Thursday, 25 June 2015
Sunday, 1 March 2015
Until now the only known photographs of James Cholmeley Russell were those in the
possession of the late Evelyn
Pangman (1926-2016), his grand daughter and these largely dated from the last ten years or
so of his life. However, we now have one of when Russell was a young
undergraduate, thanks to one Alfred Earle and Dr. Robin Darwall-Smith the
Magdalene College, .
|Russell at Magdalen College|
Dr. Darwall-Smith has recently been making the College’s archives catalogue available on the Internet with the express objective of helping researchers and generally making the College’s archives more publicly accessible. This excellent policy resulted in the Group’s chairman
visiting the archive one Friday morning in October 2014 to look though the
Photograph Album of Alfred Earle that is in the archives. Mr Earle matriculated
from Magdalen in 1859 and took his BA in 1865 and his MA in 1866. He was thus a
contemporary of Russell who left at Christmas 1859
going up to Magdalene and matriculating the following year, graduating in 1864. Harrow
The large bound album is a personal photographic collection of local scenes and buildings including pubs (!) but more particularly of many of Earle’s fellow students including photographic studio portraits, group photographs taken around the College, the Oxford University Volunteer Force on parade with their uniforms and rifles and at camp in Wimbledon and views around
and locally. Interestingly there are several photographs devoted to the Prince
of Wales and his entourage, later King Edward VII, who was at Magdalen from
October 1859 to the summer of 1860; so Russell may have met the future King. Oxford
The photograph of Russell shown here is believed to have taken around this time. Dr Darvill - Smith commented that it was then the practice for undergraduates to have a number of photographs taken of themselves, which would then be passed round in exchange for one from the recipient, a sort of analogue Facebook!
What is remarkable about this album is that is that it was assembled some twenty years before George Eastman of Kodak fame developed roll film, in 1884, to replace the photographic plates and toxic chemicals that the photographer had to carry around.
Nick Booker extends his thanks to Dr Darwall- Smith and his Archives Assistant Mr Ben Taylor for their help and co-operation. The photographs of Russell and the College are reproduced courtesy of the President of Magdalen College.
|Magdalen in the mid 19th Century|