The Australian People: six prisoner cdv’s by T. J. Nevin

The six cartes-de-visite of Tasmanian convicts in oval mounts published in The Australian People (J. Jupp, ed, 2001) were reproduced from the National Library of Australia’s (Pictorial) collection of Thomas J. Nevin’s convict portraits . Some are dated 1874 on the verso, with the inscription “Taken at Port Arthur, 1874“, which now appears to be touristic spin rather than fact, written decades later in a cataloguist’s hand probably by Edward Searle while working at John Watt Beattie’s convictaria museum and studio in Hobart between 1911-1915. The majority of extant prisoner photographs in public collections – more than 300 – were taken by Thomas J. Nevin (and his brother Constable John Nevin) at the Supreme Court and Hobart Gaol on the occasion of the prisoner’s incarceration and discharge between 1871-1884.

The cartes-de-visite appear within the context of Irish immigration in The Australian People Second Edition 2001 Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, General editor: James Jupp.

See information about these convicts at Prisoner Pictures.

Prisoner James Sutherland, 1883
NLA Collection P1029/43

Sutherland’s photograph by Thomas and John Nevin was taken at the Hobart Gaol on 29th May 1883, seven days before Sutherland’s death by hanging for the crime of murder, according to notes on the verso. Sutherland was a local criminal, not a transported convict arriving at Port Arthur before 1853. See this entry for a full account of his short criminal career. These six cartes-de-visite of Tasmanian prisoners, or “convicts” as they are termed in heritage discourse, were all sourced as the work of commercial and police photographer Thomas J. Nevin in the 1870s-1880s from the collection held at the National Library of Tasmania.

Photographs of Tasmanian convicts 1870s by Thomas J. Nevin, published in  The Australian People. page 20,  Second Edition 2001 Cambridge University Press, Melbourne General editor: James Jupp.


  • The Peopling of Australia: pp. 3 – 86
  • Indigenous Australians: pp.87 – 162
  • The Settlers: pp. 163 – 750
  • Building a Nation: pp. 751-856
  • Birthplaces, Languages and Religions
  • Chronology Bibliography Index

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