Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Investigating archives - links

I am talking today to the Photojournalism students about archives, which gives me a chance to reflect on the course I attended earlier in the year.  I wonder what they will think of it...

I am collating all the relevant links in the post below.

Exhibition [at Tate Modern]

Burke + Norfolk: Photographs From The War In Afghanistan [video]

Course details

Investigating the Archive; Photographic Collections of London [Birkbeck/Photographers’ gallery]

Individual archives mentioned [Picture Post Historical Archive trial site]

Other archives

London Metropolitan Archives

Internet Archive

Digital Book Index [Photography Collections] [Photography periodicals]

Online hubs


Bacon, J. (2007). Archive, archive, archive!  Circa Art Magazine, no. 119, p. 50-59

Foster, J. & Sheppard, J. (2002) British archives: a guide to archive resources in the United Kingdom, 4th ed. Hampshire: Palgrave. [available in Archive Services at Regent]

McDonald, S. (2004). HultonArchive – History In Pictures. Accessed from:

Mereweather, C. (2006) (ed.). The archive [documents in contemporary art]. London: Whitechapel.

Phillips, C. (1982). The judgement seat of photography. October, 22: 27-63. [online]. Accessed from: JSTOR < >. [Accessed 29 March 2011].

Picture Post Historical Archive [online] [product description]. Available from: [Accessed 05/05/2011].

Phillips, S. S. (2003). ‘A history of evidence’ in Sultan, L. & Mandel, M. (2003). Evidence. New York: D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers.

Sekula, A. (2002). ‘Reading an archive; photography between labour and capital’ (pp. 443-452 in Wells, L. (ed. ) (2002). The photography reader. Routledge.

Sekula, AL. (1986).  The body and the archiveOctober, vol. 39, p. 3-64.

Zylinska, Joanna(2010) 'On Bad Archives, Unruly Snappers and Liquid Photographs', Photographies, 3:2, 139 — 153 [Special Issue: Photography, Archive and Memory]

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Norfolk's 'slow photography' draws on archive

Simon Norfolk talks about his current exhibition at Tate, 'Burke + Norfolk - Photographs from the War in Afghanistan,' on the BBC World Service here.

The exhibition draws on the archive of the nineteenth-century Irish photographer, John Burke, linking the late 19th century anglo/afghan war with the current conflict. For Norfolk this shows the "circularity of imperial history". He talks in this interview about how the photographic process of the time accentuated the racial difference of the Afghans and Europeans.

There are several examples of Norfolk's books in the library collection at Harrow; and the most recent, 'Burke + Norfolk,' is on order.

The exhibition continues at Tate Modern to the 10th July.

Additional resources

Tate Channel: Burke + Norfolk: Photographs From The War In Afghanistan [17 minute video] [introduction, photographs, conversation]

Haven't we been here before? Art and design The Guardian [Ian Jack]

Afghanistan: There is a small corner that is forever England Mail Online [Simon Norfolk]