Academic journal article Australian Aboriginal Studies

Collections Report-Audiovisual Archives

Academic journal article Australian Aboriginal Studies

Collections Report-Audiovisual Archives

Article excerpt

Neil Schomberg photographs

David Jeffery, Collections Manager, Audiovisual Archives, writes:

The AIATSIS Audiovisual Archives recently received a donation of over 500 photographs from Mr Nell Schomberg of Southport, Queensland. This valuable collection of large-format negatives and glass plates constitutes an outstanding pictorial record of the people of Moa and Badu Islands and their activities in the 1920s and 1930s.

The photographs were taken by Neil Schomberg's father, the Rev. JW Schomberg, during his time running St Paul's Church of England mission at Moa between 1921 and 1936. Using his trusty Kodak Ensign camera, Reverend Schomberg, or 'Baba' as he was affectionately known by the Islanders, recorded the development of the mission facilities (e.g. construction of church and other mission buildings and vegetable gardens), as well as everyday activities such as dugong and turtle hunting, pearl diving, school activities, ceremonial dance, basket-making, village scenes and weddings. There are also images recording official visits to the Torres Strait Islands by the Queensland Governor, Sir Leslie Wilson, the Queensland Attorney-General, Mr J Mullen, and the founder of the Scouts movement, Lord Baden-Powell.

This is a remarkable collection, and conservation work has begun on the fragile negatives prior to digitisation with a view to both preserving the images and making them more accessible for family history and research purposes.

Other acquisitions

Tom Eccles, Collections Manager, Audiovisual Archives, writes:

The Audiovisual Archives recently purchased two video masters from award-winning documentary filmmaker Bob Plasto. A shifting dreaming is a dramatised documentary using original transcripts of the 1928 inquest into the alleged massacre of Aborigines at Yurrkarrn. In 1981 Bob Plasto obtained permission to film an Aboriginal land rights hearing to be held south of Alice Springs. …

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