Endangered archives blog

2 posts from November 2015

26 November 2015

EAP755: Annemarie Heinrich Photograph Collection

Over the past few weeks I’ve been working on the EAP755 project, a fantastic collection of photographs by the German-born, naturalised Argentine photographer Annmarie Heinrich (1912-2005). Annemarie was well known for her portrait work, capturing glamorous shots of film and theatre stars such as Zully Moreno and Mirtha Legrand, as well as other famous Argentine personalities including Eva Perón. Her work has been widely exhibited and she is considered one of Argentina’s most admired photographers.

The photographs were digitised from the Annemarie Heinrich archive held at the Archivo Heinrich Sanguinetti, Buenos Aires. They are mostly unpublished and represent a more personal side to her photography that has been little publicised. The collection includes images of landscapes, rural life, city scenes, people, cultural practices, and abstract images. Many of the photographs are from her travels in Argentina, Latin America and Europe between the 1930s and 1950s. Annmarie treasured these images but rarely exhibited any of them as she considered the public to be more interested in her portfolio of portrait work for which she was renowned.

I’ve selected below some of the images that have caught my eye whilst working with the collection. This is just a small selection and there are many great images worth checking out on the EAP755 project webpage

A man stands by bunches of balloons that are secured to poles in the ground.EAP755/1/1/107/2 Boy with balloons

Two women in an amusement park. It looks a misty evening.EAP755/1/1/177/2 Two women in an amusement park

A truck has sugar can hoisted on to it.EAP755/1/1/108/6 Sugar refinery in Tucumán. Loading or unloading area of sugarcane in trucks

Close up of a giraffe looking directly at the camera.EAP755/1/1/35/19 Portrait of a giraffe

A woman picking grapes.EAP755/1/1/86/1 Young woman harvesting grapes in a vineyard in Mendoza, 1940s

A man stands against the whitewashed exterior wall of a building. Three boys crouch nearby.EAP755/1/1/28/51 Children with a gaucho leaning on a mud wall

Three gauchos restrain a horse, which is lying on the ground.EAP755/1/1/31/53 Gauchos restraining a horse

A man fixes a large fishing basket. It makes an attractive pattern on the ground.EAP755/1/1/12/21 Man next to a fishing basket – Mar del Plata, c 1948

A young boy holds an otter.EAP755/1/1/28/38 Boy sitting on the floor holding an otter

Group of smiling workmen having a meal on a sidewalk. One man holds a bottle of alcohol.EAP755/1/1/37/3 Group of smiling workmen having a meal on a sidewalk

Man at the top of a sailboat mast. The sail covers most of the image.EAP755/1/1/27/4 Man at the top of a sailboat mast

Robert Miles

EAP Cataloguer

04 November 2015

Gaskiya ta fi Kwabo, World War II and the Romanisation of Hausa

This is our second guest blog celebrating West Africa: Word, Symbol, Song, the current exhibition at the British Library. This time we are delighted to have a piece written by Professor John Philips whose project digitised the early years of the Hausa language newspaper Gaskiya ta fi Kwabo

Hausa is the largest indigenous language spoken in West Africa. It is used by tens of millions of people as a first language from Ghana to Sudan, especially in Nigeria and Niger, and by tens of millions more from Cote d’Ivoire to the central Sahara to central Africa. As the language of the mainly Muslim Hausa people, it has not only spread with them as a first language but it has also spread in markets as an important language of trade and become a lingua franca throughout a wide area of west central Africa. As a major language in Islamic Africa, it has been written for centuries in a modified form of the Arabic script, with some special characters for Hausa sounds not found in Arabic itself. Hausa was chosen by the early colonial government of Northern Nigeria as the official language of administration because it was generally understood among the people of the area, especially the non-Hausa minority groups from whom the Nigerian colonial administration disproportionately recruited its army. This was done not so much to promote the Hausa language in particular or African culture in general as it was to prevent Africans from learning English, through which medium it was feared they would be exposed to nationalist and anti-colonial sentiments.

Page of the newspaper with a photograph of Churchill.EAP485/1/1/30: Gaskiya ta fi Kwabo, Issue 31, 1 Apr 1941

EAP 485 was a project to preserve the very first issues of Gaskiya ta fi Kwabo, the first entirely Hausa newspaper, begun in Nigeria by the colonial government in the months leading up to World War II. The newspaper became an important source of information about the war and its progress throughout Northern Nigeria. As a reliable, informative and excitingly-written periodical the newspaper kept people in Northern Nigeria, Muslim or not, up-to-date about events in the outside world, especially related to the war. Thus it proved a popular venture that helped change the course of African, especially Nigerian, history forever. It also changed the predominant orthography and literary style of Hausa itself. Gaskiya’s contributing first editor, Alhaji Abubakar Imam, became not only one of the earliest authors of books in Latin script Hausa, but he also became one of the most influential authors in Hausa literature.

  Page of the newspaper with several photographs.
EAP485/1/1/404: Gaskiya ta fi Kwabo, Issue 874, 7 Nov 1958

The popularity of Gaskiya not only led to increasing popularity of Latin alphabet literacy in Hausa areas, but it also increased the attention that speakers of Hausa, both first and second language speakers, paid to the outside world. By so increasing the attention Africans in the interior of the continent paid to events beyond their localities, it became an important factor in the emergence and spread of modern nationalism in Africa, especially among Muslims, although also among Christians. It is indispensable source material for historians of Africa interested in the nationalist movement in particular, and modernisation in general. It is also the earliest known example of what later became the much imitated style of modern literature called “Gaskiyanci” (Gaskiya dialect), named after the newspaper and created by its editor, Alhaji Abubakar Imam.

Page of the newspaper. The top half has small announcements, the bottom has an advertisement for Lifebuoy soap.EAP485/1/1/410: Gaskiya ta fi Kwabo, Issue 880, 19 Dec 1958 

Professor John Philips

Hirosaki University