David Storm Rice’s photographs of Harran

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|30th July 2018|Collections & Research|0 comments

This week’s blog looks at David Storm Rice’s photographs of archaeological excavations at Harran, Turkey, in the 1950s. This recently catalogued collection joins Rice’s papers catalogued last year, and together the two collections provide insight into the scope of his work on the site at Harran. Professor David Storm Rice (1913-1962), an academic at SOAS, made four expeditions to Harran between 1951 and 1959. His records of the expeditions are

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A Russian’s view of China, 1861-1864

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|14th May 2018|Collections & Research|0 comments

Continuing our theme of historical photographs of China in the archive collections held by SOAS Library, this week’s blog looks at an interesting set of photographs taken by a Russian photographer in Beijing in the years 1861-1864, found in the London Missionary Society archive. The photographer is unidentified, but the collection intriguingly includes his self-portrait. The set of 37 sepia prints dating from c.1861-1864, includes a number of striking individual and group portraits

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John Charles Oswald’s photographs of China

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|23rd April 2018|Collections & Research|0 comments

Continuing our series on historical photographs of China, this week’s blog looks at John Oswald’s photographs of Foochow [Fuzhou]. His photographs document the home, work and social life of a British tea merchant living in a treaty port. John Charles Oswald (1857-1930) arrived in Foochow in the late 1880s, having worked for a tea importer in London for thirteen years. Initially working for Odell & Co. as a clerk, he

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New donation: Photographs of the Roberts Memorial Hospital, China

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|3rd April 2018|Collections & Research|0 comments

This week’s blog looks at a new donation of photograph albums received by SOAS Archives, offering a glimpse of life in a mission hospital in North China at the beginning of the 20th century, in the immediate aftermath of the Boxer Uprising[1].  The six captioned photograph albums (reference: MS 381326), dating from c.1902-1908, contain black & white prints and also cyanotypes with a blue image hue, which picture the ‘Roberts

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Season’s Greetings from SOAS Archives and Special Collections!

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|22nd December 2017|Collections & Research|0 comments

As we wind up for the winter holidays and bid farewell to 2017, it seems every archivist here at SOAS Archives and Special Collections has a festive archive anecdote to share, so we thought we would collate our favourites into a short seasonal Blog post! SOAS Archives and Special collections, broadly speaking, documents the British interaction with Africa, Asia and the Middle East over the past two centuries. The collections

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SOAS Picture Archive: Finsbury Circus

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|19th September 2016|Collections & Research|0 comments

In continuation of the SOAS Centenary series, we explore the history of SOAS’s buildings through images from the SOAS Picture Archive and other items from the SOAS School Archive, starting with the London Institution building in Finsbury Circus. The SOAS story began in Finsbury Circus when the Cromer Committee (or Oriental Studies Committee), a body tasked with establishing a centre for oriental studies in London, identified a likely site in the City of London for the

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200 Years of Swire: George Warren Swire, 1883-1949

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|1st September 2016|Collections & Research|

A keen amateur photographer, the legacy left by (George) Warren Swire goes beyond his contribution to the development of John Swire & Sons, today one of the most successful companies in the world. G W Swire’s collection of documentary photographs provides a valuable pictorial record of the expansion of trade in China throughout a forty year period. G W Swire was born in 1883, (d. 1949), to John Samuel Swire

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