Bird Island (near Port Elizabeth) - The Lighthouse, 1880
Scope and Contents
A printed book containing tipped-in reproductions from photographs, all measuring 140 x 100 mm, with brief letterpress captions beneath the prints. The captions have been recorded as found and may contain offensive, inappropriate or outdated terms. The prints are grainy with high contrast. Consequently, the images are listed rather than described in detail, although occasional notes and cross-references on points of interest have been added. The process used in the reproductions has not been identified.
This volume appears to be the third edition of the work. The first edition of the album, printed in Cape Town in 1878, contained 108 pages of photographs interspersed with advertisements. Mendelssohn's South African bibliography also records an edition (no date) with a similar number of prints but without advertisements and with fewer captions. The 1880 edition contains a 56-page introduction, fuller captions, but no advertisements. No place of publication is mentioned but it appears to have been printed in London since in the preface Alexander mentions the work done on the book by Messrs. Marion and Co., a Soho firm specialising in the production of photographic paper and other material. Many of the negatives from which these prints were made have been signed/scratched with the initials 'S.A.' but it has not been determined whether Alexander himself was a practising photographer. It seems more likely he purchased other photographers' work. The only other signed photograph is plate 16, by William Roe of Graaff Reinet.
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Language of Materials
Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
?Alexander, Samuel, fl 1878-1880, publisher
Finding aid date
Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository
Cambridge University Library
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom
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