Despite photographs being widely used to illustrate Caribbean histories, there has been a surprising relative lack of scholarly research into photography in the Caribbean. \ud Photographs provide a rich and special source of documentation of the past. The advent of photography coincided with the development of ideas of technological and social progress, and with colonial expansion and consolidation. Photographs can be used as historical evidence in different ways, not only as depictions of physical and social environments, but by examining the practice of photography as a means of revealing attitudes, expectations and visions of peoples and place.\ud The West India Committee collections held at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies include a number of collections of photographs, and albums. A selection of these will be used to illustrate how photographs can be used as historical evidence, and how photographs also reveal much about how the Caribbean was seen through processes of taking photographs and the subsequent processes of exhibition, publication, distribution and organisation. The selection will cover both nineteenth and twentieth century images and a range of genre including both ‘portrait’ and ‘landscape’
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