Die rol van neëntiende-eeuse fotografie in eietydse bewaring: William Roe en Graaff-Reinet (The role of 19th Century photography in contemporary conservation: William Roe and Graaff-Reinet)
Author: Johanna Malherbe
Publication: PhD thesis, University of Stellenbosch
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.