This collection of police mugshots – originally taken at the Hobart Gaol, Campbell St. Hobart and at the Mayor’s Court, Municipal Police Office, Hobart Town Hall, by government contractor Thomas J. Nevin from 1872-1886 – was donated from government estrays in 1964. Full records with T. J. Nevin’s attribution are held at the NLA, Sprod Papers NLA MS 2320. The National Library of Australia has recently updated its digital software, yet the versos of these photographs, which can provide researchers with valuable information. have not been digitised. The NLA believes that the absence of a photographer’s studio stamp on the versos – of police mugshots no less – is reason enough to engage in puerile political games of re-attribution, despite expert curatorial validation, and Nevin’s government contract stamp on several of these mugshots held in other national collections. The versos of the majority of these photographs were incorrectly transcribed in 1915-1916 with the wording “Taken at Port Arthur 1874” to promote penal heritage tourism to Tasmania when they were sent as exhibits to the Royal Hotel, Sydney, in conjunction with an exhibition of convictaria from the transport ship, the Success. The majority of the 85 mugshots in the NLA collection consists of copies either duplicated from the originals – or missing from – the collections held at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart and the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston.
Webshot 2007: Photographer Nevin, Thomas J.
NLA Pictorial list of Convict portraits, Port Arthur 1874
RELATED POSTS main weblog
- Rogues Gallery: Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery Collection
- Thomas Nevin’s glass plates of prisoners 1870s
- Nevin’s convict portraits at the National Library of Australia
- Julia Clark: A Question of Stupidity and the NLA
- Improprieties: A.H. Boyd and the parasitic attribution
- The Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery Convicts 1977
See also individual posts with police records for each prisoner on this site.