Academic journal article Australian Aboriginal Studies

Ronald Rose's Collection of Original Negatives

Academic journal article Australian Aboriginal Studies

Ronald Rose's Collection of Original Negatives

Article excerpt

Ronald Rose's collection of original negatives

In the introduction to Living Magic: The realities underlying the psychical practices and beliefs of Australian Aborigines (Chatto and Windus, London 1957), Ronald Rose wrote that his book is 'essentially the story of how parapsychological tests were applied to Australian Aborigines in an attempt to determine the fact and fancy underlying their magic'.

There is little doubt that Rose was an enthusiastic and dedicated researcher in the fields of psychokinesis and extrasensory perception (JB Rhine, the pioneering Director of the Parapsychology Laboratory at Duke University, wrote an effusive foreword for the book), but one suspects that his reputation will be based more on his narrative abilities--he was an accomplished author--and his legacy of superb photographs taken throughout his research activities between 1950 and 1966.

In late 2004, Ronald Rose's vast collection of original negatives was donated to the Institute by his son Chris Rose. From a photographic perspective it is arguably the most impressive set of images in the AIATSIS Audiovisual Archive that were shot by a non-professional photographer. Using a Rolleiflex medium-format camera, Rose assiduously recorded the peoples and places encountered during the trips he undertook with his wife (and fellow researcher) Lyndon throughout central Australia and locations along the eastern coast of Australia. …

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