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: British Empire & Commonwealth

: Wright

: 2000/084/1/1

: Photographs

: c. 1926 - c. 1952

: Throughout his career ACAW was a voracious collector of photographs and postcards, although his daughter believes few of those which survive here were actually taken by him. He had a deep anthropological interest in the African people he worked with, as well as the history, archaeology, wildlife and beliefs of the region, and the images he collected all relate to these interests. The photographs remained in use as reference points throughout his life, and were therefore transferred in a disordered state from which it has been impossible to reconstitute the original order. The album 2000/084/1/1/1 and part album 2000/084/1/1/2 both relate to ACAW's "bachelor days" in 1930s Uganda, and present a more or less coherent, if not strictly chronological, account of his activities and interests in those years. From the onset of his military service however, the provenance of the surviving images becomes less clear. ACAW's widow recounted how during their time in Somalia with the British Military Administration, they together retrieved a selection of loose photographs left abandoned by the Italian administration who had fled their headquarters on yielding to the British in 1941, a building which then became the Occupied Enemy Territory Administration or OETA. These photographs form the majority of series 2000/084/1/1/3-4 and 2000/084/1/1/6. The images rescued from the OETA document many aspects of life in Italian Somalia between the early 1930s and the start of WW2. There are pictures of flora and fauna, landscapes, cities and the activities of local people. Many of them carry labels on the reverse which give an insight into how they were categorised. There are also a number of wartime images which give a unique insight into events inside a country in the throes of being transferred from one colonial administration to another. It appears that ACAW used this series in compiling his Somalia album (2000/084/1/1/3), supplementing the OETA images with photographs and postcards of Somali people and places which he purchased, took or was given and categorising them within the album in a way which reflected his interests. A large number of pages and images were later removed from the album in unknown circumstances, but the images survived in the series of loose photographs, identifiable by the scraps of green backing paper stuck to the reverse. These have been collated together to create series 2000/084/1/1/4. The Eritrea and Ethiopia album (2000/084/1/1/5) appears to have been compiled and categorised by ACAW along similar lines to its Somali counterpart, with photographs and postcards used to illustrate particular geographical areas, tribes or events which he encountered during his stints in those countries. As with the Somali album, it is entirely possible that it was created and/or annotated after the event, and supplemented with images picked up during other parts of his travels. There are images which appear to have originally been a part of this album which are still with the Wright family, reflecting again the way in which the collection was used as a reference point throughout his life. The final series in this section, 2000/084/1/1/6, consists of all the remaining loose photographs transferred with the collection. A small minority of these had been categorised by ACAW along thematic lines and stored in envelopes, but the majority formed one big series which has been kept more or less intact. The bulk of these photographs were those rescued from the OETA, together with others obtained by ACAW from elsewhere, mainly Somalia and Eritrea. Many of the images are recognisable as companion images to those which ended up in the albums.

Somalia, Kenya, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Uganda, Sudan, Yemen, Benin

: 4 boxes

: Series


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