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J.S. Smithson collection on Samoa

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/Y309993C(LS)

Scope and Contents

A collection of glass lantern slides, 82 x 82 mm, mostly of Samoa, taken by John Snowden Smithson. Smithson visited Samoa on holiday and presumably the remaining slides (5 of them unidentified, 13 of Yosemite National Park and 10 of Ceylon), together with a map, date from the same period. None of the slides are captioned, but the first 91 slides have numbers on their left hand corners, running from 20/10 to 30/9, with a few gaps, and presumably represent the sequence in which the photographs were taken.

There is an accompanying typescript (kept with the slides) which was presumably intended as notes for a talk. The typescript consists of a series of numbered notes with slide numbers pencilled beside them. These notes have formed the basis for the captions and are included in the descriptions of the relevant slides. However, the typescript does not always give precise details, sometimes only indicating the order in which the slides would be shown. Titles and captions supplied by the cataloguer are enclosed in square brackets. Numbers 84-99, showing Samoa, but not numbered by Smithson, appear to be rejects from the lecture, perhaps because some were too similar to pictures which were included.


  • Creation: 1903


Conditions Governing Access

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (


.01 collection (8 archival boxes and 1 folder containing 128 images) : lantern slide

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

apart from one cracked slide, they are in good condition.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Presented by Smithson's daughter-in-law, Mrs Ursula Mace, in 1983.


This item level description was entered by KS and MJC using information from the original typescript catalogue.


Smithson, John Snowden, fl 1903

Includes index.
2003-09-17 14:37:57+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom