Dr Alfred Charles Barker (1819-1873)

Dr Alfred Charles Barker (1819-1873)

Canterbury Museum was recently gifted a significant collection relating to Dr Alfred Charles Barker (1819-1873) who was ship’s surgeon on board the Charlotte Jane, but is better known for his remarkable photography.

The collection includes photographs of family and Canterbury scenes, diaries on board the Charlotte Jane and correspondence between various family members. The Barker children’s letters to their uncle Matthias during the 1860s provide an engaging record of childhood in colonial Canterbury. Letters from Alfred’s son Samuel Delabere Barker’s describe a perilous journey in Africa during the 1870s, his shaky handwriting showing the effects of malaria.

An exhibition titled Out of the Darkroom: Dr A.C. Barker, Photographer and Family Man will open at the Museum on 4 April 2009, showcasing items from the new collection. Public tours of the exhibition will run as part of Archives Week in May. These will be held in the Visitor Lounge on 6 May, 10.00am and 11.30am and 12 May, 6.00 – 7.00pm. Free admission, bookings are essential: phone 366 9429 ext 817 or email discovery@canterburymuseum.com.