I find the following article and photographs interesting. The intention of the Society for Photographing Relics of Old London was to document alleyways and buildings before their destruction. It occurs to me that much of our photography qualifies as documentary as well, even when that isn’t our intention and we’re unaware that we’re even doing it. And oftentimes what we’re documenting is intangible—moods and emotions, the way the light looked at a given time and place—rather than wood, wrought iron, and cobblestone.
“The Photographers of 1870s London Who Documented Their Disappearing City”
Hyperallergic Media Inc.
...In 1875, a group called the Society for Photographing Relics of Old London formed in response to the imminent demise of the 17th-century Oxford Arms.... Photographers documented the inn and other soot-stained alleyways, Gothic façades, and rambling wooden structures in glass plate negatives, printed in carbon to make them last.
Sample image: “Old houses, Aldgate,” Henry and Thomas James Dixon (1883)