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Alexander Russell Southern Rhodesia [i.e. Zimbabwe] photographs, 1900-1901

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/Y3052C

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of modern 5" x 4" copy negatives from an album containing twenty prints measuring approximately 155 x 110 mm, with handwritten captions on the mounts in Russell's hand. The captions have been recorded as found and may contain offensive, inappropriate or outdated terms. They have been retained to reflect the context of the collection's creation. An inscription on the inside cover reads: 'To Jack with best wishes for a prosperous future from Alec 1.1.02.' The album offers an interesting visual record of Salisbury and the surrounding areas in Rhodesia's early days.

Several prints relating to Russell's period in Australia had been removed by the Australian donors before the album was passed to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The captions relating to these prints are as follows:

i) The old mud cabin, Balladonia, W.A. Ah! Those were the days when my beard was black, I like to remember them now and then

ii) Telegraphist's camp repeating station, Coolgardie-Eucla Line. Our old camp at Balladonia, Nullabor Desert, W.A. 1898

iii) Afghans 'cadging' some of our small supply of water for the 'ship of the desert' - en route from Coolgardie to S. Aust. (Balladonia, W.A.)

iv) Nullabor plains. 175 miles from Norseman and approximately half way twixt Coolgradie and Eucla. Natives commencing Umu C'b'e, Balladonia, W.A. 1897


  • Creation: 1900 - 1901

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 (

Biographical / Historical

Alexander Russell: Telegraphist, Victoria (Australia), 1888-95; Telegraphist, Western Australia, 1895-8; Victorian Postal Service, 1899; Telegraphist, Rhodesia, 14th March, 1890; Acting Postmaster, Kopje, 1st May 1902; Postmaster, Victoria (Rhodesia), 1st July 1902; Postal Assistant, Bulawayo, 26th May 1904; Acting Postmaster and Telegraphist, Jumba Mine, 16th September 1909; Postmaster and Telegraphist, Gatooma, 1st July to 30th September 1910; Telegraphist, Salisbury, 1st October 1910; Assistant, Umtali, 1st February 1911; Assistant, Bulawayo, 1st April, 1913; Assistant, Gwelo, 2nd June 1913; Postmaster and Telegraphist, Victoria 1st August, 1914; Assistant, Bulawayo, 9th February 1915. (Rhodesia Civil Service Lists 1914-16). The RCS does not possess the 1917-19 list and Russell does not appear in the 1920 edition.


20 item(s) (20 images)

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Varying but generally good condition.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Presented, together with Y3052D, to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Library by Telecom Australia in 1975, with the expressed wish that the material be passed on to Southern Rhodesia at such a time as a duly constituted and recognised government be formed. The albums were placed in the care of The Royal Commonwealth Society and in 1985 were presented to the Zimbabwe National Archives.


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



Includes index.
2006-08-24 11:41:37+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
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Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom