From glass plate to album: New Hebrides mission photographs in the album of Reverend William Veitch Milne
Mission photography and missionary photographers have been neglected in histories of the medium in New Zealand, as have photograph albums. The wealth of mission photographs held at the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand (PCANZ) Archives in Dunedin from the mission fields of New Zealand, the New Hebrides (Vanuatu), China and India have yet to be thoroughly explored and studied. These photographs, the majority of which were taken by missionaries working in the field, were viewed by many New Zealanders in the form of postcards and magic-lantern slides, as reproductions in mission periodicals and newspapers, as well as in albums compiled by mission organisations and missionaries. It is this final manifestation of the mission photograph that interests me for, depending on its placement and framing on the album page as well as the uses to which the album was put, a photograph can take on meanings that go beyond the original intention behind its taking. In this essay I will briefly examine one such mission album compiled by Reverend William Veitch Milne, missionary on Nguna from 1905 to 1937.
Editor: Wanhalla, Angela; Wolf, Erika
Publisher: Otago University Press
ISBN: 978 1 877578 16 8
Keywords: Photography; Missions; New Hebrides
Research Type: Chapter in Book
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