Date of Award

2005

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours

Faculty

Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Dr Ffion Murphy

Abstract

The genesis of this project was my father Graeme Rhind's collection of photographs of farming in Western Australia, dating back to 1929 when his parents first began farming in the wheatbelt near Wyalkatchem. I was interested in the way these photographs illustrated changing farming practices during the following three decades, and how they provided both documentary evidence and stimulated recall of memory. I was also concerned by the loss of knowledge of old photographic collections. The photographs are insufficient by themselves because each image requires specialised knowledge which the viewer may not possess, and that knowledge is lost with the passing of time. Images are often regarded as self-contained, and rarely include related background text. As a result I advocate the process of collecting photographs and oral information at the same time, and integrating substantial text with each photograph so they can be used for other purposes in the future. The cost of printing photographs in books is a significant barrier for photographic publication, but electronic media provide inexpensive methods of preserving and publishing photographs and text as a CD e-book. In this project I used common and familiar Internet programming software so thee-book can be read on almost all computers. Internet-style programming also allows the writer to link images to other images or pages, so readers can explore unfamiliar images (like the unusual 1955 photo below) in ways that cannot be done in printed text. The final product of this project is a CD e-book on farm life between 1933 and 1963, integrating both photographic and oral history. The creative work attempts to integrate images and text to preserve a historical recollection of farming life at that time. The story begins with an abbreviated family biography to provide the social context, but the technical routine of fanning is the main interest of the story. Perhaps the best description of this work is a technical biography. A selection of the e-book has been printed here, but the text is best read as an Internet document, with all the added pages, links, extra images, and colour. The disk is included as an appendix and can be opened with any web browser. The pages and images can be individually accessed, copied and printed. The accompanying essay explores some of the issues in writing history in this manner, including collection and preservation of material, and the difficulties of maintaining a coherent form for a narrative created from the two disparate media of photographs and text.

Included in

Photography Commons

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