Edwin Barnard at the NLA with Nevin’s convict photographs

Video excerpt from:

ABC TV (Aust) news report by Siobhan Heanue, 2 April 2011.

NB: this report contains unfactual and erroneous statements by both the journalist and interviewee.

For AUTHENTIC and ACCURATE research see this article which reviews the NLA publication Exiled (2010) with specific examples of Barnard’s suppositions, prevarications and omissions, titled Thomas Francis was Photographed by T.J. Nevin on 6th February 1874 at: http://tasmanianphotographer.blogspot.com/2010/10/thomas-francis-was-photographed-by-tj.html

See also:

And search convicts’ names and Nevin’s photographs at:

See also this critique of the book by Tim Causer,  Bentham Project, University College London.

The interviewee Edwin Barnard in this ABC news report poses here as an expert on the Tasmanian convicts photographs taken and produced by commercial and police photographer Thomas J. NEVIN in the 1870s. Original duplicates of these same mugshots held at the NLA which were made by Thomas Nevin and his brother Constable John Nevin for the police are held in other public institutions (TMAG, QVMAG, AOT, State Library of Tas, SLNSW) and private collections.

Langley and Dogherty are two prisoners mentioned in this excerpt from an ABC TV (Aust) news report delivered by Siobhan Heanue, 2 April 2011. Langley’s and Dogherty’s photos are just two of thousands of prisoner mugshots taken by the Nevin brothers at the Hobart Gaol and survive along with the hundreds of Tasmanian prisoner photographs in public collections. How Barnard can assert that Denis Dogherty never saw his own mugshot is just another example of his shallow modus operandi in presenting himself as an expert. Dogherty would have seen his own mugshot on prison and police records called up at every arraignment. Barnard is simply repeating the simplistic nuances of a faded postmodern discourse on power marshalled in the 1990s by photohistorians such as Helen Ennis and Isobel Crombie.

Barnard claims to be the “author” of the recent publication featuring Nevin’s prisoner mugshots titled Exiled: The Port Arthur Convict Photographs (2010) sponsored by the National Library of Australia, but the facts remain and are widely known that Barnard liberally appropriated materials three years ago from our weblogs and albums about Thomas J. NEVIN. The weblogs have presented accurate research about Nevin’s police commission online since 2005 by Nevin descendants and collectors – yet Barnard used the research without due contact or courtesy in any form. Earlier in the interview Barnard claims he “discovered” and “unearthed” these mugshots despite and in the face of their public visibility since 1977 when they were exhibited at the QVMAG, researched and curated by experts, and constant online visibility at the Archives Office Tasmania and the NLA since the early 1990s with full and unequivocal attribution to T.J. Nevin.

On April 8th, 2011, Edwin Barnard made an appearance at the National Library of Australia during a weekend conference called True Stories: Writing History. In his talk, Barnard conceded that the so-called “Port Arthur convict photographs” which feature in the NLA publication Exiled (2010) were taken at the Hobart Gaol and not at Port Arthur, though he did not explicitly name Nevin as the photographer despite the facts available (who is still arguing?), which would have redeemed him in our eyes. But then, when requested by an audience member to recite what he had written about the convict Denis Dogherty, he quoted verbatim the material we published on these weblogs way back in 2006 and duly basked in the audience’s warm response. It’s a sad comment, but there are people such as Barnard (and others like Julia Clark) who crave love and validation through coveting the legacy of others.

T.J. Nevin’s mugshot of prisoner Denis Dogherty (spelled Dougherty by Edwin Barnard in Exiled (2010), page 64. Photo copyright KLW NFC 2011 ARR.