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: British Empire & Commonwealth
: 1900s album
: This album is one of two companion volumes compiled by Sir Sidney Sitwell during his time in India working for the Bank of Bengal in Calcutta, in the late Victorian and Edwardian period. The photographs are a mixture of images purchased from known photographers of the period, including Thomas Paar of Darjeeling and Thomas Rust of Mussoorie, and images possibly taken by Sitwell himself or commissioned as part of his employment with the bank. Most are undated, but appear to have been taken around the turn of the C20th. The majority of the more amateur images feature street scenes, landscapes, local people (often occupied in trades) and public or religious buildings, including the Dakshineswar Kali Temple, in and around Kolkata and further east into present day Bangladesh. There are a small number of portrait shots of Sitwell himself and others of unnamed European men; also several postcards or images presumed to have been given to Sitwell. There are also several exterior shots of Bank of Bengal buildings and three group photographs of Bank of Bengal employees, two of which include Sitwell and appear to have been taken in India and one at a 1907 London dinner. The purchased images largely depict street scenes and landscapes in the hill station areas of Darjeeling and Mussoorie, including the Darjeeling Hill Railway, views of the Himalayas and local people from the Nepal border area. There is also a series depicting the 1906 Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, taken by the photographer S.H. Dagg, and a series of images of historic and cultural sights in Hyderabad, including the Charminar and Golkonda Fort, taken by an unknown photographer and purchased for 2 rupees each. The final image in the album is an exterior shot of the Bank of Bengal building in Kolkata from the studios of Bourne and Shepherd.
: 1 volume
: 1 volume bound in black leather containing 60 pages, of which 46 had photographs glued to them. Around two thirds of the photographs were accompanied by manuscript captions and many also have manuscript annotations on the reverse. The album underwent conservation treatment c. 2005, funded by the Pilgrim Trust. The 78 photographs, a mixture of albumen and silver gelatin, were removed from the volume which had a damaged spine and mounts, and remounted on archival board. The empty album and the prints are now stored in two separate boxes. The attached report gives more detail on the conservation treatment.