Helen Smaill's Photograph Album: Traces of care in the mission archive
For my thirtieth birthday my mother gave me a photograph album she had compiled using an online template that was then printed and sent to her home. She had spent hours looking through old photographic prints that she keeps in a cupboard in her study and in large sealed plastic tubs under her bed as well as digital images she stores on an external hard drive. The photographs were scanned and copied and then lovingly ordered, juxtaposed and captioned to tell the story of me, my place in my family and my adventures out in the world. I was living in Australia at the time, working on my PhD dissertation, and the arrival of this book of personal and shared memories moved me to tears. While the album I discuss in this chapter differs in significant ways to the album my mother made for me in 2011, like my album it was produced by a mother from photographs that were taken, collected, gifted and then lovingly kept safe over the years. In both albums we see the work of women as transmitters of family memory, taking care to preserve images that connect past and present.
Editor: Brookes, Barbara; McCabe, Jane; Wanhalla, Angela
Publisher: Otago University Press
Keywords: Photography; Missions; Women's history
Research Type: Chapter in Book