Celebrating Arthur Whinfield’s Slide Collection
- 25th January 2018
Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service (WAAS), in partnership with Worcester Diocesan Church House Trust (WDCHT) has been successful in its bid for £39,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to conserve, catalogue and share the Arthur Henry Whinfield Lantern Slide Collection.
The remarkable photographic collection of this Worcestershire resident was donated by his widow, Laura Jane Curtler, to WDCHT in March 1918 and the project will celebrate the centenary. Working together, WAAS and Rob Hewitt of Redhawk Logistica, will deliver a programme of events, lecture evenings and visual public displays between March and August this year.
The collection holds 1800 slides, 1200 of which were taken by Whinfield during the 1880s throughout the UK, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australasia and the Americas. Whinfield’s photographs fall into three tantalising themes:
- Images from his world tours, including internationally important sites and landscapes now lost;
- Cathedrals and churches in the UK and Western Europe – significantly, many images were taken during the Victorian ‘programme’ of restoration;
- Slides used by Whinfield during church services, including projected hymn lyrics for the parishioners of St. John Baptist Church in Claines, Worcester. Whinfield was the proprietor of Nicholson Organ Company from 1903-1916 and he not only built but played the organ at St. John the Baptist.
As part of the project, Whinfield’s world tour lectures will be re-enacted at venues across Worcestershire, including churches where his organs are still in use. Digitisation of the lantern slides will allow greater access to the collection and enable a series of public posters and building projections to be created.
Whinfield’s father was close friends with another of Worcester’s famous residents – Elgar. In association with the Elgar Birthplace Trust, volunteers for the Trust and WAAS will research Whinfield’s life and family using the archives held here on the Explore the Past level of The Hive.
Keep an eye on our blog over the coming months to find out more about the project!