature was released; that book was the "first photographically illustrated book to be commercially published".
Atkins produced a total of three volumes of Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions between 1843 and 1853. Only 17 copies of the book are known to exist, in various states of completeness. Because of the book's rarity and historical importance, it is quite expensive. One copy of the book with 411 plates in three volumes sold for GBP 133,500 at auction in 1996. Another copy with 382 prints in two volumes which was owned by scientist Robert Hunt (1807-1887) sold for GBP 229,250 at auction in 2004.