Ca. 1914. Oblong Folio album (ca. 29x39,5 cm). 45 card stock leaves (4 blank). With ca. 295 mounted gelatin silver photographs of various size, from ca. 10,5x18,5 cm (4 x 7 ¼ in) to ca. 3x5,5 cm (1 ¼ x 2 in); the majority are ca. 6x11 cm (2 ½ x 4 ¼ in). With 26 cyanotypes of various size, from ca. 6x10,5 cm (2 ½ x 4 in) to ca. 4x6 cm (1 ½ x 2 ½ in). Ca. 170 photos with period white ink or pencil captions on the mounts; over forty mounts with general captions on the top or bottom margins related to all photos on the page. Period dark brown cloth album fastened with a string; paper label of “The Heinn Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin” on the rear board; the front board with a gilt-lettered title “Photographs.” One photo has apparently been previously removed from the album, a couple of photos mildly faded or with mild silvering, but overall a very good album of strong interesting images.
Historically significant extensive collection of original photos documenting the travel of American activists from the Young Women’s Christian Association around India in the spring of 1914, shortly before the beginning of WW1. The travellers were Miss Louise Brooks (YWCA National Student Secretary of the Departments of Conventions and Conferences), Miss Helen M.A. Taylor (“Chairman of the Student Committee of Ohio and West Virginia”) and Helen’s mother, Mrs. Taylor. They visited Bombay (Mumbai), several cities in the modern-day Indian state of Tamil Nadu - Madura (Madurai), Trichinopoly (Tiruchirappalli), Tanjore (Thanjavur) and Madras (Chennai), then went to Jaipur, Delhi, Lucknow, Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, and Benares (Varanasi), stayed in Calcutta (Kolkata), made a side trip to Darjeeling and then travelled as far as Khyber Pass and Srinagar and Pahalgam hill station in Kashmir.
The album has over fifty photographs of the YWCA activists, facilities in India and native girl students. Among the YWCA activists identified on the photos are “H.M.A.T.” (Helen M.A. Taylor), “H.C.T.” (most likely, Mrs. Taylor), “L.W.B.” (Louise Brooks), “M.S.W.” or “M.W.” (Martha Whealdon, General Secretary of the YWCA branch in Bombay), and “M.E.R.” (Miss Rutherford, General Secretary of the YWCA branch in Calcutta). There are also seven photos from the “day of sports” in the YWCA Madras branch, four photos of the “girl guides’ picnic” on a river near Madras, views of the YWCA buildings in Vepery (Madras), Lucknow and Calcutta, portraits of the YWCA associates laughing on a “New Year’s Day, 1915,” having a picnic in the “Taj garden” and going on a boat ride on the Hooghly River. Three large photos show the “Madras annual meeting, Jan. 31 1914;” among the identified people are “Mother,” “H.M.A.T., H.E. Lady Pentland, Hon. Mrs. Cardew.” There are also portraits of “Mother, the Tank, 46 Poonamallee Rd.,” “H.C.T.” riding an elephant, group portraits of YWCA associates with Indian girls, including two photos taken during “the first cabinet conference in India, Calcutta,” portraits of native school children, etc. One photo shows a hand-made poster attached at the entrance of the YWCA branch in Calcutta, which announces the public talk about the Holy Land by “Miss Helen Taylor of America” on March 15th.
The other photos include views of sites and street scenes in Madurai (Meenakshi Temple, the Great Gopuram, Tank of the Lotus, “Singer machines at the Great Gopuram,” Teppakulam temple tank, scenes of “offerings of saffron coconuts,” “temple elephant procession of the goose”), Tiruchirappalli, Thanjavur (Schwartz Church), Chennai (Victoria Memorial Hall, “the road to Perambur”), Mumbai (University), Jaipur (“the museum,” “road to Amer,” observatory), Delhi (Tomb of Isa Khan, Qila-i-Kuhna Mosque, Jama Masjid, the Red Fort, the Ridge, Nizamuddin Dargah, Qutb Minar), Agra (the Taj, Akbar’s Tomb, Pearl Mosque, snake charmers), Fatehpur Sikri, Lucknow (Asfi Mosque), Varanasi (ghats, stupas of Sarnath), Calcutta (Government House, the post office, “street restaurant,” a wedding procession), Darjeeling, and Amritsar. Over a dozen photos show the Khyber Pass – fort Jamrud, “the plains from the pass,” “watch tower,” native people and children, etc. About sixty photos illustrate the YWCA ladies’ travel in Kashmir, showing “the Jhelum Road,” “Our Tonga,” Buniar Temple, Srinagar (Dalgate bridge, Shalimar Bagh), “M.E.R.” with a native boy, Wular Lake, Jhelum River, Martand Sun Temple, “source of the Jhelum – Verinag Spring,” Liddar River, Pahalgam, Mount Kolahoi, “road to Amarnath,” portraits of the Gurjar people, etc.
