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[British] soldier's photograph album of India

Ms. Coll. 1171

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:
[British] soldier's photograph album of India
Date:
1945
Call Number:
Ms. Coll. 1171
Extent:
08 linear feet
Language:
English
Abstract:
This collection is composed of about 80 photographs taken in India in and around 1945 by an unidentified soldier, likely British.
Cite as:
[British] soldier's photograph album of India, 1945, Ms. Coll. 1171, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania
PDF Version:

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Biography/History

The creator of the photograph album was a soldier at the end of World War II (1945) in India. The soldier was probably British, but there is no indication of regiment or even where the soldier was stationed; although many of the photographs are labeled "Camp Poona," and there is one photograph of the Lady Lumley Canteen and one photograph of the Willingdon Soldiers' Club, both of which were located in Poona. The photographs largely document Indian culture, although there are a few photographs of soldiers in uniform.

Scope and Contents

This collection is composed of about 80 photographs taken in India in and around 1945 by an unidentified soldier, likely British.

The photographs are almost exclusively of the daily scenes of life in India. Street workers like a policeman, fruit sellers, shoe makers, “dhobi wallah” (clothes washer), a post man, a snake charmer, a barber, wood sellers and a rickshaw driver are captured by the creator along with the traditional ritual of a burning ghat. On the lighter side, there are images of dancers, a tightrope walker and “domesticated” animals (cobra, elephant, monkey). The creator also captures the living conditions of the poor in India, with shots of beggar settlements. Researchers will find village scenes, a coconut picker, ox carts, and bride and a bridegroom in a wedding.

There are only three photos including military personnel. The creator also recorded some of the sights, mostly in Poona, such as the canteen, winding roads, the race track, a church, the Odeon, streets, buses, and the train station. More famous sites like Malabar Hill, the water fall in Bund Garden, a Burmese pagoda, and Marbleshwar Lake are also present.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts,  2016 February 19

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, 2006.

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Controlled Access Headings

Form/Genre(s)
  • Photograph albums
  • Photographs
Geographic Name(s)
  • India--History--British occupation, 1765-1947--Photographs
  • India--Photographs
  • India--Social life and customs
Subject(s)
  • Voyages and travels

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Collection Inventory

Box

Photograph album, 1945.

1

Loose photographs (includes photographs of Willingdon Soldiers' Club, a beach scene, a native Indian man, and three urban street scenes), circa 1945.

1