Browsing Doctoral Degrees (History) by Subject "19th century photography, William Roe, Graaff-Reinet, Victorian era in Suid Afrika"
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- ItemDie rol van neentiende-eeuse fotografie in eietydse bewaring : William Roe en Graaff-Reinet(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2014-12) Malherbe, Johanna Francina; Burden, M.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of History.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study aims to understand the role that 19th century photography can play in the reconstruction of an era and in the conservation of cultural heritage in the 21st century. The photo collection of William Roe, a photographer from Graaff-Reinet, is used as an example. The origin and development of Graaff-Reinet is used as background information and major events such as the Great Trek, the arrival of the railway, the Anglo-Boer War, the First World War and the Great Flu are touched upon. Aspects such as education, churches, the library and the hospital in Graaff-Reinet complement the study. An overview of the development of photography covers several early photo-making processes. These include the daguerreotype process, Talbot's paper negative process, collotype and the popular carte de visite photographs. Photography specifically in South Africa is also conferred, with particular reference to the first photographers working in the country. Reference is made to the important influences major events like the discovery of diamonds and gold as well as the Anglo-Boer War had on photography. The discussion of William Roe as human being and his legacy as a photographer forms an integral part of the study. The Victorian period is discussed since this was the period in which Roe worked and lived. It had a formative influence on his workmanship. An overview of the Victorian period in England is followed by specific focus on South Africa during this time. The rush to the diamond fields, issues with language and the trends of the times are pointed out. Many of these trends are specifically indicated and discussed as they appear in Roe’s photos. The photos have been categorized to clarify analysis of the different cultural phenomena. The architecture and historical background of Graaff-Reinet’s churches and public buildings are discussed. Streetscapes and images of the town as a whole show the development and daily activities that took place. Photos of clothing represent a reconstruction of the fashions of the concurrent Victorian era and those of public events such as sporting events, celebrations, plays and a gathering during the Anglo-Boer War, display the social life of the community. The role of human memory in the writing of cultural history is compared with the “memory” role of photographs. At the same time the ability of photographs to reflect not only physical culture, but also abstract concepts, receives attention. The use of these abilities of photography in the preservation of culture is a challenge for conservationists of the 21th century.