Archivist Allyson Lewis writes about working with the Robinson photograph and postcard collection
This collection consisting of 112 boxes of photograph and postcard albums and slides was compiled by Geoffrey A. Robinson of Thundersley, Essex. A keen photographer he also collected postcards, chiefly of places in Essex but also all over the country.
Mr Robinson had a clear plan when taking his photographs of places in Essex. He would start with the parish church and take exterior views, then move inside, including any memorials or noteworthy architectural features. He would then take the churchyard including inscriptions on larger memorials. Then he would tour the village taking photographs of old buildings, public houses, the school, and any other religious buildings e.g. chapels. He was most active during the 1960s and 1970s and his photographs provide a wonderful window back in time to the quiet lanes of Essex with no cars in sight.
He put all his photographs and postcards into albums, initially using photograph corners on paper pages but later using the dreaded self-adhesive lift-and-stick plastic pages. These are a particular problem as the adhesive remains sticky and holds the image so firmly to the page that it cannot be removed without damage. Fortunately, for most of the albums in the Robinson collection the adhesive has dried so much that the photographs and postcards can be removed easily.
The images are being been re-stored in inert melinex pockets which will ensure their preservation for years to come.
Postcards relating to other counties have been sent to the relevant offices (about 40 at the last count!).
One of the mysteries of the collection is the correspondence with a Miss Raverty. The author of the postcards seems to have written to her frequently, and would spread individual messages across several postcards, which were then numbered. We have tried to put the sequences back together, but cannot make much sense of them as yet!
The Robinson photograph and postcard collection is catalogued as Accession A7792 – D/DU 1464