Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history
The BBC website carries news of a rising interest in China's photographic heritage. The article begins: China's photographic record begins only in the 1970s because nearly all earlier pictures were destroyed. The ones that survived are mostly outside China, and a major effort is now under way to bring them together online, says Mary Ward-Lowery.
Twelve years ago a student from Peking University knocked on Robert Bickers' door.
He'd come, he said, to study Keats, but he knew Professor Bickers was a historian, a specialist in Sino-British relations at Bristol University.
The student had been given a travel grant to come to the UK, with specific instructions to find historical photographs of Peking University. "Because we don't have any," his Chinese professors told him.
Old photograph fever is currently sweeping China. A new and intense appetite for images of the country's past has resulted in a publishing phenomenon - sales of books of historical photographs have rocketed.
Such photographs are exceptionally rare in China. The turbulent history of the 20th Century meant that many archives were destroyed by war, invasion and revolution. Mao Zedong's government regarded the past as a "black" time, to be erased in favour of the New China. The Cultural Revolution of the late 1960s finished the job.
The full artcile can be found here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18784990
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