The Reading Society’s collection of photographs and picture postcards is of special interest because it immortalizes the daily passage of existence on Corfu going back nearly 150 years. Uniquely, it reconstructs the social, political and cultural life of the island, illustrating its civilization and, with the help of the photographic lens, creating a small gallery of portraits which amount to works of art and which provide an informal yet graphic history of this cultural institution.
The most noteworthy photographs originate from gifts made at the end of the nineteenth century and during the first quarter of the twentieth. They are rare and valuable documents recording the manufacturing and urban history of Corfu. The history of the reading Society has been systematically recorded in photographs only during the last thirty years.
The collection also includes photographic portraits of presidents of the Society covering much of its existence. Of utmost interest is the collection of picture postcards, especially relatively recent ones, such as those relating to the inter-war and post-war years. Others take the history of Corfu back as far as the union with Greece and just after.
In addition, there exists a series of large photographs of different parts of the town, its outskirts, and the countryside, taken at the end of the nineteenth century. Of exceptional significance is the album of photographs from the Aspioti factory. Further riches exist in albums of personal photographs, historically important photographs of the liberation of the island in 1944, of the town during the occupation, as well as photographs of many people well known in the Corfiot community.