The monographs presented below represent both 19th and 20th century views on photography. Writing in the middle of the 19th century, Désiré van Monckhoven and John Towler provide real insight into state of the art image making in the middle of the 19th century. The 20th century contributions by Robert A. Sobieszek and James Reilly are equally significant for providing early frameworks for the contemporary appreciation of albumen printing from technical and aesthetic perspectives.
Désiré van Monckhoven contributes the earliest monograph dating from 1863. Writing some thirteen years after the first uses of albumen paper, he provides and extensively illustrated description for the preparation of albumen paper. His embrace of albumen printing is not entirely wholehearted since for portraiture he notes that salt paper, rather than "pure albumen should not be used, on account of its excessive brilliancy." Van Monckhoven also writes extensively on the preparation of negatives, optics, cameras and other positive printing methods.
John Towler, in 1864 provides a great source of comparison to van Monckhoven. Towler describes the manufacture of early dry plate glass negative made using albumen. He asserts that the use of albumen on glass predates collodion. He credits Niepce de St. Victor as first developing an albumen dry plate process the theory of which is "very simple; but its manipulation demands great care and skill." Towler contributes a valuable and concise history of photography and extremely detailed observations on photochemistry in addition to offering many practical working methodologies geared towards professional photographers and sophisticated amateurs.
James Reilly's 1980 book provides a 20th Century look at the craft of producing albumen and salt prints. His book is both an historical assessment of the process and a "how to" for contemporary photographers wishing to make albumen prints. Writing in 1980 as the field of professional photography conservation was beginning to gain momentum, Reilly makes the case that salted and albumen prints have intrinsic value as imaging media and deserve specialized preservation-related research.