Mary Evans collection of the week: Ad Lib Advertising Photographic Library


How would we approach requests for mid-1960s black and white stock photography of a model wearing only an incredibly big curly wig, a baby answering the telephone, window shopping on Carnaby Street and a lady in high heels stepping off the curb directly into a puddle?

The answer would be to dive headlong into the extreme variety of quality stock photography available from The Ad Lib Advertising Photographic Library collection. This remarkable resource of nearly 3000 high quality photographic prints (and original sample catalogues) was acquired by Mary Evans Picture Library as part of the purchase of Barnaby’s Picture Library in 2001.

The collection provided a vast range of studio imagery to the UK advertising sector in the 1960s, with particular strengths in fashion, human interactions and staged depictions of daily life.

The offices and studios for the company were located at 89 Linden Gardens, just off Notting Hill Gate, with the fine mansion building seen as the backdrop location for a number of the photographic shoots. Throughout the collection, the images now radiate a retro charm, coupled with a great sense of humour.

The overriding impression is that the photographers and models were thoroughly enjoying their assignments!

You can view an edited selection of photography from the Ad Lib collection here.

Mary Evans Picture Library newsletter – 18 June, 2020.