This project originally aimed to transcribe the existing RPS membership lists. It quickly became apparent that the lists contained typographical errors, inconsistencies and factual errors. Furthermore, the lists were not published regularly and in the early part of the Society's history there were long gaps between publication. As the lists had been published separately from the journal their survival was dependent on a recipient preserving them usually by having them bound in with issues of the Photographic Journal. The Royal Photographic Society Collection at the National Media Museum does not containing a complete set of known published lists and copies were located elsewhere in the United Kingdom and in the United States.
The membership lists were supplemented with records of elections published in the Photographic Journal to validate and confirm information in the published lists. In addition – and most usefully – the original Society Council and meeting minute books were also used. Both these latter sources helped to resolve typographical errors, added missing names and data and provided precise dates of election. Some additional biographical data have been added including the date of death where known.
Finally, some addresses and occasionally names were standardised. The most complete form of address has been included except where there was uncertainty that the same physical location was being referenced. An additional hidden search field has been incorporated for alternative spellings or names. For names, cross–checking with other sources such as directories and the census confirmed the correct spelling. In cases where a discrepancy remained then the most likely form has been used and a note added to the record.