Thirteen gelatin silver photos at rear, dated 1922, depict a journey to the Nilgiri Mountains and show the scenery around the Kodaikanal hill station, Ootacamund (Ooty, Tamil Nadu), “Ooty market,” the Paikari waterfalls, Toda people and houses, etc. Nine photos, also dated 1922, depict Gwalior Fort (Madhya Pradesh), Golconda Fort (Hyderabad), streets of the cities of Ajmer and Pushkar (both in Rajasthan), and Taj Mahal palace (Bhopal). Overall a unique historically significant visual source on the history of YWCA activities in India and its relations with its colleagues from the United States in the early 20th century.
Excerpts from the contemporary periodicals talking about the 1914 trip to India:
“The annual meeting of this Association was on Saturday, Jan. 31st, and was held in the Y.W.C.A. compound. Her Excellency Lady Pentland presided, and the speakers were Mrs. F.V. Slack and the Rev. Neil Meldrum” (Madras Supplement// The Young Women of India and Ceylon, Vol. XVI, No. 2, February 1914, p. 39).
“Miss Louise Brooks, National Student Secretary of the Departments of Conventions and Conferences in the U.S.A., and Miss Taylor, Chairman of the Student Committee of Ohio and West Virginia, have been saying [sic!] with us, and visited two of the Branches, where they gave talks on their Palastine Trip and Association work in America, which were both much appreciated” (Colombo Supplement// The Young Women of India and Ceylon. Vol. XVI, No. 3, March 1914, p. 60).
“The Association enjoyed the messages given by Miss Louise Brooks, of the National Board, U.S.A., Miss Helen Taylor, Y.W.C.A. Committee Chairman of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Miss Martha Whealdon, General Secretary of the Bombay Association, during the visit of these three to Lucknow on March 1st and 2nd” (The Young Women of India and Ceylon. Vol. XVI, No. 4, April 1914, p. 71). See also short notes on their visit to Calcutta on pp. 78 and 82.
“On Saturday, March 28th, an experiment was made in the Calcutta student work. An all-day conference was held for the officers of the different branches in the City, and 26 girls met together from 11 to 4 o’clock. The plan was to make the programme both technical and inspirational, and also to afford some time for social intercourse. We began with a half-hour Bible talk, given by Miss Helen Taylor, and then had a social half-hour. From 12 to 1 we discussed mission study, missionary meetings, and the whole missionary activity of the branches. At one we had our pictures taken and had tiffin together, and then the girls played in the compound and gymnasium until 2 o’clock…”(Student News and Notes// The Young Women of India and Ceylon. Vol. XVI, No. 5, May 1914, p. 94).
“The first Vesper Service was held on March 15th, when Miss Helen Taylor of America gave a most interesting address on the Holy Land. There were 42 present <…> Miss Rutherford is to leave on April 20th for a trip to Kashmir, where she will spend her holiday with Mrs. and Miss Taylor and Miss Whealdon <…> The following was the programme for the Wednesday afternoons in April and was enjoyed by all: April 1st. “Constantinople and Its People” by Miss Helen Taylor…” (Calcutta Supplement// The Young Women of India and Ceylon. Vol. XVI, No. 5, May 1914, pp. 101-102). Also a short note on their stay in Madras on p. 102.
“…the conference of volunteer workers and secretaries of the industrial department of the Y.W.C.A., held in Springfield, O., on March 24, 24, 26. <…> One of the interesting speakers at the conference was Miss Helen Taylor, the chairman of the Ohio and West Virginia field committee. She has just returned from an eighteen months’ trip around the world. She spent three months in Calcutta with Miss Beatrice Cron, the local association’s foreign secretary to India. Miss Taylor spoke on “Our Part in a Great World-Wide program.” The local federation of clubs in the Industrial department has announced that Miss Taylor will be the honor guest at the annual banquet on April 10” (Activities of the Y.W.C.A.// The Indianapolis News, Indianapolis, Marion County, 1 April 1916, p. 5).
Price: $3,250.00 USD
Status: On Hold