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Musician, Dr Brian May CBE is made an Honorary Fellow and photo-historian, Denis Pellerin made an Honorary Doctor by Royal Holloway

Musician, Dr Brian May CBE is made an Honorary Fellow and photo-historian, Denis Pellerin made an Honorary Doctor by Royal Holloway

  • Date12 July 2021

Dr Brian May CBE and Denis Pellerin have been made an Honorary Fellow and Honorary Doctor of Literature, respectively, by Royal Holloway.

Dr Brian May and Denis Pellerin

Photo credit: Graham Copland-Cale

These titles have been given in recognition of their contribution to the preservation of Victorian Stereoscopic photography, through The London Stereoscopic Company.

Honorary Fellowships of Royal Holloway, University of London and Honorary Degrees of the University of London are conferred to people who are outstanding in their field, or who have given exceptional service to the university. The conferrals were held at the Royal Holloway’s campus in Egham, Surrey, during a meeting with the university’s Principal, Paul Layzell.

Dr Brian May’s oration was given by Dr Laura MacCulloch, College Art Curator at Royal Holloway, whilst Denis Pellerin’s oration was given by Dr Vicky Greenaway, Senior Lecturer in 19th Century Literature and Culture at the university.

Dr Brian May CBE is a founding member of Queen, a world-renowned guitarist, songwriter, producer and performer. He also works in both astrophysics and stereoscopy, often combining the two interests. He postponed a career in astronomy when Queen's popularity first exploded, but, after an incendiary 30 years as a rock musician, he returned to astrophysics in 2006 when he completed his PhD, and co-authored his first book, Bang! The Complete History of the Universe, with Patrick Moore and Chris Lintott.  

In recent years Dr Brian May has joined several NASA teams contributing stereoscopic imaging to their missions. He now heads up his own fine arts publishing house; The London Stereoscopic Company (LSC), dedicated exclusively to stereoscopic works. Every book comes complete with an OWL stereoscopic viewer, so readers can enjoy the illustrations in full depth.  

He has collaborated on many books in this genre for the LSC, which have met with high acclaim, generating an ever-growing new audience for stereoscopy in the 21st century. Dr Brian May has recently assigned most of his historical stereoscopic photograph collection to the ‘Brian May Archive of Stereoscopy’, a charitable institution created to protect the collection and make it available for future generations to study.  

Speaking about his honorary fellowship, Dr Brian May OBE said: “I am extremely honoured to be given this fellowship by Royal Holloway.

“For the work that Denis and I do in stereoscopic photography to be recognised by the Royal Holloway is very important to us.  And to our mission – to inspire and enable future generations to study Victorian and modern stereoscopic photography.”

Denis Pellerin is a photo-historian with a passion for stereo photography. He has been researching and learning about the history of stereoscopy for nearly 40 years and has written books and over sixty articles on his pet subject, both in French and in English.

During his 30th year as a teacher, Denis worked with Dr Brian May before being hired as the curator of Dr May’s extensive photographic collection. Denis has been the director of LSC since September 2013. In 2016, he revived the column “European Gems” he had started in Stereo World in the 1990s and has been a regular contributor to this American magazine ever since.

Over the past few years Dennis has given 3-D talks in several different countries on different aspects of Victorian Stereoscopic photography. With the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic a lot of his talks have become virtual.

Denis Pellerin, said: “It is an honour to accept the degree of Doctor of Literature from Royal Holloway, alongside Dr. Brian May. Together, we have co-authored four books and we are working on more publications that show the various activities of the London Stereoscopic Company, as it is our hope to enable future generations to be able to continue learning about Victorian stereoscopic photography.”


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