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

These six photographs of Tasmanian prisoners – “convicts” – were sourced by the publishers of The Australian People from the National Library of Australia’s collection of 84 photographs which were correctly attributed on accession in the 1960s and 1980s to commercial and police photographer Thomas J. Nevin in Tasmania, 1872-1886. However, no photographer accreditation accompanied these photographs. They appear on page 20 within the context of Irish immigration. The caption repeats a commonly-held misconception in many 20th century publications, namely,  that prisoners in Tasmania “were still held at Port Arthur” until its closure, which was in 1877. This is factually incorrect. The Port Arthur prison was in a state of disrepair by 1873; its commandant A. H. Boyd was dismissed for corruption in January 1874; and from July 1873 to early 1875 all re-offenders and lifers were relocated to the Hobart Gaol and House of Corrections where they were photographed on being received, assigned and/or  discharged by government contractor Thomas J. Nevin with the assistance of his brother Constable John Nevin. … More The Australian People: six prisoner cdv’s by T. J. Nevin