Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Photos of life in the British Raj in India are found in a shoe box

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Raj pictures found in shoe box at Edinburgh national collection

Another shoe-box full of never-before-seen historic photographs!  Where are they all coming from?  And why aren't we finding them?!

This time the welcome find consists of 178 - yes, one hundred and seventy-eight - negatives untouched for almost 100 years and detailing life in India during the time of the British Raj.  Featuring myriad images of British diplomats and grand occasions such as the visit of King George V and Queen Mary in 1912, the collection also includes many fascinating scenes of local life and people going about their business.  Some of the pictures hardly look a century old.

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Photos of life in the British Raj in India are found in a shoe box

Surprisingly little is known about a lot of the photos and even less about the photographer so it is hoped that the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland can, with the help of photography experts, historians and members of the public, find out a great deal more about these wonderful images and who took them.

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Described as a "treasure trove", they certainly are that and more.  An amazing set of photographs that provide a remarkable insight into British and Indian way of life in the Raj one hundred years ago, with luck the RCAHMS will put them on display and made available to the public.  Already all 178 images have found their way on to the Commission's digital archive and many are available to view online now.  Another set of rare images to immerse myself in?  Yes please!

6 comments:

  1. I guess that when you leave some old photos in a box, you don't think ahead to 100 years time when they will be fascinating! I especially find this as a child of a family spread hither and yon across the globe- you simply don't realise how doubly interesting something from further afield, as well as the past, is to other people!

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  2. Those pics are wonderful to look at, I am very fascinated with the time of the British Raj in India.

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  3. A lot of people do family history research on India, so if FIBIS know about this there's a good chance some of the history of the photos can be discovered.

    (My own family is Anglo-Indian - a mix of European and Asian.)

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  4. Great post and lovely photos. And I agree: "And why aren't we finding them?!" :)

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  5. I always find "life in a shoebox" finds very intriguing. It's a worn cliche but pictures are indeed worth a thousand words.

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