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'Photographs of savage lands' [historic title]

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/Y308B

Scope and Contents

An album containing mounted prints of various sizes, most prints captioned in an ornate script. The captions have been used as titles and may include language which is offensive, inaccurate or inappropriate. They have been retained to reflect the context of their creation. Captions supplied by the cataloguer are enclosed in square brackets. The album contains photographs from Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia, and is split into somewhat haphazard sections:

1-50 Sydney and the Blue Mountains
51-66 Newcastle and its Collieries
67-89 Buildings and scenery in and around Sydney
90-104 New Zealand scenes: Auckland, Wellington and Rotomahana
105 Aboriginal Australians in New South Wales
106-124 Studio pictures of Aboriginal Australians and scenery (uncaptioned)
125-175 Victoria and South Australia
176-178 New Caledonia
179-188 Tasmania
189 New Caledonia
190-199 Brisbane
200-203 New Caledonia

Possibly prints were inserted as batches became available. Whether this was a commercial production or a presentation album is unclear, but certainly great trouble has been taken with the calligraphy of the captions - not only are they written with elaborate flourishes and curlicues, but often also in an old-fashioned manner, e.g., 'Ye Bush of Australia,' 'Railway over ye Blue mountains,' etc. Whatever the album's purpose, it forms a valuable document of the period.

The identity of the photographers is unknown unless stated. Certain well-known photographers' works are included in the album, for instance, J.W. Lindt's portraits of Aboriginal Australians, James Bragge's panoramas of Wellington, and the Burton Brothers' photographs of the hot springs of Rotomahana, but the majority of the pictures are not attributed to anyone.


  • Creation: 1870 - 1880

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 (


0.01 cubic metre(s) (1 album containing 203 images)

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Generally good condition apart from some fading.

Existence and Location of Copies

This collection is available on microfiche: Australasia, fiche numbers 3-9.


This collection level description was entered by WS, NE and MJC using information from the original typescript catalogue.



Includes index.
2006-10-18 11:09:17+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