Source is published by Photo Works North an organisation first constituted in the summer of 1991. The purpose of this organisation was to promote photography in Northern Ireland with its principle objective being the starting of a photography gallery in Belfast.
The last of the organisation's aims was the publication of a newsletter. This newsletter was published for the first time in the Summer of 1992. It was eight pages, black and white throughout and given out for free. The organisation raised money through a print lottery; tickets were sold for a draw for donated photographs including work by Martin Parr, Willie Doherty and a self-portrait by Lee Friedlander, produced in a photobooth in Wales and donated by a member of the committee.
Source grew in size and was soon on sale in newsagents. By the fourth issue in 1995 an office had been acquired in the centre of Belfast and financial assistance was provided by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland for the production of the magazine and its associated programme.
At this stage all work for the magazine was done voluntarily. In 1996 Proteus a European Union funding organisation offered a grant that funded the positions of an editor, administrator and education officer. This funding continued until 1998. At the end of 1998 Source relaunched with a new landscape format, a redesigned layout, more review content and more colour reproductions. This time the funding was supplied by the Arts Council lottery fund.
Since 1998 Source has grown in size and modified its design but is still a landscape format magazine with a mix of written content and portfolios of images. Since 1999 Source has also organised exhibitions and talks in Belfast and toured exhibitions of Irish artists to galleries in Europe. In 2000 the old office was redeveloped and Source moved into a (semi-derelict) warehouse space. It is hoped that this is a temporary home (very cold in winter, too hot in summer) and that in 2002 Source will move once again, this time to a more permenant location.