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Mary Evans buys established UK photo library – looks for further expansion exclusive
Mary Evans
Some good news to end the week on here from Mary Evans who this afternoon confirmed to they have purchased photo library Ardea one of the UK’s leading wildlife, pets and environment picture libraries. We understand Mary Evans bought the library in a cash deal – Adrea is in profit.
Most of the Ardea staff will continue with the company to ensure continuity with both clients and photographers, but Paul Brown (MD at Mary Evans) will take over Sophie’s (Sophie Gooders, current owner of Ardea) role, running the company. Initially nothing will change on a day to day basis for clients using Ardea; they will still receive the same excellent service and quality imagery. However, the intention is to develop the company for the benefit of both photographers and clients using Paul’s experience of more than thirty years in the industry.
They say: Sophie Gooders, current owner of Ardea, which was started more than 40 years ago by Sophie’s mother Su, has decided that it is time for her to move out of the industry. However, having put so much of herself into the picture library and with so many friends amongst the photographers, Sophie did not just want the collection to be absorbed into another library and lose its identity. Though at first sight an unusual purchase by Mary Evans, the intention was not to combine the two collections but rather to preserve the independence of Ardea and to run the two companies completely separately, each concentrating on preserving the excellence of their own individual specialities.
Paul Brown said “I am extremely excited to be given the opportunity to look after and develop this most exceptional of agencies which has so much potential and such wonderful imagery. It is rare to be given the opportunity to run one picture library which is well respected, and known for its integrity as well as its amazing images, and I am lucky enough to be running two.”
Sophie Gooders said “We are delighted, as we cannot think of anyone better placed than Paul Brown, who has always shared our respect of photography and our vision for the industry, to continue Ardea’s development into an exciting new era.”
View a selection of Ardea stock photos here

A source close to the deal told ‘Everything will move over to Blackheath (the Mary Evans offices) during the weekend and will be ready and set up to go as if nothing has happened on Monday! (I hope!!)’ ….
• Ardea website, email and telephone numbers remain the same.
• Ardea enquires to