Around 1850 A.H. Layard excavated several ancient Mesopotamian sites, the artefacts of which were brought to the British Museum. Here the trustees discussed the use of photography in the field and in the museum. W. H. Fox Talbot, inventor of the Calotype photographic process and a fellow of the Royal Society, became a strong supporter of the application of photography in archaeology. However, the trustees were not immediately convinced. This talk will explore early debates about the use of photography for research purposes.