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Oscar Mallitte's Andaman Photographs, 1857–8

By Clare Anderson


This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in History Workshop Journal following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version History Workshop Journal, 2009, 67 (1), pp. 152-172 is available online at: the end of 1857 the French photographer Oscar Jean-Baptiste Mallitte (c. 1829-1905) left Calcutta with a British expeditionary party. Its brief was to survey the Andaman Islands and to decide where best to establish a penal colony. Mallitte took a series of accompanying ‘photographic drawings’, the first ever photographs of the Islands. On the return of the party to Bengal, several dozen copies of the images were printed and mounted, but subsequently they slipped from archival view and until recently they have been assumed lost. However, copies of most of the photographs have now been found in the Queen’s Collection at Windsor Castle. A new curator of photography was working her way through the archives when she came upon them. Though the set as a whole was both unsigned and unattributed, because each photograph had a separate title that correlated with place names and printed textual records, she understood their provenance immediately. [Taken from the introduction]Peer-reviewedPost-prin

Publisher: Oxford University Press on behalf of History Workshop Journal
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1093/hwj
OAI identifier:

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