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India and England photograph album

Ms. Coll. 1196

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Repository:
University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Title:
India and England photograph album
Date [inclusive]:
1927-1942
Call Number:
Ms. Coll. 1196
Extent:
0.1 linear foot (1 volume and 1 folder)
Language:
English
Abstract:
This volume, probably created by a British citizen living in India as a result of military service, consists of more than 300 photographs taken from 1927 to 1942. Most of the photographs are set in the Assam state of India, though there are several pages filled with photographs of English villages. The album documents life for the British community in India during the first half of the 20th century.
Cite as:
India and England photograph album, 1927-1942, Ms. Coll. 1196, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania
PDF Version:

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Biography/History

The creator of this photograph album is unknown, however, he or she was probably a British citizen living in India as a result of military service.

Scope and Contents

This album consists of more than 300 photographs taken from 1927 to 1942. Most of the photographs are set in the Assam state of India, though there are several pages filled with photographs of English villages.

The album starts with three illustrations of the same person on the inside cover, labeled James Houston, possibly the creator of the album. Apart from a handful of formal group shots of members of the Silchar camp (of both the women alone and the military men alone) most of the photographs are of individuals or groups of friends and document leisure activities such as dances, birthday parties, bathing parties, sporting events (especially tennis and golf), and the social clubs' accommodations. The overall impression is that this was a group of people who very much enjoyed their social life. There are numerous photographs of groups in fancy dress or in comical dress; and in many cases, it appears that the groups were participating in shows, particularly at the Lungla Club in Bangladesh. In addition, there are some photographs of the local agriculture and rice cultivation. The towns or places captured in this album consist of Lackatoorah (Bangladesh), Lungla Club (Bangladesh), Balisera Mela club, Haflong India, Khoomtai, Bhadapur Hill Station, Parbutpore and the Durga Pujah festival. There is also a series of photos chronicling the opening of a new social club – the Juri Club.

Some photos are of Weymouth, England, possibly home of the collection’s creator. In Weymouth, the photos are of a mechanical shovel being used in 1936 and of the creator’s father’s car. In the town of Emsworth, the English countryside is depicted through general landscape photos of that area.

Photographs of India resume in 1938 with shots of the Jaintiapur Temple, Dwaki Gorge and Lackatoorah, and with photos of a tame monkey Boo-Boo.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts,  2016 April 22

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Clémence Scouten

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Source of Acquisition

Purchased, 2013, with assistance from the Anne and Joseph Trachtman Memorial Book Fund.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)
  • Great Britain. Army.
Form/Genre(s)
  • Photograph albums
  • Photographs
Geographic Name(s)
  • India--History--British occupation, 1765-1947--Photographs
  • India--Photographs
  • India--Social life and customs
  • Weymouth (Dorset, England)--Photographs

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

Album, 1927-1972.

1 1

Loose photos (including a group photograph of civilians, a group photograph of men in military dress, and a photograph of a couple, possibly on their wedding day, labeled "Betty" and possibly dated October 20, 1940, circa 1927-1942.

1 2